Another unique service that Hawthorn Physiotherapy Clinic readily delivers is Prehabilitation or prehab. We work closely with many orthopaedic surgeons to ensure that patients enter the surgery physically prepared and come out for the best possible outcomes. More health professionals, researchers and patients are beginning to realise the significance of surgery and the importance of being as fit as possible beforehand.

What is Prehabilitation (Prehab)?

Prehabilitation or prehab is a proactive approach to surgery, such as total joint replacements and joint reconstructions. Prehab is a strengthening exercise program undertaken 4–6 weeks before your surgery, and orthopaedic surgeons often recommend to enhance your recovery.

Prehabilitation Exercise Program

Similar to rehabilitation, your program will be personalised and supervised by your physiotherapist with the aims of:

Prehabilitation Education

Education is also a crucial component of your preparation before surgery. While attending prehabilitation, you can ask your physiotherapist about what to expect afterwards, such as;

Benefits of Prehabilitation for Surgery

Prehabilitation is an ideal way to build a good base of strength before your surgery. Being well-conditioned beforehand will help you regain your movement and fitness quicker during your recovery.

While surgery can offer life-changing results, there can also be risks, such as long recovery periods, temporary increases in pain, difficulty moving and more extended stays in hospitals. Although not completely preventable, the chances of these scenarios can be reduced by Prehabilitation.

Research has shown that your knee flexibility, pain and physical/functional status before surgery is related to how well you recover [1]. Prehabilitation can improve these areas before entering your procedure. While more research is emerging, people who undergo Prehabilitation are benefiting from better outcomes, including [2][3]:

Who is Prehabilitation For?

Prehabilitation is suitable for anyone considering or scheduling an orthopaedic surgery, including:

Prehabilitation is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels; an individual program will be developed for your needs. It may be worth discussing Prehabilitation with your orthopaedic surgeon to see whether it is appropriate.

However, our patients consistently provide positive feedback regarding their experience with Prehabilitation at Hawthorn Physiotherapy. They report improvement in their strength and fitness to help them regain their movement and independence. As a result, we advocate for everyone to consider Prehabilitation with a physiotherapist before surgery.

When Do I Start Prehab?

Ideally, beginning the Prehabilitation from four to six weeks before your surgery will lead to the most significant benefits. However, starting later than this will still lead to positive improvements. During then, you will be reviewed over several sessions to track how you are going and progress further.

What Does it Cost to Attend Prehabilitation?

If you have private insurance Extras cover, there will be no out of pocket expenses.

Alternatively, it will be a small, flat fee of $35 per visit.

How Do Start the Prehabilitation Process?

You can make an appointment with one of our prehabilitation physiotherapists by contacting us by phone on (03) 9819 2327 or send us an email at with a relevant subject title (e.g Prehab for ACL Reconstruction).

Our physiotherapists will discuss your surgery and develop an exercise program that you can complete under supervision.

Alternatively, you can arrange an appointment online by clicking on the most relevant link for you:

  1. Topp, R., Swank, A. M., Quesada, P. M., Nyland, J., & Malkani, A. (2009). The effect of prehabilitation exercise on strength and functioning after total knee arthroplasty. PM&R1(8), 729–735.
  2. Moyer, R., Ikert, K., Long, K., & Marsh, J. (2017). The Value of Preoperative Exercise and Education for Patients Undergoing Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JBJS Reviews, 5(12), e2.
  3. Kwok, I. H. Y., Paton, B., & Haddad, F. S. (2015). Does Pre-Operative Physiotherapy Improve Outcomes in Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty? — A Systematic Review. The Journal of Arthroplasty, 30(9), 1657–1663.