Joint Replacement Surgery and Exercise

At Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Bella VistaRandwickLindfield and Balmain we highly recommend prescribing ‘prehab’ or pre-surgery exercises before undergoing joint replacement surgery. Today we will look at the benefits of rehabilitation exercises on joint replacement.

Most people who undergo a joint replacement have been told they need to perform strengthening and rehabilitation exercises post – surgery, and this is widely accepted by most health professionals. It is equally important to perform pre-surgery rehabilitation exercises, as this will help recovery post-surgery. A study in 2019 by Goh et al, found that exercise has a significant impact on pain, function, performance and quality of life in patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis.

This further emphasises the fact that exercise is a great tool to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis, and can potentially delay the need for a joint replacement.

Another study in 2019 looked at the global rates of total knee replacement (TKR) and it found that they are increasing between 5% – 17% a year. By the year 2025 it also suggests that knee osteoarthritis (OA) is expected to increase by 40% with the most common surgery to manage the condition is TKR. As a health professional, these statistics are alarming and even further emphasises the need for prehab exercise programs before joint replacement, and in particular programs to help manage joint pain.

Another consideration is the fact that it is possible patients with joint OA are simply accepting that a joint replacement is the only solution, and are not being educated on the need to perform strengthening and mobility exercises to manage their pain and improve overall function. It is definitely worth your while exploring more conservative methods to manage your OA before thinking about a joint replacement.

Performing muscle strengthening and mobility exercises before surgery is a great way to improve your outcomes post-surgery, as you will not lose as much strength and function afterwards. The better prepared your body is will allow you to return to more normal activities. You will be able to walk and move your joints better than those who only perform post – surgery exercises afterwards.

If you or someone you know suffers from OA or joint pain, please talk to one of our exercise physiologists who can help reduce your pain and your functioning and strength.

Contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Bella VistaRandwickLindfield and Balmain  on 1300 964 002 to enquire today.

Written by Susannah Mah-Chut


Goh, S., Persson, M., Stocks, J., Hou, Y. Lin, J., Hall, M., Doherty, M., Zhang, W. 2019. Efficacy and potential determinants of exercise therapy in knee and hip osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine. 62(5), 356 – 365.

Sattler, L., Hing, W., Vertullo, C. 2019. What is the evidence to support early supervised exercise therapy after primary total knee replacement? A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorder, 20, 42.






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