Getting in shape before surgery will speed up your recovery after surgery. Daily exercise will strengthen your muscles before surgery. It also allows you to start a routine that will be part of your daily rehabilitation and recovery after surgery.
Leg exercises will help you get your leg muscles ready for surgery, but exercising other muscles (like your upper body) will help your rehabilitation. For example, you use your arms, shoulders and abdominal muscles for getting in and out of bed, getting up from a sitting position and using your walking aids (e.g. crutches, canes or walkers). Having strong abdominal muscles will lessen the pressure on your hip joint, improve your functioning and ability to move your body, and lessen your pain.
Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. If you’re not sure how much to exercise, you can follow the “2 hour” rule. If your joint is still hurting more than two hours after exercising or you are very tired the next day, it means you may be doing too much, and you should cut down your exercising time.
Avoid activities that put pressure on the joints. These include:
- Jogging or running
- Stair master (stair climbing)
- High impact aerobics
Some good activities that put less stress on your knee and hip joints are:
- Aquatic exercises (e.g. swimming or water walking/aerobics)
- Walking/Nordic walking
- Tai Chi
- Yoga (depending upon type)
- Upper Body Weights
- Stationary Cycling * make sure your bicycle seat is adjusted properly for your height to put less stress on your knee joint.
- Exercises recommended by your physiotherapist