GET THE MOST OUT OF SURGERY
PASTA WITH TURKEY AND BROCCOLI
(Recipe inspired by realsimple.com)
INGREDIENTS • 3/4 pounds pasta (shells or orecchiette) • 2 cups broccoli florets • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1 pound ground turkey
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper • Salt • Parmesan cheese
While most physical therapists will not recommend surgery unless there is clearly no other avenue for a patient’s recovery, there are certainly a wide array of circumstances that warrant going under the knife. Following surgery, most patients should undergo a bout of rehabilitative physical therapy to steer the postoperative recovery process in a positive direction. However, recent research indicates that although rehabilitation is definitely important, it may not actually be enough to get the most out of a treatment. In addition to postoperative rehabilitation programs, many modern health care providers have begun recommending 4–8 weeks of exercise-based physical therapy before undergoing surgery. This pre-emptive therapy is sometimes called prehabilitation , and it can offer a host of benefits for surgical patients. These advantages include faster recovery times, fewer days spent in the hospital, lower incidence rates of surgical complications, less pain, higher activity levels, and general improved fitness following surgery. All these benefits converge to bring about a happier, healthier patient who is more likely to return to doing what they love without worry. Though the research on prehabilitation is steadily expanding, displaying benefits for all kinds of conditions, the current data shows that prehabilitation works best for the following procedures:
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli when pasta is 1 minute from done. Drain both and return to pot. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook while breaking up meat with a wooden spoon for 3–5 minutes. 3. Combine turkey with pasta and broccoli mixture, adding the remaining olive oil as you stir. Serve in bowls topped with Parmesan cheese.
“When I came to Hess PT, my major complaints were tightness in my thighs (I had both hip joints replaced in 2011 and 2012) and poor balance, which made me uncertain when I walked. I would often be afraid of falling. I received eight weeks of therapy (16 sessions) consisting of stretching and balance exercises. I now have no
• Joint replacement
• Correction of spinal disorders, particularly stenosis
• Heart surgery
PERFECT ATTENDANCE WINNER! Congratulations to Patricia Skaggs, winner of our monthly drawing for patients who make all of their scheduled visits. Congratulations, Patricia! Enter to win! tightness in my thighs and have more self-confidence when walking. I intend to continue my exercises at home. By spring, I may be able to walk without using my cane. Thank you, Dr. Andrew, for all the time you spent with me!” – Russell Wilson
In essence, prehabilitative patients are training for their surgery the same way a runner might train for a marathon. Considering the stress most surgeries put on the body, it only makes sense to adequately prepare. However, it’s important that any prehabilitative measures are carefully guided by a professional. The exercises must be rigorous enough to strengthen and prepare the patient in the short window before surgery, but it’s vital they don’t further injure or worsen the patient’s condition. If a therapist is able to maintain this delicate balance, they can motivate and guide their patient toward positive outcomes for years to come.
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