Medically Reviewed by Rodney K. Alan, MD
As more and more younger people are having knee and hip joint replacements, they want to know when they can return to work. And no matter what age the total joint replacement recipient, they’ll want to know when they can resume recreation. McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Rodney Alan, MD, discusses research on when and what you can do after your procedure:
Here are highlights of Dr. Alan’s comments:
Do patients return to work after total knee replacement? An article published in a major journal looked at that question by reviewing all the existing research and literature.
In this review, 79 percent of their patients were working within 3 months before their joint replacement surgery. It would be higher, but most joint replacement patients are older and retired by the time they were having total joint replacement surgery.
Of those 79 percent, 98 percent of those patients returned to work after their joint replacement. So if we can’t work with you to get you back to work, we are in the bottom 2 percent — not something we want. As an Orthopedic Surgeon and a doctor, we don’t want to be in the bottom 2 percent.
Of the 98 percent who returned to work, the majority of patients return to their regular jobs (91 percent). 96 percent were still working a year later. And at their final follow-up visit, 85 percent were still working.
Yes, you can still work. Even for work that’s classified as “very heavy physical demand jobs,” 91 percent of patients returned to their job.
We want to help you get back to work and doing all your activities. The average time to return to work is 9 weeks. If you’re really motivated and you have a desk-type job, you can get back earlier. If you have a very heavy demanding job, it might be a little longer.
Another article lists the acceptable and unacceptable recreational activities.
In the case of Hip Replacement, acceptable activities include golf, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, doubles tennis, low impact aerobics, stair climber, dancing, walking, rowing, hiking, weights, treadmill walking, bowling, skiing.
Experienced people can undertake weightlifting, more advanced skiing, ice skating, and Pilates.
Activities not recommended include singles tennis, jogging, running, snow boarding, contact sports, baseball, high impact aerobics, martial arts, water skiing and handball.
With Knee Replacements, acceptable activities include low impact recreation, such as golf, dancing, swimming and walking.
Experienced people can undertake double tennis, which is something you can do you whole life.
Activities not recommended include contact sports, running, singles tennis, baseball, softball, and martial arts.