Tag Archives: joint replacement

Didn’t the bionic man run?

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=hang+glide&iid=184215″ src=”0180/28acefb5-5b41-4526-be46-4810a69a9645.jpg?adImageId=11353302&imageId=184215″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]A story about playing sports after knee replacement came this week in one of my daily medical news emails. You can read the MedPage Today article here.  I send a lot of patients to the Orthopaedic surgeons for joint replacements. Unless there is something else I see them for, sometimes they don’t need a Rheumatologist anymore and don’t come back, so I don’t know how they’re doing. A fair amount do come back, though, for their RA or OA of other joints, and we talk about life after knee replacement. According to the article, here are the accepted and discouraged post-replacement activities:

Encouraged activities include bowling, croquet, golf, doubles tennis, table tennis, ballroom dancing, square dancing, stationary biking, swimming, low-resistance rowing, walking, hiking, and low-resistant weight lifting.

Discouraged activities include baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, high-impact aerobics, gymnastics, jogging, power lifting, rock climbing, hang gliding, and parachuting.

I think we have to first decide if we’re talking about an elite athlete or just an every day person trying to remain fit and active. Not many of my patients wanted to rock climb or hang glide BEFORE their surgery, let alone after. I have a hard enough time trying to convince people with arthritis that they CAN and SHOULD exercise (check out my prior post on exercise resolutions). Sports medicine doctors are probably seeing a different patient population than I am. I also found this interesting:

The revision rate for mechanical failure of the implant was lower in the patients who participated in high-impact sports (8.5% versus 11%), although the difference was not statistically significant.

How can I use this information in my practice? Well, if it seems to be OK for super athletic patients to get out there and occasionally do high-impact exercise after joint replacement, then us average Joes and Janes can certainly keep up a healthy low to moderate intensity workout post surgery. Good news!