Getting the Most From your New Joint: April 24, 2014

The trend line in joint replacement surgery is up, up, up; correlating with our waistlines which are going out, out, out. Excess pounds are causing our joints to breakdown.

“Typically it’s the weight baring joints. It’s the ankles, the knees and hips first,” says Dr. Charles Springer. He is an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

After undergoing double knee and hip replacements, Judy Parsons had enough. She decided the best thing for her health and her joints was to lose weight. She opted to go with a medically-supervised weight program offered through Lee Memorial Health System.

“It’s not only teaching you how to eat healthy but it’s also teaching you how to live healthy and to be able to do the things you want to do that you couldn’t do before,” Parsons says.

The best joint implant put in by even a top surgeon is only as good as you make it. Following rehab, patients are encouraged to make lifestyle changes to get the most out of their new joint.

“If you continue to carry excessive weight what you’re doing is risking premature wear of the implant, loosening the implant,” Dr. Springer says. “Patients that are obese have clear cut, higher complication rates.”

It’s important to stay active and adopt a healthy diet. Judy set goals for herself to sidestep future problems.

“i would like to lose about 45-50 pounds. I know I can do it if I take it 10 pounds at a time,” she says.

“What I tell my patients is that joint replacement is not going to guarantee you a better lifestyle. However it certainly gives you that opportunity and the rest is up to them,” says Dr. Springer.

Taking joint replacement to heart, helps people get the most out of their body and their life.