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Unveiling the Significance of Amino Acid Supplementation in Post-Operative Care

essential amino acids for post-operative recovery

Orthopaedic surgery, a branch of medicine dedicated to treating musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, often demands comprehensive strategies to optimize patient outcomes. Amidst the array of therapeutic interventions, a noteworthy avenue gaining attention is the supplementation of amino acids.

Amino acids provide the building blocks for proteins to support nervous system function, and muscle development, as well as hormone, enzyme and antibody formation. While they are always important for our bodies to function, they become even more important after surgery.


The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) recently published an illuminating article delving into this topic, shedding light on the pivotal role amino acid supplementation plays in enhancing the surgical and postoperative journey of orthopaedic patients.


The article highlights many beneficial effects for patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery:

  • Tissue Repair and Wound Healing: Amino acids serve as the building blocks of proteins, which are integral to tissue repair and wound healing. Following surgery, the body requires ample amino acids to synthesize new proteins, such as collagen, necessary for rebuilding damaged tissues and promoting wound closure.

  • Muscle Preservation and Recovery: Surgery, especially orthopaedic procedures, can lead to muscle catabolism due to tissue trauma and immobilization. Essential amino acids are essential for preserving lean body mass, preventing muscle protein breakdown, and promoting muscle regeneration. This is particularly crucial for surgical patients to maintain functional strength and mobility during the recovery process.

  • Immune Function: Certain amino acids play vital roles in supporting immune function. Glutamine, for example, is a preferred fuel source for immune cells and helps maintain gut barrier function, reducing the risk of postoperative infections.

  • Inflammation Modulation: Excessive inflammation following surgery can delay wound healing and contribute to postoperative complications. Certain amino acids possess anti-inflammatory properties and can help modulate the inflammatory response.

  • Nutritional Support: Surgery often induces a state of increased metabolic demand and nutrient utilization. Amino acid supplementation can help prevent malnutrition, promote anabolism, and support overall nutritional status during the perioperative period.


Want to learn more? Click below to read the whole article!

The Role of Amino Acid Supplementation
Download PDF • 214KB

If you want to improve your post-operative recovery, our essential amino acids may be exactly what you're looking for! We encourage you to call us at 703.444.5000 or click here to request an appointment with one of the physicians at Arthritis & Sports. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from us, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our monthly newsletter for even more information sent straight to your inbox!



Arthritis & Sports is the premier orthopaedics practice in Northern Virginia. Our team of specialty-trained physicians offers the latest treatment options for the full spectrum of orthopaedic sub-specialties - all under one roof.


From nonsurgical treatments like orthobiologics and physical therapy, to massage therapy and  nutrition counseling, we are dedicated to providing you with exceptional care from injury through rehabilitation.

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