Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopedics Florence
Pain and limited movement caused by osteoarthritis in a knee or hip can limit life in many ways – intimacy with your spouse or partner is just one of those ways.
“A question many patients certainly think about, but rarely ask, relates to the impact that total joint replacement will have on their sex life,” says McLeod orthopedic specialists Rodney Alan, MD. “In short, the good news is that activity level improves in all facets of life after successful joint replacement surgery. This includes intimacy with your partner. Successful joint replacement surgery decreases pain, which ultimately leads to increased satisfaction for all activities.”
There are very few studies specifically examining sexual activity after joint replacement. Improved libido and stamina following joint replacement surgery has been reported, but ultimately desire and stamina are more likely to be affected by co-existing medical conditions that are common among aging patients.
SAFETY & HEALTH
The most important concern regarding sexual activity after joint replacement is safety and health. Studies have used motion capture technology to determine the safest positions for intimacy after hip replacement.
Physical intimacy for women involves a wide range of hip movement including flexion, abduction, and external rotation. Generally, positions for men require less mobility.
Follow these general guidelines:
Although intimacy after joint replacement is an important issue, an academic literature study could only find three educational articles, eight research articles and one review related to this particular topic. Talk with your orthopedic surgeon if you have any questions on this topic. He or she is trained to deal with these questions without making you feel embarrassed.
You may also find these articles helpful:
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Sources include: McLeod Health, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Journal of Arthroplasty, Sexual Medicine (Meiri, Rosenbaum, Kalichman)