Collagen is the protein which constitutes much of our body (skin, ligaments, bones etc.) and is essential in the wound healing process. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production. Professor Markus Kuster has performed some ground-breaking research with relation to Vitamin C replacement and wound healing. To summarise his work:
- Vitamin C levels falls dramatically with major surgery such as knee and hip replacement
- The fall in Vitamin C is much lower with small operations such as ankle fixation
- Low Vitamin C levels are a risk factor for stiffness and pain
- Supplementing Vitamin C reduces the likelihood of a stiff knee replacement (arthrofibrosis)
As a result of this research, it is recommended to commence taking 1 gram of Vitamin C daily 1 week prior to hip or knee replacement, and to continue to do so for 2 months following your surgery.