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The Key to Heart-Healthy Living During Orthopedic Recovery

  • Feb 22 2023

A woman uses a stationary bike. Regardless of whether they require surgery, orthopedic injuries can have unforeseen impacts on your health. When you break a bone or need a joint replacement, most people think the health impact is limited to the broken bone or the replaced joint itself. 

While the initial orthopedic issue is certainly not ideal, longer-term health impacts can often affect your heart health. As odd as it may sound, orthopedic injuries and surgeries can have long-term adverse effects on your heart. However, you can take steps to achieve heart-healthy living even amidst an orthopedic injury

At SI Ortho, our medical team works to deliver safe and effective medical treatment for a wide variety of orthopedic injuries and conditions. Read on to learn more about how the SI Ortho team promotes heart-healthy living in patients suffering from orthopedic injuries

How Do Orthopedic Injuries Affect Heart Health?

 Physical therapist helping man stretch his Achilles tendon with a resistance band. When you break an ankle, the broken ankle itself does not affect your heart health. However, the drastic drop in cardiovascular activity resulting from a fractured ankle can. 

It’s well known that a sedentary lifestyle puts you at risk for heart disease. As the number of jobs that require people to sit behind a desk all day increases, people are experiencing increased rates of diabetes, heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes. The adverse health effects are so prominent that people now claim “sitting is the new smoking.” 

The CDC agrees, saying, “Not getting enough physical activity can lead to heart disease–even for people who have no other risk factors.” Therefore, an orthopedic injury or surgery may not directly put your heart at risk, but your decreased level of physical activity during the recovery process may. 

How to Maintain Heart-Healthy Living 

Physical therapist helping older man stretch his shoulder. With the possibility of heart complications on the table, how can you look out for your heart during recovery from an orthopedic injury?

To keep your heart healthy, we recommend trying to get as much physical activity as possible while still staying within the recovery guidelines your surgeon gives you. In other words, use the unaffected parts of your body to exercise and keep your cardiovascular system working, while letting your injured area rest. 

For example, broken wrists are an exceedingly common injury resulting from slips and falls. While a broken wrist will prevent you from doing many upper-body exercises, you can still work out using your lower body. Whether via a treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or even a walk around the neighborhood, you can often keep yourself moving using the uninjured parts of your body.

At SI Ortho, our medical professionals work together to create a treatment and recovery system that naturally heads off cardiovascular problems. For example, our orthopedic surgeons and therapists may work with you for the month or two leading up to a joint replacement to get your cardiovascular health in shape. With the preventative measures taken, you can use your heart health buffer to ride out the recovery until you are ready to move again. 

Similarly, our orthopedic surgeons will almost always prescribe physical therapy as part of recovery. With the help of a physical therapist, you will learn how to gradually use your affected body part and remain in shape without compromising the healing process. The SI Ortho experience builds in physical activity to accelerate the healing process for the affected body part and prevent cardiovascular problems. 

The SI Ortho Difference

At SI Ortho, our orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists are well-versed in state-of-the-art treatments to get you back to health and avoid unwanted complications, including cardiovascular problems. Our team is committed to creating personalized treatment and recovery plans that fit your body, needs, and lifestyle. 

From joint replacements to broken bones to physical therapy and much more, we have the expertise to treat your orthopedic condition. To learn more about the SI Ortho treatment process and the difference it can make in your recovery process, get your free copy of our Orthopedic Overview ebook

Posted in: General & Pediatric Orthopaedic Care