Immediate activity after total knee replacement includes moderate walking with the assistance of a walker under hospital staff supervision. Physical therapy is included in the initial activity regime in order to introduce range of motion to the new joint.
Home exercise includes walking from room to room, getting in and out of a chair and eventually walking outdoors. Some patients require more assistance than others. Eventually activity will increase until the patient is ready for normal activity.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons lists activity after total knee replacement in three categories. Expected activity includes walking, driving, golf, light hiking, stair climbing, ballroom dancing and biking. Most patients can follow these activities shortly after surgery.
Activity that exceeds the recommended level is usually the type of activity that the patient did before surgery such as tennis, aerobics, lifting over 50 pounds and hiking. Patients that perform these types of activities can risk injury of the new knee replacement and other joints. The body tells people when to slow down but some think it is just another challenge on their road to fitness. It is important to listen to the body.
Dangerous activities include jumping sports like basketball, jogging, running and contact sports.
Patients are advised to follow the normal activity recommendations set by their doctor. Excessive abuse on the prosthesis can cause it to wear down and become loose, leading to injury and another joint replacement.