Activities to Avoid After a Knee Replacement

Medically Reviewed

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.