When you’re preparing yourself for a surgical procedure, you’ll probably be more concerned about the procedure itself and how you’re going to feel afterwards rather than what you can do to get ready for your procedure.

‘Prehabilitation’ is a term that is fast becoming a norm amongst medical professionals and patients, referring to the process of preparing for surgery by maintaining a good diet and levels of physical activity, carrying out recommended stretches and making small lifestyle adjustments. Here are a few things to consider before you come in to hospital to help you prepare for treatment.

Before you come in for surgery - ‘Prehabilitation’

In preparation for your surgery, your consultant may have advised you of several lifestyle factors to address, such as taking care to carry out particular exercises or stretches regularly, quitting smoking and sometimes even losing weight. Generally, you should avoid cigarettes or alcohol 48 hours before you are due to visit the Horder Centre. If you are overweight, the risk of complications during surgery can increase and this may delay your procedure if your consultant thinks the risk is too great.

At Horder Healthcare, we would always recommend maintaining a healthy diet, particularly in the run up to a surgical procedure. Ensure you are getting plenty of fruit, vegetables, protein and wholegrains into your diet, and stay well hydrated to increase your muscular and cardiovascular health.

» Watch our video 'Foods for healthy bones'

Pre-admission and joint school


Your surgeon will also provide you with information about the procedure and ensure you have plenty of time to read through, understand and ask any questions that may come to mind ahead of the treatment. If you find it helpful, take notes during this meeting so you are well prepared. However, you’ll also have a pre-admission appointment with a nurse, providing you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and advise you on any restrictions you might need to observe on the day of your treatment. For example, you may need to avoid solid food several hours before your arrival or ensure you haven’t consumed alcohol for 24-48 hours.

Joint school

We provide a joint school where you will learn more about your joints and the nature of your procedure, helping you to be as prepared as possible before you come in for treatment. This will be with one of our physiotherapists, so you will also receive advice around keeping fit and healthy before and after your surgery.

Depending on the type of surgery you are going to have, you should also ensure you make travel arrangements with a friend or relative as you may be unable to drive for a while afterwards. We would also recommend thinking about some of the things you may find difficult to carry out following your procedure, such as carrying out regular food shopping, so you can plan ahead and ensure you have what you need.

Presented by Horder Healthcare Chartered Physiotherapist this video takes you through the various steps of how to best prepare for surgery.

The day before your surgery

A member of our clinical team will contact you by phone the day before your surgery to confirm the time that you will need to come in. If your treatment will require you to stay in hospital overnight, make sure you are well prepared for your stay.

Packing essentials:

  • Your admission letter
  • Comfortable day clothing
  • Pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers
  • A small hand towel or wash cloth
  • Toiletries and sanitary items
  • Your normal medication (if any)
  • A book or tablet to keep you occupied during recovery periods

Finally, your admissions letter will provide you with information on who to contact if you have any questions beforehand or if you are unsure of where to go. Be sure to check all of the information on your letter is correct and in line with your expectations.

If you still feel unsure of what to do before coming in to hospital, please contact our reception team and we will be happy to help you. 

Find out more about The Horder Centre

We provide outstanding patient experiences

The Horder Centre is an award winning centre of excellence that offers patients a unique therapeutic environment. Specifically designed for orthopaedic surgery, our facilities include a physiotherapy inpatient gym and courtyard gardens designed by clinical experts to enhance recovery. Finance options available.

Read our patient testimonials

Find out what it’s like to be a patient, from the people who matter the most.