7 Essential Foods Your Body Needs After Orthopedic Surgery

You’ve finally had that hip or knee replaced and now you think all that’s important for healing is to rest, keep the surgical site clean, and you are on the road to recovery. Not so fast!

A healthy diet is essential because it helps protect you from lots of different conditions like diabetes and heart failure, but if you specifically want to regain bone strength and boost your immune system after an orthopedic procedure then you should mainly stick to these six foods!


Protein makes up 55% of our bone volume and is one of the essential bone-healing foods for recovery from orthopedic surgery since it helps to prevent infection and increase bone mass. Meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs are all great sources of protein.

Vegetarians can depend on soybeans, quinoa, beans, spinach, artichokes, lentils, and peas for their protein needs.

Vitamin C

This valuable vitamin is loaded with antioxidants to aid our immune system. It helps in the repair of tendons and other wounds from surgery. For an extra dose of vitamin C you should include oranges, strawberries, lemons, broccoli, bell peppers, and sprouts in your diet after surgery.


Did you know that our bodies aren’t able to produce calcium? Instead, we have to absorb this mineral from the foods we eat, making our diet extremely important.

Calcium serves as a crucial building block for strong bones, and it works hand in hand with protein to strengthen bones. Low fat and no fat milk are good sources of calcium as are other dairy products like yogurt and cheese. Other excellent sources of calcium include dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.

Vitamin D

The sun naturally supplies this vital nutrient, which aids our body in its absorption of calcium. Unfortunately, we don’t all live in the best climate or environment to take advantage of natural vitamin D. Instead, supplement yourself with foods like fatty fish. Choose salmon, tuna, eggs and cheese to boost your vitamin D intake.


The combination of vitamin C, protein, and zinc helps wounds to heal faster from orthopedic surgery. Meat, dark poultry, and oysters furnish sufficient amounts of zinc.

Vegetarians can find zinc in dairy, fortified cereals, and beans. Various nuts are another excellent item to snack on as you recover.


Some post-surgical medications can cause your system to slow down, resulting in constipation.  One way to get things “moving again” is to add fiber to your diet after orthopedic surgery.

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids add the anti-inflammatory properties we need after a surgical procedure to prevent bone loss. Cold water fish are best, including salmon and tuna. Walnuts, tofu, and flax seeds work well as additions to your post-surgery diet.

Stock up on all these essential foods your body will need after orthopedic surgery.  It is also advised to prepare some casseroles and salads ahead of time so that you won’t have to work quite as hard later on to boost your bone health and speed up your recovery.

Consult with shoulder specialist Samuel Koo, MD about the appropriate proportions for these bone-supporting superfoods.