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Taking care of your new knee joint

Knee arthroplasty - precautions; Knee replacement - precautions

I Would Like to Learn About:

What to Expect at Home

After you have knee replacement surgery, you will need to be careful about how you move your knee, especially for the first few months after surgery.

In time, you should be able to return to your previous level of activity. But even then, you will need to move carefully so that you do not injure your new knee replacement. Be sure to get your home ready for when you return, so you can move more easily and prevent falls.

Getting Dressed

When you are getting dressed:

Sitting

When you are sitting:

Bathing and Showering

When you are bathing or showering:

Using Stairs

When you are using the stairs:

Lying Down

When you are lying down:

Getting Into and Riding in a car

When getting into a car:

When riding in a car:

When getting out of the car:

Ask your health care provider when you can drive. You may need to wait up to 4 weeks after surgery. Do not drive until your provider says it is OK.

Walking

When you are walking:

Activities you Cannot do After Full Recovery

You shouldn't downhill ski or play contact sports such as football and soccer. In general, avoid sports that require jerking, twisting, pulling, or running. You should be able to do lower-impact activities, such as hiking, gardening, swimming, playing tennis, and golfing.

Other directions you will always need to follow include:

References

Hui C, Thompson SR, Giffin JR. Knee arthritis. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, Drez, & Miller's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 104.

Mihalko WM. Arthroplasty of the knee. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 7.

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Review Date: 7/28/2021  

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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