Joint replacements of the hip or knee can be a life-changing decision for people who suffer with chronic pain or face physical limitations due to arthritis. Before you finalize your decision, you will need to consider what, if any, changes you can make to help reduce your risk of joint replacement failures.
Make Lifestyle Modifications
Weight is less of a factor in the decision to have a joint replacement because more surgeons are comfortable performing the operation on patients with extra weight. However, there are still limitations on how heavy you can be before your surgeon may decide the risk of failure is higher than the likelihood of any benefits from the joint replacement. Regardless of your weight, there might be lifestyle changes you can make to give you a better chance of success. If you could benefit from losing some weight, consider if there are any dietary changes that you can stick with to help you shed pounds.
Since the need for a joint replacement coincides with reduced physical activity, you might want to find ways to burn extra calories without causing yourself more pain. If you have pain in your hips, but not your knees, pedaling on a reclining stationary bike might be a way to burn a few calories without increasing hip pain. Other lifestyle changes like quitting smoking can make it easier for your body to heal and reduce your risk of infection.
Keep Up Your Bone Density
You should pay special attention to the amount of calcium and vitamin D in your diet, especially if you are an older woman. One factor that may contribute to the failure of a joint replacement in low bone density, even years later. A multivitamin should be taken daily to ward off osteoporosis. After your joint replacement has healed and your surgeon has given you clearance to start exercising, you should consider incorporating more weight-bearing exercises to help build bone strength. Fortunately, you do not have to lift heavy weight to achieve benefits. Walking and using resistance bands can help.
Speak With A Physical Therapist
Before and after surgery, you may want to engage in physical therapy that is specifically designed to strengthen the soft tissues supporting your joint replacement. One of several factors that may contribute to joint replacement failure is having inadequate soft-tissue support, which leads to instability of the joint. Although many of these issues are addressed in post-operative rehabilitation, it is important to recognize that you may need some type of physical therapy for several years after surgery just to maintain the integrity of your replacement.
Although every joint replacement surgery is unique, there may be ways you can improve your chances of success. Making better lifestyle choices before and after surgery and working to maintain the integrity of your joint replacement can help your new joint last for many years. For more information, contact an orthopedic surgeon like Joseph P. Spott, DO.
I am one of those people who hates going to the doctor. In the past, I have relied on everything from cranberry juice to apple cider vinegar to fix my ails. As I get older though, I find that I need to rely more on traditional medicine than I did in the past. What I found out from my doctor is that I did not have to give up the holistic medicines I used. I could combine them. This blog is designed to help others focus on how to combing holistic treatments with traditional medicine in a safe and fun way.