I’d like to share with you my personal experience of having a full knee replacement surgery on July 14, 2014 and how I feel physical activity and diet helped me get through the surgery successfully and experience a quicker recovery.
I was fortunate in that I was able to schedule my surgery several months in advance which allowed me to complete a fitness and diet plan to strengthen my surgical leg and to lose 10 pounds. So many people today, of all ages, are having joint replacement surgery.We know that the more physically fit you are and the healthier your body weight is prior to surgery the more successful your recovery will be.
Even though I am a physically active person, I worked with a personal trainer to focus on strengthening my surgical leg even further in addition to building overall physical strength. Further, I had been about 10 pounds overweight. My goal by the time of my surgery was to lose 12 pounds which I achieved by losing about four pounds a month for three months.
I lost the weight by increasing my level of physical activity, especially the moderate to vigorous activity, and I eliminated snacking from my diet and cut back on carbohydrate intake. Since my surgery, I have been able to keep the weight off.
Why was the weight loss important? Added weight puts additional pressure on the weight bearing joints, like the knees and hips. Achieving a healthy body weight helps to protect the joint and in my case allowed me to more aggressively return to a normal lifestyle. Although it has only been five weeks at the time of writing of this article, I am walking without support and my physical therapist says that I am two weeks ahead of where typical patients are with full knee replacement.
At the time of my surgery my surgeon was pleased with the strength of my leg and commented that my recovery would be easier because of the added strength. Even though I lost the weight and was in pretty good shape, there was still considerable pain associated with the surgery. The weight loss and physical strength will not eliminate the pain, but it certainly allowed me to recover faster and return to a healthy lifestyle more quickly, which was my goal.
If you are contemplating joint replacement surgery and have the ability to schedule your surgery in advance, take the time to enhance your physical fitness and to achieve a healthy body weight. You will reap the benefits with a more rapid recovery!