As we get older, our joints may suffer to the point that knee replacement surgery is required. The cause of the pain is often osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which also cause decreased joint mobility and even limit our desire to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Historically, New Orleans orthopedic surgeons request that knee replacement patients focus on building strength and staying as active as possible. To accomplish this, they recommend:
- Balanced nutrition;
- Maintaining a healthy weight;
- Stop smoking;
- Limiting alcohol intake;
- Pre-surgery muscle strengthening.
Although you should avoid activities that considerably increase pressure in damaged joints (such as using a stair climbing machine, running or intense hiking), being in good physical condition before surgery will help in the recovery.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer has found that protein intake could provide relief and quicker recovery for baby boomers who face total knee replacement surgery. Twenty grams of essential amino acids taken twice a day for a week before and for two weeks after knee-replacement surgery helps patients recover faster and with much less muscle atrophy.
Faster recovery is a big advantage for knee-replacement patients who have dealt with pain for a long time and are excited about the possibility of relief. And it’s welcome news to learn that something so easy and relatively inexpensive can help.
Essential amino acids are proteins that are not naturally produced by our bodies and must therefore come from various food sources. Your body needs to be well nourished to heal, and the nutrients from food provide us with the strength, energy and ability we need.
According to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon, key nutrients worth highlighting that are important before, during and after your surgery include:
• Calcium to heal bones and keep them strong;
• Vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium and strengthens your immune system;
• Iron, which is needed to build up hemoglobin and prevent anemia;
• Vitamin B12 and foliate/folic acid, which are important nutrients to prevent other types of non-iron-related anemia.
The success of your knee-replacement surgery is contingent upon being prepared both physically and mentally. As your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon will discuss with you, knee-replacement surgery is not a simple procedure, but it can help improve the quality of your life in the years ahead. The willingness to prepare for your surgery in advance combined with the responsibility for correct post-surgery rehabilitation assures a speedier recovery and offers longer-term health benefits associated with a more active lifestyle.