A frequently asked question is: What can I do after my hip or knee is replaced? The standard answer from orthopedic surgeons is to avoid high impact activities such as running or jumping. More specifically, we try to encourage activities such as walking, hiking, bike riding, and swimming. Moderate impact sports such as doubles tennis, cross-country skiing, or down hill skiing for the good to excellent skier while avoiding moguls can also be performed. Patients must realize that we can give guidelines but in the end, it is the patient’s decision when weighing the risk of higher impact activity against the desire for longevity of function with an artificial joint. Quality of life issues play a role when considering if you should participate with your child in soccer practice or other activities. Our role as orthopedic surgeons is to counsel patients on how to make the most out of their joint replacement. In the end, it is the decision that each patient will make for themselves regarding their activity level and frequency of various activities.
William P. Barrett, M.D.