How To Prepare For Total Knee Replacement Surgery
by Jay Speakman
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
The prospect of losing your mobility is something that is a little scary to us. While we all, to a certain extent, become less mobile as we age, wear and tear on the joints can often come sooner than expected. It’s not just athletes and older folks who end up needing a total knee replacement, as this is a common procedure that many people will need to go through in their lifetime. In this article, we’ll look at what you can do to prepare your mind and body for a successful outcome.
If you have been having problems with your knee, you need to get things checked out before the situation grows worse. You may be able to avoid total knee replacement surgery by being proactive, but that is not always the case. If the cause of your knee pain is not immediately obvious, you may be referred to a bone doctor for an arthroscopy. This is a procedure where a small camera is inserted into the problem area to allow the doctor to get a better look at what is going on. If determined that your knee is beyond repair, it may then be decided that a total knee replacement procedure is the best course of action.
Getting Your Body in Shape
Unless you are going with a private bone doctor for your total knee replacement surgery, there is a better than average chance that there will be some time between your diagnosis and the surgery. This is a situation where time is your friend. We say that because it has long since been known that people respond better to surgery when they have had time to prepare.
We are going to look at the things you can do to mentally prepare for a surgical procedure of this magnitude, but first, we are going to get the ball rolling with the physical side. Listed below are some steps you can take to prepare your body for total knee replacement surgery.
One of the most effective ways to prepare your body for surgery is to strengthen it as much as possible ahead of time. Yes, we are aware that with knee issues, you will have limited mobility, but there are still things you can do. You should be steering clear of any high impact exercises. Instead, look at strengthening exercises that you can do while sitting or laying down. Work the muscles that serve as stabilizers for the knee, as you will be dependent on them when the surgery is over.
Eat a balanced diet
With a total knee replacement surgery on the horizon, getting in shape is not something that can be achieved with exercise alone. If you are a few pounds overweight, adjust your diet to include healthier options that will help you trim down. Once the surgery is over, you are going to need to engage in some forms of intense physical therapy. Therefore, it makes sense to be as fit and lean as possible to help make that transition a lot easier. Think not only what you eat, but when.
Get lots of rest
When you are not getting the quality sleep that you need, it’s easy to begin to feel worn down. What often happens then is that you find it harder to get motivated to exercise and eat right, which can lead you down the slippery slope of becoming unhealthier. Getting optimum rest time is also one of the first steps in preparing your mind for total knee replacement surgery.
Getting Your Mind in Shape
When preparing for surgery, we all too often focus all our attention on the physical aspect of getting prepared. The reality is that you also need to prepare your mind for any type of procedure, as it can be a bigger enemy than your body. Below are some tips designed to help you ready your mind for total knee replacement surgery, or any major surgery.
When you are given the news that you are going to need total knee replacement surgery, it’s easy to go into a bit of shock. While your bone doctor will absolutely tell you all you need to know about the procedure, it may not all sink in. If you don’t know some of the details or have forgotten what was said, go back and ask. One of the worst things you can do is get bad information from friends or online, all of which can lead you to believe that the surgery will end poorly. The doctor is there to answer all your questions, putting your mind at ease in the process. Don’t let stress or a lack of knowledge knock you for a loop. Think positively about your surgery.
Learn to meditate
Even when you are fully armed with all the knowledge you need about your knee replacement procedure, there are still going to be times when you feel a little stressed. This is totally common, especially closer to the surgery date. One of the most effective ways to calm your mind and rid yourself of stress is through meditation. It’s not hard to do and requires little in the way of a time commitment. There are countless apps and online resources that can guide you through the process, so take some time to learn them. Your mind will thank you for it.
Don’t go it alone
If you are still anxious about the surgery, find a trusted friend or family member to confide in. The simple act of talking out your fears and having someone ease them can be very healthy for the mind. Tag in a friend to help you through your preparation and the recovery.