What you do before surgery may be just as important as what you do after.
Prehab - building strength before surgery - leads to better outcomes.
More than one million knee replacements are performed in the U.S. every year.
The most rapid increase is in the 45-to-64 age group, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Exercise, or mechanical loading as scientists call it, improves stem cells that stimulate tissue regrowth and increase blood supply.
Fitness can dictate success after surgery.
The key is getting the optimal amount, duration, type and intensity of exercise.
Those who exercised showed an increase in muscle strength of 18% to 20%.
Prehab is particularly useful when knees are weak and have limited range of motion.
Even 15 minutes daily of therapist-directed exercise for two months before surgery is beneficial.
It can greatly improve range of motion before and leads to easier recovery and greater range of motion after.
Work with a specialized trainer to design a program to increase strength without further damaging