Preparing For My Joint Replacement Surgery
As one of the most routine procedures in America, replacing joints can lower pain levels and improve the overall quality of life. A total joint replacement (TJR) surgery is a surgical procedure where a prosthetic implant replaces the joint. Generally conducted to relieve arthritis pain, TJR can also address severe physical joint damage following an injury or fall. To fully reap the benefits of joint surgery, properly preparing for the procedure is integral to a successful recovery. Combined with careful surgery preparation, regular exercise and a healthy diet help empower a safe recovery.
1 – Move your body
Incorporating physical movement into daily activities before surgery helps patients achieve better mobility after TJR. Using the stationary bike or elliptical in the gym helps build muscle while limiting pressure on joints. Cardiovascular exercises that strengthen the quads are key to expediting recovery time. Strong and supportive quads create a stable movement for the hip, protecting the joint while developing the muscle. Maintaining or shifting to a balanced diet is key to promoting muscle growth. Nutrients such as calcium, iron, and fiber potential constipation from pain medication while maintaining bone strength. Light meals are recommended in the hours directly before surgery, as anesthesia can cause constipation.
2 – Quit smoking
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Moreover, smoking can cause breathing problems, which increases the risk of complications while under anesthesia. Minimal substance use before total joint replacement surgery is essential to easy and complete recovery. Quitting smoking at least a few weeks before TJR surgery raises oxygen levels throughout the body while minimizing surgical risks.
3 – Prepare your home
Getting the home ready in the weeks leading up to surgery makes the recovery process comfortable for the patient. Installing a raised toilet seat and clearing pathways in cluttered areas of the home prevents accidents at home, which slow down the healing process. When possible, patients should cook extra meals ahead of surgery. Readily available food limits activity and provides necessary nutrients, which help recovery.
Planning for recovery
Worldwide, estimates show that 10% of men and 18% of women aged over 60 have symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA), including moderate and severe forms. As one of the most common procedures in the US, TJR surgery helps countless people live better lives. While routine, the success of a total joint replacement procedure hinges on proper preparation. By exercising, eating healthy, quitting smoking, managing medication, and preparing the home, patients can restore mobility and enjoy a higher quality of life.