What is Prehabilitation?

Why PreHab

Total joint replacement surgery is considered as one of the most successful medical interventions, with significant pain relief and improvement in physical function and quality of life for patients with severe osteoarthritis. However, the recovery for some remains difficult and prolonged with not always optimal recovery of functionality.

Pre-operative physiotherapy and exercise programmes (known as prehabilitation) are proposed as a potential way to expedite recovery times and improve overall recovery.

Pre-operative rehabilitation is intuitive and improves your disposition at the time of surgery and prepares you better for recovery.

If you are planning to undergo surgery why not optimise your recovery by being better prepared both physically and mentally pre operatively.

What is PreHab

At The Clavadel we offer you the opportunity to attend our Physiotherapy Department 6 weeks before your proposed operation date.

We would carry out an initial assessment with a senior Physiotherapist.

This assessment would be for one hour and would include:

  • Gathering information to include: history of current condition, any relevant past medical history, social history to include occupation, hobbies, activities, home environment eg , stairs, bathroom facilities, access into your home, what support you have at home from family/friends
  • Observation of your walking & any walking aids you may be using
  • Observation of your functional ability i.e. getting on & off chair, bed etc.
  • Assessing the joint range of movement and muscle strength
  • Assessing other joints / muscle that might be involved or affected
  • Understanding your goals and working with you to set goals for rehab


  • Designing a pre-operative exercises programme including physio and hydrotherapy
  • Designing a home exercise programme
  • Advice regarding pain management pre op: heat/ice therapy, weight relieving walking aids, positions to sit/sleep, hydrotherapy
  • Advice on equipment needed post op to aid daily living function

Ideally you would have an hours assessment/treatment and one follow up exercise session.

For optimal preparation we would recommend the assessment following with a weekly exercise session with the Physiotherapist, this could be land based or hydrotherapy if this was suitable for you.

We would recommend hydrotherapy particularly if you are in significant discomfort when weight bearing on your arthritic joint.

What is Hydrotherapy?

Aquatic therapy (hydrotherapy) involves the use of warm water at a temperature of 33-35 degrees Celsius to aid rehabilitation of a wide variety of conditions by using the varying properties of water. The warmth helps to reduce pain and muscle spasm making movement easier.  The buoyancy of the water reduces the amount of weight going through your legs and can be used to assist movement and therefore help increase range of movement at a joint.  Buoyancy can also resist movement and therefore help make muscles stronger.

The pool at the Clavadel is a purpose built, specially designed hydrotherapy pool. This means it has a very high level of filtration and disinfection. It is disinfected by an advanced computerised chlorine dosing system that monitors the water continuously over a 24 hr period and doses accordingly to keep an exact chemical balance. We also use an ultra violet water treatment system as a second means of water treatment. In addition to the automatic monitoring, the pool is tested daily for free and combined chlorine to make sure all the automatic systems are working. Finally, each week we send off a water sample to a UK accredited laboratory for all known contaminants. All results are kept on file and can be made available to anyone who may wish to check our statement that our pool is 100% safe to use post-surgery.

Please note if hydrotherapy is an option you would like to try you would need to complete a specific hydrotherapy screening form with your Physiotherapist to ensure it is safe for you to have hydrotherapy.

Please see here for pricing info.