Importance of being strong and flexible before joint replacement surgery

Did you know that the success and speed of recovery following joint replacement surgery depends largely on what you do in the weeks leading up to the surgery?

Due to the pain and discomfort being experienced it is possible that you have reduced your physical activity levels in the hope of reducing that pain. However, when muscles are not used they become weak and do not function optimally.  

This contributes to poor joint stability, balance and mobility.  This is important to know as a joint replacement is a major surgery and it is important to be in good physical condition before you undergo the operation.  

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Through a regular individualised exercise program the muscles surrounding a joint can be strengthened and range of motion can improve.

Why is this important when I’m about to undergo a replacement surgery you ask?

Below are four benefits of being strong and flexible prior to a joint replacement surgery made evident through research:

1.    Improve joint stability, balance and load bearing capacity of the joint 

Through a resistance training program the muscles surrounding the joint build in strength which provides support and stability to the joint.  Having a stable joint assists in reducing falls risk and enables daily activities to be performed with greater ease and comfort.  This can also assist in stabilising pain levels before surgery.

2.    Faster rehabilitation following the surgery


Performing an exercise program to become strong and flexible before the operation has been shown to result in a shorter hospital stay and faster rehabilitation process as not only are you familiar with the rehab exercises post-surgery but you also have a greater functional status post-surgery.

3.    Reduced risk of complications following surgery

Having strong and flexible joints pre-surgery decreases the risk of swelling and blood clots after the operation.  It also results in reduced fatigue, pain and muscular soreness which assist in a faster recovery form the operation enabling you to reach you rehabilitation milestones faster.

4.    Better ambulation and mobility

Following knee and hip replacement surgeries assistive devices, like a walking stick or crutches, may be required.  Being strong in the upper body will mean that you will be able to use these devices with greater ease and be more capable of transferring yourself between postures. 

If you are considering the need for, or are already scheduled to undergo a joint replacement surgery then click on the button below and book in for an appointment with our trained Exercise Physiologists who can provide you with a tailored and individualised exercise program suited to your presenting condition.  

Don’t wait, start now and book in today!