Building back strength
Regular low-impact exercise within a week of a joint replacement procedure has demonstrated benefits. With more muscle in the upper body, patients minimize pressure on the new joint when using walking aids. Movements that build muscles in the legs are also highlighted as beneficial to offset the impact of muscular atrophy post-surgery.
Getting your nutrients
Above all else, patients should prioritize a balanced lifestyle before and after a joint replacement procedure. Adequate sleep, proper hydration, and minimizing stress boost the likelihood of a successful outcome. To ensure the body accepts the new joint, a healthy diet should be followed in the weeks and months following surgery. Foods rich in calcium, iron, and fiber regulate the digestive system while giving the body vital building blocks needed to build new muscle.
Healing at home
Joint replacement surgery is often an outpatient procedure, and many patients can safely recover in the comfort of home. In the first weeks after surgery, skipping activities with a high risk of falling is recommended. To further lower the risk of injury, patients can install mobility devices, including a raised toilet seat and grab bars in the shower and bath. Clearing pathways within the home and removing trip hazards help the patient stay mobile and safe before and after surgery. Patients may cook extra meals before the procedure, which helps limit physical activity and maintain a healthy diet.
Getting back on your feet
By adequately preparing for joint replacement surgery, many patients experience a quick and pain-free recovery. Nutrients, physical therapy, and at-home mobility devices work together to reduce re-injury risk. Patients can expect to start walking within a few days of joint replacement surgery. As the joint heals, doctors work with patients to develop reachable goals for pain-free movement.