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Nutritional advice pre and post surgery

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Old 12-04-2010, 07:59 AM   #1
Goldie Fawn
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Nutritional advice pre and post surgery

Hi All, I'm new here. I'm 28 and broke my fibula and ankle (compound fracture where my bone came through the skin - slow motion horror film) in March. I underwent surgery and received an 8" plate and 11 screws to stabilize my ankle. It's been a troublesome recovery (bed rest for 2 months, physical therapy for 8 months) and just when I start to feel like myself again - BAM! - I get hit with the news that the break in my fibula has not healed and there's still a 1/2" gap between the bone. Which means I need to have a bone graft.

They'll be harvesting bone from my iliac crest (hip) and replacing the screws, plate and bone material in my fibula. This isn't going to be a walk in the park and I've got another long road of recovery in front of me. I want to be as prepared as possible to heal quickly and efficiently so I can have my athletic abilities and normal life back.

I am gluten-free, nut free, and beef free. I unfortunately gained about 15 pounds through this ordeal (I'm 5'8", now 140 lbs) since I used to run 5 miles a day and now can't exercise the way I used to. So while my health and healing is #1, vanity comes in somewhere in the top 5.

Any nutritional advice is much appreciated. What to eat pre and post surgery, supplements, vitamins, etc. Bring it on!

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: Nutritional advice pre and post surgery

I assume your doctor will tell you not to consume anything before surgery that will thin your blood. With certain items it might be a number of days, so find out how many days. This would include items like fish-oil capsules, aspirin, wine, oily fish etc.. And eating foods containing vitamin K1 will help with blood clotting. The richest source of K1 is found in broccoli. A half cup contains 200 mcg. Spinach is the next richest source. In general, all dark leafy greens are good sources.

Those vegetables mentioned above, plus items like kale and collard greens, will give you lots of calcium for bone repair. Then you need a reasonable amount of vitamin D to work with the calcium. The best source for D is the sun but be careful not to get sunburn. Otherwise, if you can't get sun, a supplement will do. You shouldn't need any more than 600 units per day (oil filled capsules might contain fish oil so try it in tablet form to play it safe).

Other than that, you just need a good diet in general. Avoid foods that will deplete your calcium, such as: Processed foods with added sugar, salt, or white flour etc..

You need to get enough protein for your body to make repairs but not too much. Too much animal protein will have the effect of depleting calcium. For example, about 3 ounces of chicken breast (or other lean meat) would be about right for the average woman.

Avoid excessive amounts of saturated fat (like from bacon and eggs) and try to get enough of the good fats. For example: Avocado, olive oil etc..

I would avoid dairy products. Milk is said to promote growth and repair but has too many drawbacks, in my opinion. Dairy products get metabolized as acid and may actually interfere with calcium absorption.

Try to get some exercise in whatever way you can. Weight bearing and otherwise. You need this to build or repair bone.

Last edited by JohnR41; 12-04-2010 at 10:36 AM.

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