What is AIR Pre-Operative Conditioning?

AIR Pre-Operative Conditioning is a short-term physical therapy program designed to help your body become as strong as possible prior to surgery.

By writing the prescription, your physician has indicated that you are medically strong enough to participate in a supervised conditioning program, and feels that both your recovery and rehabilitation will benefit from pre-operative physical therapy.

Why do I need pre-operative conditioning?

Even with modern advances, all surgical procedures include the risk of post-surgical complications such as infection, blood clots or increased pain that can delay recovery.

Research studies have shown that patients participating in supervised pre-operative conditioning programs recover faster and experience fewer complications after surgery.

By prescribing the AIR Pre-Operative Conditioning program, your surgeon is increasing the likelihood of a faster recovery, an easier rehabilitation, and a successful surgical outcome.


Who can benefit from AIR Pre-Operative Conditioning?

Pre-operative conditioning is appropriate for patients of any age who are undergoing specific types of surgery. With guidance from your surgeon, the therapist will design a program appropriate for your current physical and medical condition. The program will challenge you physically, but will not exceed your pain tolerance or endurance.

We can also help prepare you for what to expect in the days and weeks following your surgery, with:

  • Training on how to use a walker, wheelchair or crutches.
  • Preparation for your anticipated post-operative rehabilitation.
  • Techniques for effective pain management.
  • Realistic recovery expectations and precautions specific to your surgical procedure

What can you expect from AIR Pre-Operative Conditioning?

Your pre-operative conditioning will include a series of appointments with a professional physical therapist, either at our clinic or in your home.

Here is what you can expect:

Before you arrive:

  • Make a list of your health goals and any questions or concerns you have.

Four weeks before surgery:

  • During your first session, the therapist will introduce a treatment program targeting your specific surgical needs. You will try each of the exercises and therapies, and the therapist will make any changes needed to address pain or mobility concerns.
  • You are expected to continue your program at home between sessions. Call your physical therapist if you have a significant increase in pain, or if you have any questions regarding your exercises, therapies or progress.

Two weeks before surgery:

  • Your physical therapist will begin to discuss what you should expect after your procedure.
  • If appropriate to your situation, you will practice using a walker or crutches on level ground, and learn to safely climb and descend stairs.
  • You will receive specific instructions on permitted post-operative activities, and guidelines for introducing additional activities as your recovery progresses.

After surgery:

  • We look forward to helping you recover as quickly and safely as possible. Our coordination of your pre-operative conditioning allows us to play a more active and valuable role in your long-term recovery and post-operative physical rehabilitation.

Does insurance cover pre-operative conditioning?

Both pre-operative conditioning and post-operative rehabilitation therapies are covered by most major insurance policies because research has shown that these programs can help reduce complications and shorten recovery times.