Monday, January 23, 2012

Ask Us Anything: How Can I Avoid a Knee or Hip Replacement?

"I have known several people who have had knee and hip replacements. From what they have told me, the recovery process can be long. How can I avoid needing a knee or hip replacement in the future?"

Physical Therapist Richard Szabala Responds:

Recovery from joint replacements can be anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months, depending on several factors, including a persons medical history, extent of the arthritis, and surgical procedure. But if you ask anyone who has had a joint replacement, the reduction in pain and return of function is well worth the recovery time.

When someone needs a joint replacement, 90% of the time it is due to osteoarthritis or wearing down of the cartilage in your joints from wear and tear placed on our joints through our daily lives. There are several factors that contribute to osteoarthritis, including:
  • obesity, 
  • walking on hard, uneven surfaces, 
  • keeping our joints in excessive bent positions, 
  • general muscle weakness, and 
  • heredity.
The best way to minimize the wear and tear on your joints is to keep the joints moving, keep your muscles strong and be aware of the positions that increase stress on your joints.

Begin an exercise program that focuses on high repetition, low resistance exercises like biking or walking, and leg raise exercises that focus on hip strengthening.

If you already are demonstrating signs of osteoarthritis, minimize the use of the stairs and avoid the squatting position. As always, keep an eye on your body weight with a healthy diet.

– Richard Szabala PT, OCS

Richard Szabala is the senior physical therapist at AthletiCare Orchard Park.

Related Links: 

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...