5 Reasons to Exercise Before your Joint Replacement

By: Megan Lambert

Approximately one million hip and knee replacements are completed by surgeons every year, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

Although joint replacements are major surgeries, there are ways to prepare your body for these operations. For example, here at Indy Core Wellness & Fitness, we write specific exercise protocols to prepare clients for their replacement. These exercises are designed to improve muscle strength and stamina.

In addition to gaining strength, here are five major reasons you should exercise before going under the knife:

  1. You decrease the risk of post-surgery complications

The Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Are you Fit for Surgery?,” speaks to this idea. The thought is that when patients resolve chronic issues such as obesity, diabetes, and smoking, they are physically healthier going into surgery. So, they are less likely to have complications after the operation.

  1. You are less likely to need post-surgery inpatient rehab

A 2006 research study by Daniel Rooks of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed that patients who exercised six weeks prior to surgery were 73 percent less likely to need inpatient rehab after the surgery.

  1. You will save money

Less post-surgery rehab equals less money spent. Yay!

  1. You decrease your risk of post-surgery injury

After a hip or knee replacement, you will need to use more of your upper body strength to transfer yourself from one place to another. By strengthening the muscles of your upper body, you decrease the risk of falling while transporting yourself. Consequently, you also reduce the risk of injuring yourself while rehabbing from another injury.

  1. You better tolerate the surgical anesthetic

Cardiovascular training, which can include exercises such as walking, biking, rowing, using the elliptical, etc. strengthens your heart and lungs. Healthier essential organs help your body better tolerate the rigors of surgery such as the anesthetic.