Can I train after a knee joint replacement? The short answer is yes. Exercise is an essential component of a healthy and rewarding life. Still, with the onset of degenerative knee disease, such as osteoarthritis, many patients worry that they must compromise their future activities. The surgeons at Clinique Duval aim to give patients back the pleasure of a “forgotten joint”. For this reason, our surgeons use specific and unique knee replacement prostheses and surgical techniques. Implants with cementless fixation offer biological fixation with bone and have the potential to withstand recreational activities better. The personalized surgical technique practiced by Clinique Duval surgeons aims to reproduce the individual anatomy and function of a healthy knee. This practice is still not widely used by Canadian orthopedic surgeons, but the surgeons at Clinique Duval are experts in the field.
With our optimized recovery protocol, many patients leave the clinic using only a cane as a walking aid. You’ll continue to perform exercises at home – slowly but surely, moving from strengthening your walking ability to resuming daily activities and sports. A stationary bike will be incorporated into your routine three weeks after surgery. The duration and intensity of exercise will increase slowly but steadily. Patients should try gentle swimming and water walking if the wound is appropriately closed.
For the first six weeks after your surgery, you should not run, jump, or lift more than 10 kg.
For most patients, the physiotherapy recovery process is complete after two months. From that point on, we encourage our clients to continue an active lifestyle and participate in exercises of their choice. Although there are no activity restrictions when using a knee prosthesis, we suggest avoiding extreme exercise (yoga with extreme positions, activities that put you at risk for falls or injury, sports with pivots and sudden stops, and sports involving running). These extreme activities or positions should be avoided:
Kneeling on your operated knee is allowed and safe for a short period, i.e. a few minutes. Squatting is not possible with a knee prosthesis. For most people, an artificial knee does not provide the function and sensation of a healthy natural knee. The range of motion and stability of the replaced knee is rarely that of a healthy knee.
Low-impact activities are especially encouraged, such as walking, social dancing, cycling, doubles tennis, gardening, bowling, cross-country skiing, easy downhill skiing and golf. When training indoors, focus on lifting loads you can do more than 20 times. These activities should be resumed gradually, respecting your healing rhythm. A joint replacement requires 6-12 months to mature and consolidate. Patience and moderation are necessary to ensure that your new joint will provide you with a quality of life that will last for several decades.
The Duval Clinic team wishes you active health.