Can Physical Therapy BEFORE Surgery Help AFTER Surgery?

By: Alanna Pokorski, PT


Can physical therapy before surgery help your recovery? According to recent research, that answer is yes. Research shows that having a few visits of physical therapy prior to your orthopedic surgery can help your rehabilitation after surgery.


Before surgery, the focus is typically maximizing range of motion, gaining strength to help recover from surgery, and learning how to walk or navigate with any restrictions after surgery. Common surgery examples include total knee replacement, total hip replacement, knee meniscal (cartilage) repair, ACL surgery for the knee, shoulder surgery for rotator cuff repair.


According to a study in Bone and Joint Surgery (October 2014), researchers found that people who used a few visits of physical therapy to prepare for their surgery required 29% less post-operative care. “Post operative” care includes less time in a nursing facility, subacute care facility and physical therapy after surgery.


Other findings include:
  • 54.2% of the preoperative PT group required postoperative care services, compared with 79.7% of the patients who did not have preoperative therapy.
  • The decline in postoperative care services resulted in an adjusted cost reduction of $1,215 per patient, largely because of lower costs for skilled nursing facility and home health agency care.
  • Preoperative physical therapy cost an average of $100 per patient, and generally was limited to one or two sessions.


To make an appointment or to discuss your upcoming surgery with a doctor of physical therapy, please email us at


Is It Safe To Search The Internet For Injury Advice?

By: Alanna Pokorski, PT


The first place many people go to find medical advice is the internet. While there is much information online, some of it is valuable and some of it isn’t. Oftentimes, information can be misleading, cause unnecessary worry, or even lead to worse injury. If you are not a health care expert, it can be difficult to differentiate good advice from bad advice.


We often hear from patients on their first visit that they have been self-diagnosing their conditions based on information they have read or heard from a friend. Many times, they try with good intention to treat the injury themselves. We caution our patients to turn only to experts to gain advice for their musculoskeletal injury. Just as we go to accountants for expert tax preparation or a hair stylist to give us the best cut, people should see expert advice for their health care needs. If a pain lasts for more than 7-10 days or is progressively getting worse, it is likely not a just simple muscle pull.


Physical therapists are experts in diagnosis and treatment of your musculoskeletal injury. According to the BMC of Musculoskeletal Disorders in June 2005, experienced Physical therapists are skilled experts in diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, second only to orthopedic surgeons.


Our recommendation is to not take your injury in your own hands but rather partner with a skilled Physical therapist (PT) for the quickest recovery. You don’t need a referral in New York State to be evaluated by a PT. If you need to see an expert, request an appointment here.


Meet Our Resident Runner, Julie Randall

Avid runner and Assistant Facility Manager at our new Manlius YMCA location, Julie Randall has competed in many running events and triathlons over the past few years. She understands the mindset of endurance athletes and how difficult injuries can be to overcome, and is dedicated to helping patients overcome their own obstacles. Just check out her amazing resume.


Accomplishments include overseas events such as the Inca Trail Marathon in Peru in 2006, the Great Wall Marathon in China in 2009 and most recently, in June of 2014, a stage race in Ireland called the Celtic Traverse consisting of running 90 miles of trails in 6 days. Here, in the United States she completed the Honolulu Marathon in 2003, the Westchester Olympic distance triathlon in 2006 in which she placed 8th in her age group qualifying for age-group nationals, the Musselman ½ Ironman in Geneva, NY in 2008, placing 10th in her age group. In 2010, she was the first female in Onondaga Country to finish the Green Lakes Endurance Run 50k in Syracuse, in which she won the local champion award. She also placed 1st in her age group in the Melbourne Beaches Half Marathon in 2013 with a time of 1:37:35.


Julie brings her passion into the workplace with her expertise in running and triatholon-related injuries. To request an appointment with Julie, contact our Manlius location here.


How to Kick Off Better Health in 2015

By: Allison Hoestermann, PT, DPT


Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to have better fitness? Below are six expert tips to help you stay committed to your health year round.


  1. Keep yourself moving throughout the day. Clean your house, grocery shopping, hit the gym, play with your kids, or cook dinner.  Any movement is improving your health.
  2. Find a workout buddy. Meeting a friend at the gym will hold you accountable and you will be less likely to skip.
  3. Set a realistic weekly goal for your workout frequency. Setting goals too high such as working out 5-6 days a week may not be an attainable goal for you. Consider starting with two nights or mornings per week so that you can achieve success.
  4. Find a workout activity that you enjoy and look forward to. It may be walking, spinning, a class, or Yoga.
  5. Remember that just because you had a workout does not mean that you can overeat. Try giving yourself small rewards such as one piece of chocolate and remember that moderation is key.
  6. Don’t ignore body pains or try to just push through it. You might make an injury worse. If you notice something is not right, have it checked out by your doctor or Physical Therapist to avoid an injury that could stop you from being active. You will notice more life long gains when you have no pain!