Nutrition can play a crucial role in joint replacement surgery. Implementing a healthy diet before and after surgery can maximize your outcome.
Preparing for a joint replacement surgery takes some pre-planning, like preparing for a big game or marathon run. Good nutrition and proper hydration are essential to a speedier recovery and help you return to doing the things you love as soon as possible. Food is medicine and has valid healing properties that can make your recovery faster, easier and safer.
After surgery, your body will be working hard to heal itself. The nutrients we get from our food can fuel our bodies and decrease inflammation during the healing process. The stress the body endures after surgery causes your metabolism to work harder. A poor diet post-recovery could slow the healing process and make you more susceptible to infections.1
Here are important foods to eat before and after joint replacement surgery:
- Garlic, onion, ginger, and turmeric
- Cruciferous veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale
- Colorful berries and cherries
- Lentils and beans
- Fatty fish
- Olive oil
- Protein sources like eggs and chicken
Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, such as beta carotene and flavonoids, will reduce inflammatory responses post-surgery. Avoiding sugar and refined grains, like white bread, can help reduce inflammation in the body. Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar can quench your sweet tooth without increasing your body's inflammation. Dehydration is common after surgery, so drink plenty of fluids and limit or avoid alcohol and coffee if possible.
If you are taking medications that increase constipation, swapping out cheese for yogurt can help gut-friendly bacteria that are more easily digested and won't add to constipation and stomach issues while you recoup.
Dr. Cagle understands the effect of good nutrition on positive patient outcomes in hip and knee replacement surgery. Good food choices and a well-balanced diet can help you better prepare for your upcoming surgery, and rehabilitate afterwards. These tips are good to follow even after recovery to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Dr. Robert Cagle is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement surgery of the Knee and Hip using the latest technology and techniques for better patient outcomes. Get back to your active lifestyle with outpatient hip replacement.