Open Accessibility Menu

Improve Your Recovery After Joint Replacement Surgery

  • Category: Articles by Clinicians
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Luis Corrales, MD, Program Medical Director, Revive Joint Replacement Program
Improve Your Recovery After Joint Replacement Surgery

In my years of practice, I’ve come to understand that the most important factor for having a great outcome after joint replacement surgery is simple: health—meaning your body’s ability to heal!

Healing is a function only your body performs, and it is vital to a successful surgical outcome. So how can you improve your body’s healing potential and accelerate your recovery? Focus on three main areas: 1. existing health problems; 2. nutrition; and 3. sleep/stress management. These domains directly impact your recovery from surgery.

First, you must understand your own health problems and the condition of your body. Common medical problems such as diabetes, anemia, and obesity need to be controlled or corrected whenever possible. Addressing such issues prior to surgery will greatly reduce risk and improve results. This means being open and honest with your doctor.

Nutrition is a key and often overlooked factor. Evidence shows nutrition at the time of surgery greatly impacts your outcome. So, avoid fried foods, processed options like fast food, and refined sugar. Increase protein intake (but avoid too much red meat). Fish, such as salmon and tuna, are great protein sources. Add walnuts, kale, broccoli, blueberries, and sweet potatoes to your diet. Make sure you have adequate vitamin D and Zinc. Cut out alcohol and increase water intake. These simple changes will decrease inflammation in the body—which slows healing—and will give you essential nutrients needed to recover.

Lastly, if possible, select a time for surgery when there is less stress in your life. High stress negatively affects blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, and impacts your mood—all of which hamper your body’s function and recovery. Good sleep is also crucial for tissue growth and repair, and a lot of regeneration happens during sleep. Your mental health is critical, and I highly recommend seeing a therapist if needed to address stress and anxiety.

As a patient, you have the power to greatly improve your surgical outcome and speed up your recovery. Work together with your surgeon and take measures to improve health, optimize nutrition, and be mentally well for surgery. You will be glad you did!

Launched in 2017, Casa Colina’s Revive Joint Replacement Program has become a national model for its high-quality, minimally invasive joint replacement services. The Revive Program’s orthopedic surgeons use state-of-the-art robotic-assisted technology that minimizes pain, accelerates recovery, and leads to better outcomes for our patients.