Once recovery from your knee replacement surgery is complete, your new joint should provide substantial or complete pain relief. Many people walk without a limp, and most won’t require a cane, even if they used one before surgery.
Your knee should allow you to perform activities of daily living, including walking, going up and down stairs, getting in and out of cars, and rising from a chair. Some people with knee replacements can return to certain vigorous physical activities following surgery, which is fine up to a certain level.
But any excessive loading of the joint caused by inappropriately strenuous activity will affect the overall durability of the knee, increasing a risk of failure, and can cause pain and swelling.
Sports that involve jumping, jerking, twisting, pulling, or running can also compromise your new knee. Activities you should avoid include:
• Downhill skiing
• High-impact aerobics
• Basketball and baseball
• Contact sports such as soccer and football
• Lifting or carrying more than 20 pounds
Safe activities include bicycling, walking, stationary cycling, golf, swimming, water aerobics, cross-country skiing, dancing, hiking, low-resistance weight training, and gardening.
Learn more about how to get the best joint-replacement outcome.
Laird Harrison writes about science and medicine. His work has appeared magazines (TIME, Audubon, Discover, Men’s Fitness, Health), newspapers (San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press); and Web sites (Salon, Reuters, MSNBC, CNN.com). He has produced video for Web sites including Smithsonianmag.com and audio for KQED and WUNC public media stations. His recent novel, Fallen Lake, tells the story of a powerful attraction between two couples and how it affected their children. Harrison has taught writing at San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley Extension and Mediabistro. He grew up in Berkeley, California, and studied creative writing and politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lives in Oakland, California.