Main Photo Credit: Jonathan Colon, www.skatesphere.com/
Are you on a waiting list for joint replacement?
If so, it is an ideal time to manage your recovery – by starting NOW!
The stronger and fitter you are before a major surgery the better your response to general anaesthetic or epidurals. This is a medical/lifestyle issue more than anything to do with your arthritic joint.
In the case of joint replacements, typically the decision for surgery has been made carefully and responsibly between yourself and your orthopaedic consultant based on various issues;
- excessive pain levels
- day to day basic activities have been compromised
- difficulty walking even short distances
As your arthritic joint has deteriorated significantly, so too has it’s range of motion. This means all the surrounding muscles for this joint have become shortened and weaker.
Post surgical rehabilitation of these muscles is a long and sometimes arduous journey.
However, addressing soft tissue (muscle/tendon) weakness now can have really positive effects.
With increased muscular strength around the replaced joint your capacity to bear weight will be optimal in the days immediately post surgery.
Also, you will get a quicker restoration of range within the joint. In the case of knee replacements, you will need to bend the knee beyond 90 degrees in the days immediately post surgery – so your preparation now can only aid this process.
In the case of hips, you will need strength in the muscles around the replaced hip joint to ensure there is stability in the joint. This prevents any complications such as dislocating the replaced joint. This type of dislocation can happen when the surrounding soft tissue structures are not strong enough to hold the replaced joint in its new position.
A well prepared patient whose has gone through Prehab, usually means slightly quicker discharge times for those who dislike the hospital setting. Some people go to specialised rehabilitation facilities, while others safely return home and choose to work on their recovery with the support of physiotherapists, family and friends.
Start the Journey Today
Ultimately joint replacement is all about the capacity to regain functional activity. It’s about improving quality of life – whether this is simply to enjoy walking again, or golf, tennis (usually doubles tennis!) and even more personal issues such as improved sex life due to reduced joint pain.
Everybody has a reason, or multiple reasons, to embark on this journey. With the support of your consultant, the hospital staff throughout the procedure, and those who deal with you in the months following surgery, everybody is trying to make this a new lease of life for the patient.
So why not give it your best shot in the lead up??
For more information on Preparation for Surgery contact us now: