Physiotherapists play an important role within the multidisciplinary Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) team by encouraging early ambulation and promoting the return to function for patients. While the physiological rationale for early ambulation is well understood, there is only emerging research evidence for early ambulation across surgical pathways. Data is often limited and in some cases compliance has been reported as low. Enabling patients to ambulate following surgery requires early planning and interdisciplinary collaboration to address potential patient, structural, and cultural barriers that may prevent early ambulation. Barriers may range from postoperative pain, lack of patient motivation, inadequate staffing, or a lack of culture for early ambulation. Evidence for postoperative physiotherapy in ERAS pathways is similarly limited but suggests that preoperative characterization of patients may in the future facilitate optimal, individualized care, which can accelerate the return to normal function and physical activity. Recovery of a patient’s physical fitness within the postoperative period is important to reduce the likelihood of poor functional outcomes and should be a focus of future research within ERAS.
- Early ambulation
- Surgical pathways
- Intensive care unit
- Hip replacement
- Knee replacement
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Wainwright, T.W., Burgess, L. (2020). Early Ambulation and Physiotherapy After Surgery. In: Ljungqvist, O., Francis, N., Urman, R. (eds) Enhanced Recovery After Surgery. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-33443-7_23
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