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Having a Knee Replacement

Activities and sports

Some activities and sports are harder on your knees than others. Talk to your surgeon about when you can start doing the ones you enjoy.

As a guideline, walk every day. Start by taking short walks often. Walk a bit farther a little at a time. Be careful not to overdo it or fall and injure your knee.

Your new knee may feel stiff, especially when you do activities or sports where you have to bend your knee. How much knee movement you have often has to do with how much stiffness you had before surgery.

One of the goals of surgery is to give your knee a better range of movement and help it feel less stiff.

The first 3 months after surgery

You may notice a click in your operated knee or feel numb on the outside of your knee. Clicking and numbness are common for several months after surgery. They usually go away over time. Tell your healthcare team if the clicking hurts.

Good activities for the first 3 months after surgery are:

After 3 months

If you’re feeling ready 3 months after surgery, you might try some of the following activities you enjoy:

  • swimming and other pool exercises (without twisting motions such as a whip kick)
  • low-impact fitness exercises with no jumping, twisting, quick starts or stops, or other movements that put sudden force on your knee
  • walking on a treadmill
  • golfing, dancing, or hiking within your limits
  • riding a bike (The seat and handlebars should be high enough for comfort.)
  • gardening (Use raised beds or long-handled tools for ease and comfort.)

Activities to avoid

Talk to your surgeon about any sports or other activities that involve:

  • lifting and pushing heavy objects (25 lbs. or 11 kg)
  • jumping, twisting, quick starts or stops, or other movements that put sudden force on your knee
  • physical contact (such as contact sports like hockey or football)​​

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