Preoperative Recommendations

If orthopedic surgery such as hip or knee joint replacement or spine surgery, is in your future, take steps to ensure better outcomes and a smooth return to normal daily activities. Ask your physician/ surgeon how you can prepare for the procedure and what to expect after surgery. If your surgeon thinks you will need rehabilitation, it’s a good idea to look around at area facilities that offer physical therapy. Your doctor’s recommendations will be customized to your health status, age, abilities, and other factors in your physical profile.

What you do before surgery is important to achieving a successful surgical outcome. Physical readiness can help to reduce post-surgical swelling, wound healing, and pain. Here are some preop recommendations:

  • Eat right and lose weight, if necessary. Proper nutrition ensures that your body is getting the right nutrients. Eat fruits and vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and lean meats. Weight loss 5 to 10 pounds can help reduce pressure on the joints and make it easier to participate in physical therapy after surgery. Choose a sensible diet (boosting protein intake is essential) and stay active to help lose weight prior to your procedure.

  • Exercise. With your physician’s approval, adopt a daily routine that includes exercising at least 30 minutes per day, even if it means breaking it up into smaller sessions several times during the day. A preoperative physical therapy program can help to improve muscular control in the affected area. It also helps to improve well-being and fitness, maintain a positive outlook, and provide an introduction and understanding of post-operative treatments, exercises and goals. Improving the status of the injured joint can help reduce pain and swelling. In some cases, a physical therapist will provide instruction and supervision in an outpatient setting.

  • Visit the dentist. Make sure that there are no abscesses or oral infections. By eliminating any infection before you undergo surgery, you will reduce the risk of infection in the surgical site.

  • Stop smoking. Tobacco increases the risk of infection. Because nicotine narrows blood vessels and reduces blood flow, proper wound healing can be compromised. Talk to you doctor about smoking cessation program.

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