It depends on the surgery you will be undergoing. Most doctors will undertake pre-operative assessments about a week before your surgery—two weeks for major surgery. Many people start pre-surgical rehab as much as six to eight weeks before surgery.
It also depends on the type and severity of the surgery. Your doctor should provide a specific surgical protocol that will define when you can start post-surgical physical rehabilitation. You will most likely start rehab within one to two weeks after surgery.
The exact length of time you’ll need post-surgical treatment depends on the severity of your condition and the nature of the surgery. For a large surgery such as a knee replacement, rehab could take anywhere from six to twelve months. Treatments are more frequent at the beginning of the rehab process and taper off near the end.
While pre-operative care might not be necessary, virtually all surgeries carry some kind of post-operative care requirements. Whether or not you need pre-operative rehab depends on your overall health and surgical issue.
No, post-op care is not only for after surgery. If you have an injury or condition that does not require surgery, rehabilitative therapy can help you manage symptoms and facilitate recovery.
The worst thing to do before surgery is nothing at all. Building up your strength before surgery can help speed up recovery and reduce the risk of surgical complications. After surgery, regular exercise will help reduce pain and return mobility.