Dr. Laura Matsen Ko: Four Lifestyle Habits That Give You a Better Surgical Outcome
As a hip and knee specialist, my goal is to provide the safest and most effective surgical care for my patients with arthritis. While much of the outcome depends on our surgical team, there are at least four important steps patients can take before surgery to improve the chances of achieving the best possible result. The importance of these steps has been repeatedly demonstrated by published research.
As a former collegiate athlete, I view these steps as being similar to my preparation for a major competition.
Here are some of the guidelines that I have prepared for my patients.
Get strong: Pre-surgical Physical Therapy
Build muscle in the operative limbLearn exercises before surgery that will be necessary after surgery – build muscle memoryPractice using a walker or crutches to speed early post-operative mobilization
Get trim: Gradual Weight Loss if Applicable
Less body weight on a new joint
Get aerobic: Moving and Exercising
Walking, water exercises, swimming, stationary cycling and rowing may be well tolerated even with an arthritic joint. Getting your heart rate up for 15 to 30 minutes each day will improve your fitness for surgery
Get rid of bad habits: Importance of Quitting Smoking
If you quit smoking three months pre-op it can lower the risk of infectionQuitting promotes wound, bone and tendon healing and decreases risk of surgical infection
Bottom line: getting in the best possible shape before surgery will help you achieve the best and safest result from your surgery.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, let us know: (206) 386-2600
-Laura Matsen Ko, M.D.
See Dr. Matsen Ko’s webpage, here.