Ready For A Stroll? How Long Until You Can Walk Easily After Total Joint Replacement?

Guaranteeing A Full Recovery From Total Joint Replacement

A recent study revealed that approximately 1.25 million Americans undergo total joint replacement surgery each year. As one of the most common procedures in the country, replacing worn-out or diseased joints can lower pain levels and drastically improve overall quality of life. While many people may be tempted to jump back into normal activity shortly after surgery, doctors recommend waiting several weeks before walking more than a few minutes to ensure the joint properly heals. To regain strength and overall range of motion quickly, doctors suggest doing daily low-impact exercises focused on building muscle. Furthermore, properly preparing for the procedure is as important as a robust rehabilitation plan to ensure a full recovery.

Setting yourself up for success

Before surgery, physicians recommend maintaining or shifting to a balanced, healthy diet. Nutrients including calcium, iron, and fiber stave off potential gastrointestinal discomfort from pain medication while keeping bones strong and supple. Lowering nicotine use before total joint replacement surgery raises the likelihood of a full recovery. Frequently smoking causes breathing issues, which increase the risk of potential complications while under anesthesia, many doctors suggest quitting or drastically lowering use at least a few weeks before surgery.

The best daily exercise after surgery

While the weeks after surgery should be spent resting and stretching the new joint, some physicians recommend kicking off a comprehensive exercise plan shortly after that. Strengthening and balancing movements such as knee pushdowns, leg extensions and heel slides strengthen the joint and surrounding muscles.

Returning to normal activity

Total joint replacement (TJR) is a commitment in both time and effort, but the benefits of increased mobility significantly raise quality of life through better mobility. In addition, carefully preparing for the surgery with healthy food and limiting substance use limits the risk of potential complications during or after the procedure. At the same time, a rehabilitation plan strengthens the new joint. By properly caring for the body after surgery via daily exercise and stretching, patients can return to uninhibited walks within several weeks after the operation.


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