The Months Before Surgery
- Exercise under your doctor’s supervision – It’s important to be in the best possible overall health to promote the best possible surgical experience. Increasing upper body strength is important to help you maneuver a walker or crutches after surgery. Strengthening the lower body to increase leg strength before surgery can reduce recovery time.
- Have a dental examination – Although infections after joint replacement are not common, an infection can occur if bacteria enters the bloodstream. Therefore, dental cleanings and procedures such as extractions and periodontal work should be completed before joint replacement surgery. After you have your total joint surgery Dr. O’Neill recommends you wait 3 months before having any routine dental work done. After the 3 months he recommends you take an antibiotic prior to having any dental work done to help prevent infection. You can request this antibiotic through our office.
- Stop smoking – Nicotine slows wound and bone healing as well as increases the risk of complications after surgery. Breaking the habit is particularly important before major surgery to reduce the risk of post-operative lung problems and to improve healing.
- Lose weight – For patients who are overweight, losing weight helps reduce stress on a new joint. It will also decrease your risk of complications during and immediately after surgery.
- Prepare meals – You may want to prepare meals in advance and freeze them so they’re ready when you return.