Like any surgical procedure, when you undergo a hip or knee replacement, you will need to go through a recovery period. This gives the body a chance to heal and aids in producing the best results.
Recovering from a hip or knee replacement can take a long time. However, there are some things you can do at home to help speed up your recovery. Below, you’ll discover five tips to speed up your recovery and get back to full mobility.
Start your joint replacement recovery before your operation
If you want the fastest recovery, it’s a good idea to make a start before you even undergo the operation. Strengthening up the leg muscles prior to surgery through various exercises, will greatly help to improve recovery. Pilates is a particularly great form of exercise for strengthening the leg and pelvic muscles.
You will also be advised to stop smoking as this can compromise tissue healing after surgery, as well as increasing the risks. Similarly, losing weight can also help to make the recovery faster and easier.
Focus on light exercise
After the surgery, you will need to rest the body for a period of time. However, as soon as you can complete light activities, it is time to start adding exercise back into your routine.
Gentle, light exercise will help to keep the blood flowing throughout the body, improving circulation. Healthy blood flow to the surgical site is important for healing. Light exercise will also help to build up strength in the body.
Look at what you eat
Ensuring you eat a healthy, balanced diet is also important to your recovery. As the body heals, it needs nutrients to recovery. By eating a varied diet packed full of protein, fruits and vegetables, it’s going to help you heal faster as well as feel better overall.
You should never attempt to lose weight or diet during your recovery. Without the right nutrients, healing will be delayed, and you will also be at a greater risk of infection.
Use a physiotherapist
Your surgeon will typically suggest physiotherapy to help with your recovery. A physiotherapist knows exactly which exercises you should and shouldn’t be doing. They will be able to focus on exercises that strengthen the legs and the core.
While you can do light exercises at home, when you use a physiotherapist you know that you are doing the most effective exercises safely.
Follow your surgeon’s advice
The best way to speed up your recovery after a hip or knee replacement, is to follow your surgeon’s advice. It’s tempting to want to skip some pieces of advice, but unless you follow it completely, you won’t get the best results.
While it is possible to speed up your recovery, be mindful not to push yourself too hard. If you ignore your surgeon’s advice or you overdo it with the exercise, it could delay healing and actually slow down your recovery.