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Clinical Specialties - Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy Support & Information

The San Rehabilitation allied health team are all here to help you with your recovery and will play a pivotal role in assisting you back to health. It is important that you prepare your body for surgery by improving your general health and performing any exercises that may be recommended for you.

San Physiotherapy runs a number of classes that you may wish to participate in or alternately you may wish to book a one-on-one appointment to get some individual exercise assistance or advice.

To book appointments or enquire about classes, please call (02) 9487 9350.


Before Surgery

It is important that you look at improving your general health prior to surgery. Here are some of our suggestions below:

General fitness

  • Exercises targeting muscles around your knee or hip joint pre-operatively will help reduce surgery risks and lead to better post-operative recovery. Participating in some form of exercise or therapy prior to surgery leads to quicker recovery, less discomfort and return to a higher level of function.
  • Try walking, aqua aerobics, exercise bike or swimming for about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
  • For specific exercises relevant to your surgery visit our on-line program at www.sah.org.au/rehab-prehab (coming soon) or if you would like to book a one-on-one appointment for personal or doctor specific training call (02) 9487 9350.


Aquatic Physiotherapy / Hydrotherapy

  • Exercising in the water is ideal to tone your muscles and improve your exercise tolerance without putting any undue stress on your joints.
  • Water allows you to work on your range of motion, flexibility, muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness in an environment where buoyancy, gravity, and hydrostatic pressure work with you.
  • You do not need to be a swimmer to participate in hydrotherapy. With the help of a therapist, non-swimmers can take an active part in aquatic therapy.
  • Tips for the Pool: Aqua Shoes will give you extra traction, making it easier to walk around in the pool.


NOTE: Before getting in the pool, you should be cleared by a medical professional.

The San holds Strength and Balance classes and Regular Aqua Fitness Classes in its Hydrotherapy pool. We also offer one-on-one hydrotherapy sessions with a Physiotherapist. Call us on 02 9487 9350 to find out more.

Stop smoking and limit to one standard drink per day.

Reduce body weight

  • Reducing your body weight will in turn reduce the amount of pressure on your joints which will make it easier to get around after surgery.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle will also help to speed up your recovery.

After Your Operation

Following your surgery and during your recovery on the Ward, you will be visited regularly by a physiotherapist who will discuss how to care for your knee, hip, back or other surgical area.

They will discuss specific exercises for you to do to gain back mobility and aid recovery. Rehabilitation after surgery is a balance between exercise and rest. If you rest too much then the joint or surgical area can become stiff or take longer to heal and similarly if you exercise too much it can become painful, swollen and delay healing. Take your lead from the expert guidance provided to you by your physiotherapist.

Based on your recovery and other factors including the assistance of a "recovery coach", support at home and the nature of your operation, a suggested plan will be recommended for you in relation to your rehabilitation. This may include inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation or treatment with your own private physiotherapist.


Physiotherapy Post Discharge

When you are discharged from the ward your options will be:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Outpatient rehabilitation
  • Treatment with your own private physiotherapist


Inpatient Rehabilitation

Based on your recovery and your home circumstances, you may choose to go to San Rehabilitation at the San to continue your recovery.

San Rehabilitation at the San has the advantage of only requiring an internal transfer within the hospital from your surgical ward to the rehabilitation ward, making the transition seamless and reducing stress. This transition will also make it easier for your team of carers including your doctor to still visit you. The San also has a hydrotherapy pool where you can attend classes to improve strength and muscle.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Your medical and allied health team following your progress on the Ward after surgery may feel that you are doing well enough to return home and visit San Physiotherapy as a day rehabilitation patient. This will be dependent on a number of factors but primarily what level of support you will have available to assist you at home. Your Ward physiotherapist will provide you with an exercise program for you to continue at home.

Day Rehabilitation through San Physiotherapy offers a range of classes both in the gym, personalised with a physiotherapist or in the hydrotherapy pool. Please discuss this with your Ward physiotherapist, or phone 9487 9350 for an appointment after discharge.

It is essential that you continue your independent exercise programme for the recommended time (up to 6 months for a knee replacement) to ensure you achieve the best outcome. If you stop doing your exercises you will start to see a decrease in mobility.

Your home exercise program should be reviewed every 1 – 2 weeks. Altering your exercise program will ensure that you continue to build strength in the muscles which support your surgical area. If you wish to return to the hospital for review or if your range of motion decreases, please contact San Physiotherapy on (02) 9487 9350.

Treatment with your own private physiotherapist

Whilst this is an option, San Physiotherapy recommends that to continue your continuity of care and to provide seamless treatment, it is best to continue your rehabilitation with the San Physiotherapy team.


Preparing your Home

Once you have come home after your surgery, you will need to take extra care in order to prevent falls and injuries while you recover.  There are lots of small changes you can make now in order to prepare your home and make it a suitable environment for a speedy and safe recovery.  Remember to appoint your recovery coach to assist you.

Please use our checklist below to identify the ones that may apply to you:

  • Leave space around furniture for using your mobility aid
  • Remove throw rugs and tape down edges of carpets/mats that cannot be removed
  • Remove clutter and clear pathways of furniture, electrical cords and other small objects
  • Ensure the enivonment is well lit.  Use night lights or sensor lights if necessary
  • Arrange for your pets to stay with family/friendsor board them when you first come home.  If this is not possible, plan to keep them out of your way.  For example, keep them in a different area of the house or place a bell on their collar to alert you when they are near
  • Place a sturdy chair with arms near a table.  Ensure the chair is high enough to get in and out of easily - consider adding cushions if necessary
  • Consider using equipment such as a raised toilet seat or over toilet aid to raise the height of the toilet seat if necessary
  • You may benefit from using a shower seat or bath seat which can be used for showering, drying and dressing as well as grooming at the sink
  • Store commonly used items in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom at waist level to avoid or minimise bending, reaching or lifting - DO NOT use step stools



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Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical Specialties and Services