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 Assessment and Pre-habilitation

Adults in a classroom

Are you waiting for surgery? Ask your doctor if your hospital offers any assessment, education, or pre-habilitation services to help you prepare. 

Pre-habilitation clinics

Some hospitals offer a free pre-habilitation clinic program, also called pre-hab, to help you prepare for surgery. You also learn what you can do to have a more successful surgery and recovery.

Your family doctor can refer you to a pre-hab clinic 6 months to one year before your surgery. In pre-hab, you learn about exercises, eating healthy, managing pain and stress, and preparing for surgery.

If your surgeon decides you do not need surgery, the pre-hab clinic can still help with  managing your pain and making changes to your lifestyle to improve your health.

Centralized referral for hip and knee replacement

Some hospitals also offer centralized referral for hip and knee replacement surgery. Your family doctor can ask that you see the first surgeon available. This means you may be able to see a surgeon faster.

Pre-op education class for hip and knee replacement

In Dartmouth, Halifax, Kentville, and Cape Breton, you may be asked to attend a pre-op education class before your hip or knee replacement surgery. This class covers topics such as

  • Your surgery, hospital stay, and going home
  • What items you should bring to the hospital
  • The different ways to control pain
  • Exercises you should do
  • How to use a walker or crutches
  • How to do everyday activities such as bathing, using the toilet, and dressing
  • The equipment you may need after your surgery
  • What care you will receive after being discharged from the hospital
  • How to protect your hip or knee after surgery

Most patients attend the class 2 to 4 weeks before surgery, so they have time to buy the equipment they need and to prepare their home for recovery.

The pre-op education session is usually given by a team of health care providers, such as a nurse case manager, occupational therapist, and physiotherapist.

If you are having surgery outside of the Halifax, Kentville or Cape Breton areas, your pre-op education is covered during your Pre-Admission Clinic.

To learn more about which services are available at your hospital, contact the clinic for the hospital where you would be having surgery:

Physiotherapy Department
(902) 465-8303

Orthopaedic Assessment Clinic
(902) 473-1541 or (902) 473-1540

Cape Breton
Orthopaedic Enhancement and Self Management
(902) 567-7865

New Glasgow
Pre-Hab Clinic
752-7600 Ext 1199 or 1197

Orthopaedic Assessment Clinic
(902) 679-2657 ext.2909