At Altru Integrated Health, our physical therapists see a good number of surgery patients, specifically for joint replacement. As such, we have learned so much about steps you can take pre-surgery that encourage a better outcome and a faster recovery.
The most obvious step that one can take to support an easier post-surgery path is to get in shape. The better overall shape you’re in pre-surgery, the easier it is for your body to recover, so don’t wait until after surgery to make health changes. Being in good shape differs for everyone, and we take this into account. We look at numerous variables including self-acceptance. When working with us, getting in shape means being fit as you can considering your body type and limitations without increasing stress about your pending surgery. We will work with your surgeon to find out their requirements then focus on meeting them. This may include helping you reduce your Body Mass Index (BMI), boosting your immune system, improving cardiovascular fitness, and strengthening the area to be operated on. If you were to enlist Altru Integrated Health to assist you in preparing for surgery, our plan would consider several factors, including:
- Eating habits
- Metabolic efficiency
- Exercise routines
- Strength of affected areas
- Immune system health
At Altru Integrated Health, we encourage you to consult our nutritionist to get you on a diet plan that would fit your lifestyle. Our goal is to help you succeed, so we consider a number of factors when creating a diet and nutrition plan for you such as lifestyle, tastes and any factor that would contribute to achieving your weight and nutrition goals. Behavior, habits, history, culture, likes/dislikes all play essential roles and will be part of the equation. We take into account your current weight and the target weight, plus you will need the energy to adequately exercise to gain strength. Along with this, we include diet and nutrition factors that assist in increasing your metabolic efficiency. Rather than just reducing calories, we help you find the optimal mix of nutrients to assist you in achieving greater endurance and strength, a more robust immune system and better sleep.
Exercise Routines and Strengthening the Affected Areas
When you work with a professional – either a Physical Therapist or a Personal Trainer – in designing and participating in a fitness routine, your exercise will be sculpted like your diet, to meet you where you are, consider your abilities and limitations, and fit your goals. Our aim is to make exercise an enjoyable and integral part of your life and to get you to and through your surgery in the best way possible. With increased endurance, stronger muscles, a lower BMI and those areas subject to surgery as toned as possible, your body is better equipped to recover quickly and as fully as you are able.
Along with having an appropriate weight and a strong body, a strong immune system is critical to a positive outcome from an invasive surgery procedure. Our nutritionist would help you find foods that you like and that promote a healthy gut flora as well as suggest supplements that can kickstart those processes that need a little extra attention. A healthy gut dramatically increases the body’s natural immune system and a strong immune system will reduce your chances for infection.
When your lifestyle is in balance, sleep patterns normalize and support everything you do. You will have better energy levels with good rest, so activity feels better. Activity and a healthy diet encourages better sleep and proper sleep even helps regulate metabolism, completing the circle. Improved sleep is therefore a great indicator that you’re on the right track. To top it off, studies show that your body heals faster when you sleep. “In fact, sleep was more important than good nutrition in speeding wound healing.” (Science News Explores; Sleep Helps Wounds Heal Faster, April 2018, Ilima Loomis)
What you do before surgery may very well be one of the most important steps to ensure that you have a positive post-op experience. When you work with Altru Integrated Health, we have the resources and providers to help you get on track for success. Talk to your surgeon about the best plan for you.