Ask Drs. Oz & Roizen: Be active before your hip or knee replacement

King Features SydicateJune 8, 2013 

Q: I’m 54 and headed for a total hip replacement. Any advice for me?

SANDY R., CINCINNATI

A: Jane Fonda tweeted before her total knee replacement: “So long, left knee. You’re toast!” Since then she’s been unstoppable. For you and the more than 332,000 folks who have hip replacements and the 719,000 with total knee replacements every year, these remarkable surgeries offers more than a chance to be physically active and pain free. They can put zip in your dip and a younger RealAge in your future.

Study after study shows restoring mobility and removing chronic pain slashes your chance of developing diabetes, depression and heart failure, and we’d add weight gain, dementia and a lousy sex life to that list. More than 90 percent of people with hip and knee replacements get pain relief and never need a revision.

But that doesn’t mean these procedures are a walk in the park, especially if you’re obese or inactive BEFORE the surgery, as 93 percent of joint replacement patients are! That doubles the risk of infection after surgery and makes it a bit more likely that you’ll need surgical revision down the road. You may get pain relief, but not long-term improvement in mobility or weight.

So, start walking daily and doing muscle-building exercises every other day — before surgery. You’ll increase muscle strength and lose weight (if you need to). We also recommend you reduce inflammation (joint damage and pain create a lot) with these additional five steps:

1. Eliminate saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars and sugar syrups and refined carbs from your diet.

2. Eat colorful veggies and fruits, and 100 percent whole grains.

3. Take 900 IU of anti-inflammatory DHA omega-3 from algal oil and consider taking 420 mg of purified omega-7.

4. Meditate daily to reduce stress.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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