After a joint replacement, you may want to return to the activities you love right away. However, your new joint may not be ready to handle that level of stress quite yet. Here’s what you can expect from your return to sport following a joint replacement:
Both hip replacements and knee replacements typically call for low impact activities post-operation. During the first six weeks after your joint replacement, your focus should be on building strength, balance, and walking without help. After the first six weeks, your goals will shift toward returning to daily activities. At this point, if your recovery is going smoothly, your doctor may clear you for normal function.
Everyone rehabilitates at a different pace, so it is important to listen to your body and not push before you’re ready.
Returning to Sports
Hip and knee replacements typically require 3-6 months of recovery prior to returning to athletics, although, it can take up to a year to fully heal. We recommend easing back into a fitness routine and avoiding high impact sports. Generally, sports such as swimming, doubles tennis, and golf are acceptable. Don’t be discouraged if you are experiencing difficulties returning to sport; instead, give yourself some extra time.
Before returning to sports, it is important to understand your body’s limitations. Any sport or activity that you could not physically perform prior to your replacement should be avoided. That said, you should be able to return to lower impact activities. If you are suffering from aches and occasional pain, stop activities immediately and contact your physician.
Low and High Impact Sports
Low impact sports are a great way to stay healthy and keep your joint in shape. Consult your doctor before returning to sport, so you can keep your joint healthy for years to come! Here are a few low impact activities your doctor may recommend:
- Gentle aerobics-style calisthenics
- Low-resistance weightlifting
While low impact sports can keep your joint healthy, high impact sports can cause harm to your new joint. Consult your doctor before performing any high impact activities. Your doctor may advise against these activities:
- High-impact aerobics
Regaining the strength and mobility following your joint replacement takes time. You will find that certain sports will be easier on your new joint than others. You should keep this in mind when discussing your situation with your doctor.
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