If you’ve experienced persistent discomfort in your knee, shoulder, or hip and you decide to go through an operation to replace it and help alleviate the pain, ThedaCare Orthopedic experts recommend that you continue to move.

In reality, experts from ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic Spine and Pain advise that patients are able to and should keep training right up to the time of their operation, with appropriate advice from their medical professionals.

“Each procedure, person and situation is unique,” explained Samantha Burmeister Nurse Practitioner at ThedaCare Orthopedic care. “It is crucial to pay attention to your surgeon’s and trainer’s recommendations on exercising restrictions to avoid any further injuries. Moving regularly before surgery and attending an exercise session when appropriate, has been proven to decrease postoperative complications as well as promote speedier recovery.”

Joint replacement surgery usually is required for patients who have had degenerative changes in their joint, which is typically the case for adults who are over 50. The activities you enjoy can be altered to reduce discomfort. For instance for someone who is running, they may change to an elliptical or even a bike routine as suggested by Madalyn Vander Loop who is a Physical Therapist who works with ThedaCare Orthopedic Services.

In general, health experts suggest an average of 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

“If 150 minutes seem like a lot you can gradually work towards this target,” Burmeister said. “For the majority of people, swimming and walking exercises are a great place to begin. As exercise becomes easier it is possible to increase the intensity, speed or time to challenge the body.”

The region is full of fitness centers that are great and walking trails throughout our region that people are able to explore. If they think they require additional help, ThedaCare offers a self-pay program in Appleton known as MedFit which patients can be referred to over a period of 12 weeks Burmeister said.

“Surgery isn’t a prerequisite for participating in the MedFit program, which means this is an ideal alternative for those within our community who wish to increase their fitness levels,” explained Burmeister.

For certain surgeries that are in preparation doctors may suggest that patients go through a “prehabilitation session’ with the help of a physical therapy.

“During the session of therapy participants will be instructed through exercises that will help them improve their strength and endurance and will be informed of any limitations that may arise post-surgery,” Burmeister explained. Burmeister. “They’ll also get a better knowledge of what movement will look after surgery.”

Therapy teams may suggest specific exercises that patients must be doing in order to improve their flexibility and the strength needed to achieve optimal results after the procedure, Vander Loop said.

“The more flexibility you possess and the greater strength you possess prior to surgery the better your outcome are likely to be following the procedure,” she said.

Exercise to Specific Joint Replacement Surgery

The way a patient exercises prior to and after surgery will be contingent on the joint being to be replaced. For hips and knees it’s recommended to remain as active as you can. The exercises you do prior to surgery can increase the flexion of your knee and aid in building muscle memory, which enables the body execute the required post-op exercises.

Also, strengthening your hips is vital prior to replacing the knee or hip because the hips assist in keeping your balance when walking, Vander Loop said. Also, maintaining good cardiovascular health is an important role in recovering also.

For shoulders, it’s important to keep a wide range of motion prior to surgery using simple exercises. This could include moving your arm against a wall or lying on your back and holding onto the broomstick or cane using both hands, and then raising your arms above, Vander Loop said.

After surgery is completed after surgery, every patient will be given advice by their surgeon regarding time to recover and activities However, the ability to move is vitally important, Burmeister said.

“A general rule of thumb is to do short, regular exercises, walks, or other activities instead of a long, continuous time,” the doctor said. “This will help reduce discomfort and stiffness after surgery, and also helps prevent bleeding clots.”

The length of recovery times varies greatly based on the kind of surgery and the patient’s general mobility. Along with exercise it is also essential that patients drink sufficient amounts of water and consume healthy diets to aid in the healing process of wounds.

Following surgery physical therapists create a post-op workout program that will strengthen and increase the flexibility that the joint can perform. Vander Loop said that immediately following surgery, teams tend to concentrate on healing.

“You do not want to overwhelm it by engaging in activities,” she said. “We typically recommend getting up every hour, use the bathroom or grab an hydration drink. Particularly in the initial couple of weeks, we advise our patients to concentrate on icing, and to work on raising.”

The brand new ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic, Spine , and Pain has a shared space for doctors and physical therapists to have a quick and easy talk to doctors. The center also features an extensive rehabilitative area with exercise equipment and running lanes, as well as an indoor basketball court, and turf areas that can assist patients in getting back to activities that they enjoy.

“ThedaCare has excellent occupational and physical therapists who can assist you on this challenge,” Burmeister said. “Therapy is available on an outpatient or at home care basis. The surgical team at your disposal will help you determine which treatment option you are eligible for based on your specific requirements. We wish all of our patients feel comfortable all the procedure.”

More About ThedaCare

Since its inception more than 110 years ago, ThedaCare(r) has been committed to improving health and well-being of communities they serve throughout Northeast as well as Central Wisconsin. The agency provides healthcare to over 600,000 people in 17 counties . They employ about 7,000 health specialists. ThedaCare provides 180 points of service, which includes eight hospitals. As a company dedicated to being an innovator within Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering individuals to live their individual life to the fullest. ThedaCare works with communities in understanding the requirements, identifying solutions and promoting health awareness and taking action. ThedaCare is the first health care provider in Wisconsin to become an official Mayo Clinic Care Network Member that allows doctors to communicate with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s treatment. ThedaCare is a non-profit health care system that has an emergency trauma center of level II and a comprehensive cancer treatment program as well as cardiac and stroke programs, in addition to primary health care.

To learn more, go to thedacare.org and visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare via social networks. Media members are advised to call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medicine Center-Neenah switching board at 920.729.3100 and request the person in charge of marketing.