How Vitamin D and Proper Nutrition Affect Your Joint Replacement

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How Vitamin D and Proper Nutrition Affect Your Joint Replacement

Vitamin D comes in many forms and has many benefits. Did you know it’s especially beneficial after a joint replacement? Vitamin D deficient patients have a higher risk of complications following hip and knee replacement surgery than those with adequate levels. Our bodies can only absorb calcium when vitamin D is present, so it is vital to bone health and surgical recovery.

Here are a few ways to increase your levels of vitamin D and boost your body’s healing process:

Nutrition: A nutritional diet is an integral part of recovery. Foods rich in vitamin C are especially helpful as your new joint heals. Salmon, eggs, and mushrooms are foods high in vitamin D. Cow’s milk, cereals, and instant oatmeal are usually fortified with vitamin D.

Spend Time in the Sun: We get about 90% of our vitamin D from exposure to the sun. Just 5-15 minutes of sunlight exposure two to three times a week will help boost your vitamin D significantly.

Supplements: After surgery, spending time in the sun might be difficult, especially during hotter months. Vitamin D supplements can boost your levels until you can get outside again. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 600 IU for people under the age of 70 and 800 IU for those over 70.

Not only does Vitamin D manage your body’s calcium, but it also fights inflammation and supports muscle function. A diet saturated in vitamin D and a bit of time spent in the sun each day are a few small ways that can help you recover from your joint replacement and return to an active lifestyle.

Dr. Amir Jamali, founder of the Joint Preservation Institute, is a board-certified fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon in Northern California specializing in treatments for the knee, hip and shoulder.