Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Maintaining a Healthy Weight is Important for Your New Knee
Take Care of Your Knees
It’s important to care for your artificial knee by maintaining a healthy weight. When you walk, your knees endure a force equivalent to about three times your body weight. In other words, each extra pound adds about three pounds of pressure to your knees. The more you weigh,the more pressure you exert on your artificial knee. This may contribute to premature deterioration of your artificial knee.
Click “next” to learn more.
Weight Gain After Surgery
Unfortunately, gaining weight after surgery is common, especially since overall activity is limited in the first few months of recovery. A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that 66 percent of patients experienced weight gain in the two years following the operation. The average weight gain was 14 pounds. Not only does added weight add pressure to your artificial joint, it puts the other knee at risk for a knee replacement—especially if it already exhibits signs of OA. Overall, about one-third of patients have OA in both knees.
Get Out and Work Out!
Regular exercise plays a key role in effectively managing your weight. It’s critical to get outside the house and engage in low impact activities such as walking, swimming, golfing, and cross-country skiing. You might also bicycle on flat terrain, use a stationary bike, and play a sport such as tennis. Also, aside from the calorie-burning benefits of exercise, being outside and active helps elevate your mood, and it can help reduce stress that’s frequently associated with over-eating.
Don’t Depend on Exercise Alone for Weight Loss
Exercise is only part of an overall strategy to maintain a healthy weight. It’s important to recognize that low-impact activities such as walking or golf burn only a few hundred calories per hour, at most. A bagel with cream cheese or a piece of cake far exceeds the calories you are likely to burn through exercise in a given day. You should pay attention to both the quality and quantity of the food you consume.
Change Your Approach to Eating
A healthy diet is critical to managing your weight and keeping extra pounds off. You may need to make some significant lifestyle changes involving what you eat. For example, some people find dramatic results by skipping late night meals or eliminating refined sugars. Analyze your eating habits to understand how they contribute or undermine your weight management goals. Diets often fail because they do nothing to change long-term eating habits and they frequently contribute to a feeling of failure. Speak with a nutritionist if you need help adopting new habits that you can use over the long term.
Focus on a diet that includes ample portions of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They are high in fiber and help suppress appetite. Try to reduce the amount of meat you consume and choose lean cuts. Look for low-fat dairy products and reduce desserts and sugar consumption. Avoid fast food and highly processed foods. Manage your portions and drink plenty of water—it will aid in digestion and help reduce your appetite.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
An average size glass of red wine has about 125 to 150 calories. A beer typically has between 150 and 200 calories. Some mixed drinks contain 200 to 300 calories or more. Two or three drinks per day will greatly increase your calorie intake. At a maximum, stick to one or two drinks a day, and consider these calories in your total intake. You would have to walk 30 to 45 minutes to burn the calories from a single glass of wine.
Weigh Yourself Once a Week
It can take weeks or months to lose all the weight you desire. Don’t weigh yourself every day. Natural fluctuations occur and these may discourage you. Check in at the scale once a week and be patient and focused. You will lose weight over time with a consistent and conscientious effort.
Focus on the Benefits of Weight Loss
One study found that 69 percent of knee replacements might be attributed to obesity. Keeping your weight down will help you get the most out of your existing device but also reduce the odds of a revision on your artificial knee, or worse yet, a replacement on your other knee.