Your knees are no exception to the wear and tear that comes with age. The largest joint in your body (the knee) is also susceptible to overuse and trauma, which can significantly limit the activities you enjoy.
One of the treatments you can explore when your knees begin to give way is knee replacement surgery. This procedure involves replacing the damaged part of your knee joint with a prosthesis. Experts estimate that most knee implants can last 20 years, up from an average of 10 years in the 1970s due to technological advances in prosthetic design, bearing surfaces, and fixation methods.
Sports You Need to Avoid After a Knee Replacement Surgery
It’s important to note that getting your knee replaced doesn’t have to spell the end of your active lifestyle. If you’re committed to the aftercare process, you could speed up recovery and return to your everyday activities. That said, you should avoid some sports because they can dislocate your implant and lead to further complications.
Running and Running-Based Sports
Unfortunately, if you enjoy running, you will likely have to give it up or reduce its frequency and intensity significantly. Once you get a knee replacement, running is a no-go since the repeated stress on your knee increases the risk of injury. In the same vein, any high-stress sport that involves running, like tennis, baseball, softball, handball, and squash, are also discouraged. Basketball fans have to sit out the game as well, given the sport’s propensity for jump shots, pivots, and running.
The high probability of falling down the slopes can cause immense stress on your implant, so it’s best to avoid alpine skiing and waterskiing. Refraining from high-impact sports can extend your implant’s lifespan and prevent potential complications that might require revision surgery.
High-contact sports like football, hockey, soccer, and martial arts are discouraged since they feature rough motions that can loosen and wear down your implants. Loosening and instability remain the top reasons for revising total knee arthroplasty (TKA), a study shows. By 2020, 127,000 revisions for TKA are expected to be performed and could rise to more than 250,000 by 2030. Rock climbing is also not advised.
Revision surgery can set you back a long way in terms of your physical recovery, not to mention its toll on your finances. When you’re getting a joint replacement, it’s best to take care of your implant by refraining from high-stress and endurance sports in the first place.
What Sports Are Allowed?
Knee replacement surgery doesn’t prohibit you from all sports. You can still enjoy low-impact activities that don’t heavily pressure your new joint like sailing, swimming, scuba diving, cycling, golfing, and bowling. You can also tone down your high-impact aerobics routine, so that it falls under this category.
It’s critical to set up an exercise program that allows you to regain your physical ability after surgery but keeps within your implant’s limits. Staying active is key in keeping your joints healthy and preventing blood clots from forming.
Your physical therapist can craft a personalized exercise plan that includes stretching, strengthening, and flexibility exercises. Over time, you can add new exercises depending on your rehabilitation needs.
Knee Experts in Farmington Hills, Michigan
Knee replacement surgery requires continuous care from well-trained and compassionate providers. After the procedure, you will have to return for a follow-up visit after 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and once a year. Guiding you to get used to your new knee and helping you get back to your everyday routine is a critical task that you should rely on experts for.
Trust in our team at Tri Country Orthopedics at Farmington Hills to guide you through every stage of recovery. Our board-certified surgeons specialize in treating joint problems through state-of-the-art surgical methods and nonsurgical treatments, including physical therapy.
To schedule an appointment, call (248) 474-5575 or fill out our online form. We look forward to helping you return to your favorite sport safely.