The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of upset. Specifically pertaining to us and our patient population, it means a lot of surgeries have been postponed. This is frustrating for all of us, but we want you to use this time to put yourself in the best position to recover well and optimize your health before surgery. A few ways that you can put yourself in the best position for getting better faster are weight loss, strength building, optimizing your health and staying hydrated. Let’s discuss how to optimize your health before surgery.
Maintaining a healthy weight or working toward a goal weight over the coming weeks can help you succeed post-operatively. For hip and knee arthroplasty we ask that patients have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or below but losing weight can help you to feel better and to recover quickly from any orthopedic surgery. Weight loss in obese patients helps to reduce the risks associated with surgery.
Another way to optimize your health before surgery is to put yourself in a position to flourish is strengthening. Doing activities or exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding your operative body part can make the post-operative physical therapy easier and smoother for you. For example, if you plan to have rotator cuff surgery once it is safe to do so you can be doing exercises to get your shoulder muscles stronger. A great way to do this is a TeleHealth conference with a physical therapist. They can instruct you on exercises that are specific to you and your upcoming surgical procedure. We would be happy to direct you to one and send a referral if necessary!
Improving your overall health will also lessen surgical risks such as DVT (blood clot), hematomas, wound complications, infection and cardiac or respiratory complications from anesthesia. This means if you are diabetic working hard to control your A1C in the coming weeks. You can also enhance your bony strength by starting to take Vitamin D and calcium. As with all of our patients, we recommend that you stop smoking, but especially before surgeries. Now would be a great time to start weaning yourself off in preparation for your upcoming procedure. Make sure you’re taking care of your body and drinking lots of water, doing daily exercise and keeping up with a healthy diet.
We are eager to get you back on the schedule and hope that you can use this time to put yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Take care!
The KCOA Team