Things You Must Avoid After Knee Replacement Surgery

Have you undergone knee replacement surgery recently? Or researching about the procedure before getting it done? Having the correct information about this surgical procedure will help you make well-informed decisions about the recovery process and get back to the routine smoothly.

Once you know the things to avoid soon after the knee replacement, you can make sure your knee recovers or heals faster for better results. In the following guide, we discuss a few essential activities that you need to avoid after knee replacement surgery.

Movements and Exercises to Avoid After Knee Replacement Surgery 

Knee replacement surgery in India aims to enable patients to return to their routine activities without bearing any pain. While it’s tempting to get back to your everyday routine as soon as possible, you need to avoid specific movements and exercises for a better and smooth recovery.

Avoid Activities with Great Risk of Falling

Soon after knee replacement, there is a loss of movement, strength and balance that leads to a higher risk of falling. But a fall can hurt the prosthesis during the healing process.

According to a study conducted in 2018, around 17.2% of around 134 people with knee replacement surgery fell within six months of the operation. Around two-thirds of those falls were due to walking.

Here are some lifestyle changes to make to avoid the risk of falling: 

  • Using a shower chair or rubber mat while bathing 
  • Using handrail when climbing up/down the staircase
  • Keeping the flooring free from slippery rugs, stray toys and other objects that may lead to a tripping hazard

Prolonged Sitting that May Lead to Lower Back Pain

The prolonged sitting soon after knee replacement surgery also elevates the risk of forming a blood clot, especially within the first two weeks of surgery. Long sittings may even block fluid drainage in the leg and lower back, making swelling worse.

After the 7 to 10 days of knee replacement surgery, make sure not to continually sit for over 45 to 60 minutes. If sitting is necessary for long hours, keep the leg on a chair to minimize swelling.

Avoid Picking Heavy Objects Soon After Surgery

After knee replacement surgery, many people often use crutches, walkers or other assistive devices. Many surgeons may encourage weight-bearing and get in/out of bed on your own. But they also suggest avoiding picking heavy objects for the first few days.

You must even avoid using stairs unless it’s with the assistance of a physical therapist or surgeon. When climbing stairs, it’s best to lead the leg that didn’t have surgery, as it makes climbing and descending stairs easier.

Running and Jumping

The knee joint faces three times more force and exertion while running and jumping. So, performing these activities when you are recovering from your knee replacement surgery can delay your healing and lead to prosthesis damage. Surgeons often discourage their patients from participating in rigorous activities like running and jumping unless they fully recover.

High-impact Sports or Changing Directions Quickly

When recovering from knee replacement surgery, avoid participating in high-impact sports, which can suddenly lead to jerking or twisting the knee joint.

Some examples include:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Skiing
  • Rugby
  • Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Gymnastics

On the other hand, low-impact sports, such as swimming, golf and cycling, are perfect for staying active after the surgery. There will be fewer chances of sudden jerk or twist in the knee joint during these light activities.

Kneeling

Around 60-80% of people couldn’t kneel soon after the replacement of their knee. While there is no clinical evidence to prove that kneeling shortens prosthesis’ life, if it feels uncomfortable, you must avoid kneeling.

Dangers of Performing Certain Exercises Soon After the Surgery

When you perform intense exercises and movements, it can increase the risk of fracturing or loosening the bones surrounding the implant. Pushing can also cause or increase swelling and pain around the knee. Meanwhile, it slows down the rehabilitation procedure while making it hard to exercise.

Here are specific symptoms that show pushing too hard can trigger particular problems:

  • Swelling on lower leg or knee
  • Increased pain
  • Warmth around the knee

If you notice any of these symptoms, stay away from such activities and keep icing the knee for 15-20 minutes. If any of these symptoms persist, you need to contact your healthcare provider for further assistance.

Conclusion

While exercising after knee replacement surgery is essential, you need to avoid some activities and movements. The activities with a significant risk of falling can twist the knee, which is quite dangerous. If you are not sure which activity is unsafe and which one is good for you, you must consult your healthcare provider to get suitable suggestions for a faster recovery.