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How to Ensure Successful Results and Recovery from an Upcoming Surgery by Participating in a Pre-Surgery Preparation Fitness Training Program Specifically Designed for You

A look at the annual surgery stats in the U.S. will tell you that approximately fifty million individuals undergo surgery every year. But can you guess the factors upon which the success of surgery depends? We can fill you in.

In addition to the skill of the surgeon being a major factor, surgical success also depends heavily on the physical preparedness of the individual patient. If you have experienced a surgical procedure, it is highly likely that you must have thoroughly investigated your options. Quite possibly, you would have shortlisted the best hospitals, the best surgeons, and the best treatment approaches. A thorough, diligent research and selection process considering all of these variables can be the difference between smooth sailing through treatment, recovery, and post-recovery or complications and prolonged recovery.

Did you know that pre-surgery physical preparation, in the form of an exercise training program, also plays a vital role in how well you recover from surgery and its ultimate success? Pre-surgery training is a way of preparing your body for the physical demands it will be placed under while recovering from the surgical procedure; it will make you more resilient. Let us explain how:

(If you are interested in learning more about pre-surgery preparation or have one of our professional Sarasota-based personal trainers design a comprehensive 6–12-week program, click here.)

Pre-Surgery Preparation

Like every athlete that prepares thoroughly for the rigors of an upcoming season, people need to prepare for an upcoming surgery. When we are talking about pre-surgery preparation, we are not only talking about logistics. We are talking about priming your strength and mobility to increase your physical readiness. This readiness allows you to deal with the rigors of rehabilitation and the compensatory motor patterns associated with the post-surgery phase itself. Imagine if an athlete shows up for practice on the first day of the season without completing any pre-season training program. It is very likely that, at best, their first few weeks of practicing will be miserable. And at worst, they injure themselves and negatively impact their ability to play, all because they disrespected the physical demands of their chosen sport or activity. Preparing for surgery is going to be a similar process to an athlete preparing for a season. Your body needs to be ready for the physical demands that will be placed on it in physical therapy and recovery after the surgery. Do not disrespect the physical side of this process, lest you may end up miserable. Worse yet, you may never recover to your full potential and have limitations for the rest of your life.

There will be both physical therapy demands and the demands from having altered movement patterns that will need to be corrected. For example, you had knee surgery, so now your other leg has to do more work to move the whole body, and your arms need to be strong enough to help you get up and down out of chairs. Make no mistake that the better conditioned and strengthened you are, the faster you will recover. The “surgical effect” or hopeful intended outcome, will be better for you. Put more simply, whatever the surgery was supposed to fix will improve even better if you are more fit. To have a better recovery, go forward, not backward. Do not be like the athlete who shows up out of shape on day one of practice. Do not disrespect the physical demands that you will need for full recovery. The surgery will not fix anything without your being able to, physically, help it along. Or even worse yet, you could injure something else because it was weak and not ready to face the physical demands placed on it during your surgical recovery stage.

Questions about personal training and program design services to enhance your strength and movement before surgery? Click here.

Every orthopedic surgery recovery phase relies heavily on the soundness of your shoulders, hips, knees, etc. Suppose you are someone who struggles each time you have to get in or out of a chair. If you then underwent hip replacement surgery, would you not need extra strength and mobility in the non-operative leg as well as the arms to help you get up (when it was already hard before the surgery)? And that is not only going to be the case on the surgical front, which involves trying to recover from the procedure, but also on the non-surgical side because you will have been making compensations in normal movement patterns as a workaround to the limitation prior to the surgery. Maybe now you are getting the idea of how crucial pre-surgical preparation is for your safety and success while undergoing your recovery.

The extra strength needed will come from pre-surgery exercises, workouts, and therapy. If, instead, you go into surgery with a weak upper body or weak legs, can you guess the repercussions? You would increase your risks of injury during the post-surgery phase. If your legs are weak and you have a lower body surgery, you will probably have to overuse your hands to get up and down from chairs and bed. This could then resultantly damage your shoulders.

Therefore, the healthier you are before you go into surgery, the quicker and more successful your recovery will be. However, you must note that I am not emphasizing an overzealous fitness routine here. What I recommend is following the simple guidelines below:

Would you like to talk with a personal trainer with a master’s degree in Exercise Science and focus on injury prevention? Click here.


Pre-Surgery Guidelines

These include:

-Launch your pre-surgery routine at least six weeks before your surgery. Eight weeks or more would be better. You could even leverage this surgery to be the beginning of a new healthier lifestyle.

-If you are new to exercise, seek a qualified fitness professional, preferably one who has a degree in exercise science and specializes in these types of routines. You require a trainer that understands the biomechanical challenges that are involved in your recovery. Additionally, as a new exerciser, you will need someone that knows how to progress you from where you are in your current physical preparedness level to where you need to be to insure readiness for your upcoming surgery and recovery. In this process, your personal trainer should do a full-body physical activity readiness assessment and also a medical history check. So, by all means, get qualified professional help. Click here to see Bruno’s qualifications and credentials. The last thing you need is an injury, right before your surgery, that you caused by trying to do it yourself (i.e., pulling a muscle, exacerbating your condition, strains, etc.). Hiring a qualified personal trainer is worth the money for your safety, success, and peace of mind.

-If you are already a seasoned active exerciser in good shape, great for you. Now what you may want to do to prepare for surgery is seek the advice of a qualified fitness professional, preferably one that has a degree in exercise science and specializes in these types of routines. You require a trainer that understands the biomechanical challenges that are involved in your recovery. A good trainer can show you how to add a few exercises to your current routine specifically designed to help you with your recovery phase.

For some, it may seem counterintuitive as to why they should undergo a pre-surgery preparation program. After all, would it not strain the body more or worsen their condition? Well, it could if you don’t know what you are doing. But the fact is that clinical research has shown that appropriate pre-surgery training helps put patients in optimum condition, and the better physical shape and state of preparedness a person is in, then the better they recover and fewer complications they have. Pre-surgery physical conditioning programs strengthen joints, muscles, and bones to minimize the possibility of stiffness and muscle loss post-operation.

With that said, let’s now look at another majorly important component of successful recovery from surgery:

Post-surgery physical therapy and post-physical therapy progressive exercise to restore normal function and fitness levels. If you would like to read more about ongoing post-surgery recovery programs to bridge the gap between physical therapy and optimal performance, click here.

(If you are interested in learning more about pre-surgery preparation or have one of our professional Sarasota-based personal trainers design a comprehensive 6–12-week program, click here.)

Thanks for taking the time to read this article we prepared for you.

Best Regards,

John J. Bruno, MS, CSCS, PES, CSS, FMS, USAW
Master’s degree in Exercise Science – Concentration in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach
Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified Nutrition Coach
AIS Active Isolated Stretching Practitioner Aaron Mattes Method
NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist
FMS Functional Movement Screening Specialist (Level II)
NASE Certified Speed Specialist
RKC Certified Kettlebell Lifting Instructor
AKC Certified Kettlebell Lifting Coach
Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Certified Associate Grappling Instructor, Harris International
Certified Apprentice L5 Jeet Kune Do, French, Filipino, and Indonesian Martial Arts Instructor

John Bruno Strength and Conditioning
Personal Training
Martial Arts
Nutrition Coaching

(If you are interested in ongoing post-surgery recovery programs to bridge the gap between physical therapy and optimal performance, click here)

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