Joint Surgery, Part 2 & Supplements That Can Help Post-Surgery.

Joint Surgery, Part 2 & Supplements That Can Help Post-Surgery.


Written by:  Dr.Claire Arcidiacono, ND

For further questions or concerns email me at [email protected]

Last week we started a review of different surgical interventions that your doctor may recommend. Today we will complete this topic. We will cover resurfacing surgery, arthrodesis and small joint surgery. (1) Additionally, we will review supplements that may be helpful after surgery. †

Joint resurfacing surgery or partial joint replacement is less invasive than a full joint replacement surgery. It is typically done in cases where the damage to the joint is not severe enough for a full joint replacement surgery. This type of procedure is often recommended for individuals who have had other procedures to help with joint pain that have failed to reduce the pain. (2) Joint resurfacing is generally recommended for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and traumatic arthritis. In the shoulder it can help with rotator cuff problems. In the hip it can be helpful for hip dysplasia. Lastly it can be useful for osteonecrosis. (3) But what exactly is a joint resurfacing surgical procedure? As I’ve previously said it is less invasive than a full joint replacement surgery. Basically, what happens is a surgeon will shave off a small portion of the joint bones and then put a cap on the top of them. (2) While possible complications are less than you can expect with a full joint replacement they do exist. These most commonly include infections, blood clots, femoral neck fracture, dislocation, nerve and blood vessel damage, bleeding and of course the usual risks that are associated with anesthesia. (4) Please see the attached picture for what this procedure looks like. † (5)

The next procedure that we will be discussing is arthrodesis, or joint fusion surgery. Once again, this procedure is performed for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and in any situation where there is a fracture to the joint. (6) What occurs in this procedure is that the doctor will remove the damaged or diseased cartilage, then they will remove the end portion of the bones that are involved in the joints and then they will use either another bone or metal to fuse one bone with another. (7) As you can guess with this procedure you lose the function of the joint. In other words, the joint will no longer move. This is why over time it has been mostly replaced by joint replacement surgeries especially in the larger joints such as the knee and the hips. This procedure is what I consider to be a “what is worse” scenario. It should be considered when the pain level is so severe that the loss of motion is outweighed by the reduction in pain.  Possible complications include breakage of the metal implants, infection, failure of the fusion site and continuing pain even after the procedure. (6) Please see the attached picture. † (8)

Lastly, we will briefly discuss small joint surgery.  First of all, what is generally considered to be the small joints? In this blog we will be referring to the joints in the fingers and toes. While surgery is better known to be performed on the larger joints such as the knee and hip it can also be done for the smaller joints. Surgeries that are typically done to repair these joints can include joint replacement or fusion of the joints. Complications can include infections, dislocations and loosening of the joint replacement. † (9, 10)

As all surgeries do these 6 common joint surgeries have both advantages and disadvantages. It is important to work with a surgeon to determine which if any of these are the best for you. After having surgery, it is important to follow all instructions your doctor gives you. This includes if they recommend any medications. The following can be helpful to promote healing after your procedure, but it is always a great idea to speak to an Invite nutritionist to make sure there are no interactions with your medications.†


Post Surgery Support

  1. Zinc has been found in studies to help boost the immune system as well as promote healing. (11) This is important in healing after any procedure. For this nutrient, please see Invite’s Zinc lozenges, Zinc picolinate and Immunity Hx †
  2. In Studies vitamin C has been found to be helpful in healing after surgeries as well as helpful in increasing the quality of collagen that is produced. This is of course very important when it comes to healing and especially healing after joint repair surgery. Increasing quality of cartilage may not seem important if you are having a joint replacement surgery but remember that you do have other joints that you want to protect in the long run. (12) Vitamin C has also been to help promote the bacteria fighting immune system which is important is after surgery. (13) Please see Invite’s extensive line of Vitamin C as well as Immunity Hx†
  3. Vitamin D has been found to have positive outcomes on surgery. In other words, it helped healing after surgery especially when supplemented in those with a deficiency. (14) Another study found that having a vitamin D deficiency leads to a more painful healing process after a knee replacement. (15) Please see Invite’s D 1000, 3000 and Immunity Hx†
  4. Nucleotides have been found in studies to help reduce inflammation post-surgery as well as help with the immune system thus helping to fight off infections. (16) While studies on nucleotides promoting healing seem to focus on wounds, I feel that we can extrapolate that this ability also occurs post-surgery which is in a way just a wound that has been made purposely rather than on accident (17) Please see Invite’s Nucleotide complex †
  5. Probiotics have a wide variety of benefits! One such benefit is that studies find that they help promote healing after surgery (18) Please see Invite’s Probiotic Hx, Probiotic women and Probiotic maintain as well as our Core probiotic. †
  6. Turmeric has been found to help with swelling and pain that can occur after surgery. (19). Please see Invite’s Biocurcumin, and Curcumin blend†
  7. Collagen/Cartilage has been found to help with the healing process. (20) Please see Invite’s Collagen Hx, Collagex Ha and Cartilage Hx  †                                                            Please see my prior blogs on this topic for more recommendations on products that promote joint health.†


Next week we will be wrapping up this topic with an overall summary. I hope you found this to be very informative. Remember you can always talk to an Invite nutritionist with any questions you may have! †

For further questions or concerns email me at [email protected]




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