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:
- walking on hard, uneven surfaces,
- keeping our joints in excessive bent positions,
- general muscle weakness, and
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.
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