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Remain active before surgery

Remaining active, e.g. via cycling, within your own comfort limits is a great way to prepare for surgery

Complaints to your joints might have limited your participation in sports and leisure activities. However, it is important to remain as active as possible to maintain good physical condition before surgery.

Why is physical activity before surgery important?

  • A decrease in strength and muscle mass is often present before the surgery in patients undergoing a joint replacement. Remaining physically active before your surgery will allow you to start the rehabilitation with more muscle capacity. More muscle capacity will help for a smoother and faster recovery.
  • Patients in good physical condition develop fewer complications and recover more quickly after their surgery.
  • You need to prepare your body for the journey that awaits it after the joint replacement. If you are already familiar with the exercises, it will also increase your confidence to perform them after your surgery!
  • Implementing good habits in the preoperative period, will make it easier to to resume them after surgery.

What type of physical activity can you do preoperatively?

There is always a physical activity that you will be able to do despite the limitations of your joint.

  • Choose a physical activity that your joint still allows you to perform without too much increase of complaints.
  • Activities that put little strain on your joint are favoured over high load activities.
  • Swimming and cycling are good examples, but gardening, housework, regular short walks or other activities are also effective.

Engage in mild exercises without pushing your limits! It is important to be well prepared physically but don’t force it. You want to avoid inflammation in the joint that you will be operated on.

Some surgeons recommend a preparation program with specific exercises before surgery. Hospitals also often offer an information session where some examples of preoperative exercises are explained. These are exercises to strengthen your muscles, improve your endurance and make your joints more flexible. This way, your muscles are in optimal condition before your surgery. Don’t hesitate to talk to your (moveUP) physical therapist!

Updated on December 7, 2023

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