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Hip And Knee Ops - Motivation Is The Key To Recovery

How can you prepare for your knee or hip joint replacement?

�Lose any excess weight. Getting around will be difficult for a while after your operation, extra weight will just make the getting around even more difficult because it placs an extra strain on the damaged ligaments, muscles and tendons.
�Increase your general fitness. This may be difficult if you are in pain and cannot walk, but consider other forms of exercise, like swimming, cycling or paddling a kayak
�Talk to others who have had a similar operation so that you know what to expect

What can I expect?

�The operation is usually done under a general anaesthetic
�You will not be able to put any weight on the affected leg for a week or so after the operation
�You will find walking difficult for at least six months after your operation

How long do people take to recover?

�It varies from six months to three years because different peole have different levels of motivation and commitment

How can I shorten the recovery period?

�Have realistic expectations, that way you will not lose your motivation when you have a bad day
�Realise that there will be bad days
�Follow the exercise regime that you are given. The operation requires the surgeon to cut tendons and ligaments as well as muscles. These need time and exercise in order to repair themselves. The exercise needs to be a slow progression to normal levels of activity
�Do the exercises even on bad days

Will I make a full recovery?

�That depends, on your motivation, on any other joint problems you have and on your expectations. You will be able to do more exercise than before your operation, provided you do all the physiotherapy and exercises you are given. You will need a walking frame, or two sticks to walk for a time. After six months some, highly motivated, people walk with one stick. You will be able to go up and down stairs that you could not manage before.

Submitted by:

Ciara McGrath

Ciara McGrath is a full time mother to four teenage daughters. For more articles click here. For more related info visit knee replacements and hip replacements.


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