Patients who are overweight and contemplating hip replacement surgery should make losing weight an important goal before and after surgery. Dr. Steven Louis, an experienced orthopaedic surgeon at Hinsdale Orthopaedics in Hinsdale, Illinois, says people who are overweight and lose weight before hip surgery, have an easier and quicker recuperation.

Losing the extra weight decreases the strain on hip joints and aids recovery. However, hip pain usually prevents patients from doing calorie-burning exercises, like walking or biking. Dr. Louis has these recommendations for patients who are trying to lose weight before a hip replacement surgery:

• Make it a goal to lose a pound a week
• Eat six times a day in smaller portions, usually between 200 and 300 calories
• Don’t eat after 6 p.m.
• Incorporate as much walking and swimming as possible into your daily exercise regimen
• Stay away from soda pop, desserts and other foods high in sugar

Dr. Jeff Rosen, lead surgeon at Lifeweigh Bariatrics in Downers Grove, Illinois, has been advising patients on weight loss for over 13 years. He agrees with Dr. Louis and offers this additional advice:

• Discuss with your physician the safest weight-loss route to take because each person needs a different, specialized plan.
• Watch sodium and fat intake, as well as carbohydrates and sugars
• Cut down on drinking alcohol or stop altogether
• If you have exercise limitations, work with a physical therapist or trainer to optimize a training regimen. This could include chair aerobics, arm or weight exercises, or water aerobics in a pool
• Exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes each day and put in adequate effort to get the heart rate in the appropriate range

Both physicians recommend losing weight not just for the surgery, but as a lifestyle change for the rest of your life.

If you are a patient contemplating hip replacement, you should choose a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who uses a minimally invasive technique. Dr. Louis is one a handful of physicians in the Chicago area who performs Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery. With this approach, the surgeon avoids cutting muscle and tissue, which allows for quicker recuperation, less pain and shorter hospital stays. Dr. Louis has performed more than 150 Anterior Hip replacements. If you would like more information on this surgery, there is a downloadable brochure on his website at www.anterior-hip-surgery.com. To make an appointment with Dr. Louis, contact Sabina at 630-323-6116, ext. 7123.

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