It is not uncommon for an adult to have their joint replaced. There are a wide range of conditions that may warrant replacement such as arthritis, bone tumours, fractures, and other forms of wear and tear. These conditions can cause chronic pain in all joints of the body but are most common in the knee and hip.
What you can do before going under the knife:
Joint replacement is major surgery and recovery typically takes several weeks. But there are steps you can take now to help prepare yourself for your surgery. Successful completion of any of these beforehand has been shown to help reduce the odds of complications during the procedure and shorten your recovery time. These include but are not limited to:
- Eating a nutritious, well balanced diet. Your doctor might also recommend some weight loss prior to surgery. Your joints undergo more stress the heavier you are. Shedding a few extra pounds helps give them some much wanted relief.
- Reducing alcohol and drug consumption. Opioids and other drugs can cause complications and impact your surgery. Only consume what is absolutely necessary.
- Performing regular exercises to strengthen the entire body. Strengthening your upper body will make it easier to use crutches or a walker post surgery. Isometric and isotonic exercises can help bolster and maintain the strength of your leg muscles. If you become familiar with the exercises now, you will be ready to perform them after surgery.
Exercises you should perform:
There are countless exercises and stretches that can be performed to help with the preparation process. I have included my favourites below for you consider for both knee and hip replacements (NOTE: If you have any stabbing pain while performing any of the exercises described, stop and consult your doctor or physiotherapist immediately!):
- Hip bridge
- 10 reps total
- Side step overs
- 8 reps each side
- Leg extensions
- 10 reps total
- Good morning
- 12 reps total
- Seated figure 4 stretch
- 45 seconds per side
Work with a pro:
The variety of exercises and programs available on the web can be endless, confusing and demanding for many individuals. As a result, this may lead to higher than wanted stress levels prior to surgery.
In my experience, the most successful joint replacement cases are ones that include a supervised and customized exercise routine with a skilled professional. Not only will there be a noticeable improvement in the recovery time, but regular supervised one on one exercise sessions add face to face interaction that many individuals do not get nearly enough of. The benefits of this alone can be significant and are well documented.
At Stephen Fitness & Rehabilitation, we offer personal training and physiotherapy services specifically designed for these individuals living in Oakville and London, Ontario.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one become stronger more mobile and independent in the comfort of their own home!