A knee replacement can be a life-changing surgery for those who have been struggling with knee pain. After the surgery, it is important to take things slow and ease back into your activities. Below are some guidelines for activities that are safe and those you should avoid, but, ultimately, it’s up to you and your doctor to decide what’s best for you and your recovery.

Things to Avoid

If you have an artificial knee, try avoiding any high-impact activities that put stress on your new joint. High-impact activities may include aerobic exercises or calisthenics but do not necessarily include all aerobic activities. There are quite a few low-impact aerobic exercises you can perform, such as cycling, walking, and swimming. If you’re interested in taking a fitness class, there are usually low-impact options available. If you’re not sure whether or not a certain class is low impact or high impact, be sure to ask the instructor before enrolling. 

Aside from high-impact activities, you should be able to resume doing most of the things you like to do after a knee replacement. The key is to progress gradually, listen to your body, and avoid any activities that make you feel pain or discomfort.

Questions About Other Activities?

Running – Running is considered a high-impact activity and is not recommended after a knee replacement surgery because it can put pressure on the joint and cause the implant to fail. This is one of the very few activities that Dr. Nelson recommends you not engage in at all following knee replacement surgery. You can resume most other activities if you ease into them on a gradual basis.

Traveling –  If you are still healing from your knee replacement, talk to your doctor about whether you are ready for air travel. Changes in air pressure and reduced mobility on the airplane can cause swelling, which may lead to complications. 

Driving – You should not drive after a knee replacement as long as you are taking pain medications. When you’ve stopped taking medications and have regained normal reflexes and strength in your joint, talk to your doctor about if you are cleared to drive.

Climbing Stairs – You should be able to gradually resume climbing stairs after knee replacement with physical therapy, but you should not attempt to climb stairs by yourself until your knee is strong and mobile.

Once you’ve fully recovered and cleared by your doctor or physical therapist, other safe activities may include bowling, rowing, golfing, weightlifting, and yoga. Keep in mind that before participating in any of these activities, you should ask your doctor as you may need to make slight modifications to protect your new knee.

If you have questions about a knee replacement or activities following your operation, give our office a call at 435-774-8511. Dr. Nelson is ready to help you get back to your favorite activities!