JOPLIN, Mo. — Patients with serious knee issues will likely have to undergo surgery at some point.

But what they do before the procedure can help determine how they recover. It’s the focus of tonight’s “KODE Medical Focus.”

“Let you know what to expect while you’re here while you’re going through this recovery and even what to expect after you go home. Understand one of the aspects of this can be that you can actually do a little bit of PT fitting into the surgery to be more successful,” said Dustin Richardson, PT Assistant.

Physical Therapy Assistant Dustin Richardson likes to think of it as “pre” hab. Building strength in very specific muscles before surgery.

“So this kind of accelerates that strength, helping to promote a better outcome during and throughout the whole process,” said Richardson.

Freeman Health System hosts the pre-surgery education class. It targets areas like the quad muscles.

“A lot of people when their joints get in bad shape, they stop moving, they lose strength. They can’t do things that they normally do on a daily basis. So this helps promote strength you know, a stronger body is going to move better move easier than an a weaker atrophy body and so this kind of promotes that,” said Richardson.

The class is set about a month ahead of time. And it’s not the only pre-surgery strategy for knee patients. A couple of weeks out, an Iovera procedure can isolate the nerves affected.

“It deploys a little pin drop of nitric oxide down to that nerve root. And what that does is it freezes that nerve for up to three months helps tremendously with the nerve pain that you’re having,” said Richardson.

So it both minimizes your pain now and helps with your recovery later.