Long-term Knee Replacement Rehabilitation

Most patients have less pain and better mobility after joint replacement surgery. Your physical therapist will work with you to help keep your new joint healthy for as long as possible. This may mean adjusting your activity choices to avoid putting too much strain on your joint. You may need to consider alternate work activities to avoid the heavy demands of lifting, crawling and climbing.

More extreme sports that require running, jumping, quick stopping or starting and cutting are discouraged. More low impact exercises such as cycling, swimming, golfing, bowling and level walking are often encouraged.

What to Expect When You’re Fully Recovered

Surgery Long-Term RecoveryWhen fully recovered, most patients can expect to return to work — unless your type of work is not advisable for people with artificial joints. Examples of these include construction work, certain types of carpentry, and occupations that involve repeated high climbing or lifting. You should discuss your situation with your doctor.

You may also be advised to avoid certain activities, including some athletics, as they may place excessive stress your new joint.

Examples of these activities include:

After joint replacement, a good rule of thumb is that acceptable physical activities should:

The success of your joint replacement will strongly depend on how well you follow your orthopaedic surgeon’s instructions. As time passes, you should experience a dramatic reduction in joint pain and a significant improvement in your ability to participate in daily activities. Remember, however, that joint replacement surgery will not allow you to do more than you could before you developed your joint problems.

It’s important to have realistic expectations. For example, artificial joints have limitations: