How Do I Get Ready For My Joint Replacement Procedure?

Approximately 1.25 million Americans undergo total joint replacement therapy each year. As one of the most common procedures in the country, new joints can lower pain levels and improve the overall quality of life. To fully reap the benefits of joint surgery, properly preparing for the procedure is integral to a successful recovery. Many doctors recommend reassessing exercise levels, prioritizing a healthy diet, limiting nicotine consumption, reviewing daily medication intake, and preparing the home to empower a safe recovery.

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Get a move on

Typically healthcare professionals recommend gently exercising before the surgery, even suggesting exercise can be helpful up until the day of surgery. Building muscle in the upper body puts less pressure on the new joint, empowering a faster recovery. Exercises which target the leg muscles are also beneficial to maintaining leg muscles while the replaced joint heals.

Eating your fruits and veggies

Physicians recommend maintaining or shifting to a balanced diet to aid the healing process. Nutrients such as calcium, iron, and fiber staves off potential constipation from pain medication while keeping bones strong. Light meals are recommended in the hours directly before surgery, as anesthesia can slow bowel function.

No smoking, please

Cutting down on tobacco substance use before total joint replacement surgery is essential in making a full recovery. Smoking and vaping can cause respiratory problems, which increases the risk of complications while under anesthesia. Before surgery, most surgeons highly recommend quitting a minimum of 2 weeks.

Can I keep taking medication?

Discussing medication management with the surgeon before the procedure is key in avoiding potential complications. Certain medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, thin the blood, raising the risk of bleeding post-surgery. By reviewing medication intake, patients guarantee medications don’t interfere with the healing journey.

Setting up the home for success

Preparing the home before surgery makes the recovery process much more comfortable for the patient.
Installing a raised toilet seat and clearing pathways in crowded areas of the home prevents accidents at home, which could hinder recovery. Furthermore, some experts recommend cooking extra meals ahead of surgery to limit activity and maximize nutrition intake.

Planning is key

While joint replacement surgery is relatively routine in the modern era, properly preparing for the procedure boosts the likelihood of a seamless recovery. By exercising, eating healthy, quitting smoking, managing medication, and preparing the home, patients can regain mobility and enjoy a high quality of life.

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