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Can You Ski After Knee Replacement

How Long Will It Be Before I Feel Normal

Can I Ski After a Knee Replacement? | Obi O. Adigweme, M.D.

You should be able to stop using your crutches or walking frame and resume normal leisure activities 6 weeks after surgery. However, it may take up to 3 months for pain and swelling to settle down. It can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear.

Your new knee will continue to recover for up to 2 years after your operation. During this time, scar tissue will heal and muscles can be restored by exercise.

Even after you have recovered, itâs best to avoid extreme movements or sports where thereâs a risk of falling, such as skiing or mountain biking. Your doctor or a physiotherapist can advise you.

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Robotic Knee Surgery Disadvantages

As it is with any medical procedure there are problems with robotic knee surgery. These include

  • The robotic machine is a current piece of equipment and thus there are only primitive substantiations to exhibit increased presentation. All of the implants that are in situ, however, have been certified.
  • The robotic machine can only be as precise as the information that it is given, this particularly covers the caliber of the computed tomography scans and the knowledge base and skill set of the staff operating the machine. Thus, appropriate training must also be implemented and utilized.
  • The period of time that the operation will take is more extended than that of a conventional knee replacement, thus hypothetically subjecting the individuals to an increased risk of contagions.

Looking After Your New Knee

  • continue to take any prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatories to help manage any pain and swelling
  • use your walking aids but aim to gradually decrease the amount you rely on them as your leg feels stronger
  • keep up your exercises to help prevent stiffness, but do not force your knee
  • do not sit with your legs crossed for the first 6 weeks after your operation
  • do not put a pillow underneath your knee when sleeping as this can result in a permanently bent knee
  • avoid twisting at your knee
  • wear supportive shoes outdoors
  • do not kneel on your operated knee until your surgeon says you can
  • raise your leg when sitting and apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for 20 minutes every 3 or 4 hours to reduce any swelling

Page last reviewed: 02 August 2019 Next review due: 02 August 2022

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Skiing After A Knee Replacement

As with running and jogging, skiing is generally not recommended for those who have had knee replacement surgery or any other form of joint replacement for that matter!

Joint injuries are commonplace on ski slopes and you are at risk of doing your new replacement knee serious damage if you do start skiing again.

Again, you can start skiing at your own risk however, some insurers may not be able to provide you with sufficient level of winter sports travel insurance cover for a ski trip once you declare that fact that you have had a knee replacement.


Life After Knee Replacement: Some Sports Are Best Avoided

Skiing After a Total Knee Replacement  What You Need to ...

“Patients should alternate activities such as power walking and cycling, which place less stress and pressure on the knee, and they should avoid high-stress endurance sports such as jogging and sports involving running,” lead author Markus S. Kuster, MD, PhD, tells WebMD. Kuster is an orthopaedic surgeon at the Clinik Für Orthopädische Chirurgie, Kantonsspital, in Gallen, Switzerland.

Kuster also advises staying away from downhill mountain hiking or “at least using ski poles and avoiding heavy backpacks.” Mountain hiking involves ascending and descending steep trails, and walking uphill has been shown to produce minimal force on the knee. But, when Kuster and his researchers recorded the stress placed on knees during downhill walking, they found it to be quite high. For downhill hikes after total knee replacement surgery, they suggest walking slowly to reduce the burden on the knee joint. Their research was published in the April issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

According to experts, one of the reasons that more knee replacements are being performed today than ever before is that physicians have found it’s much better to intervene early rather than late. “In the past, the doctor typically would not operate until the person had a foot in the grave,” Jerry L. Cochran, MD, FACS, tells WebMD.

Cochran’s advice to prevent the need for hip or knee replacement is to “avoid the extremes of any sport. Hips and knees were meant to bend, but don’t overdo it.”

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Its Not My Knee Replacement That Is The Problem It Is My Other Knee Expanding On The Other Knee Problem

In Australia, doctors at the University of Wollongong, examining why patients who should be able to kneel after knee replacement, did not kneel, wrote in the Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology , about the problems of the other, non-replaced knee.

Here is what they found:

  • Seventy-two percent of patients in this study could, or thought they could kneel at 12 months post knee replacement
  • However, some did not because of the pain and discomfort they felt during kneeling.
  • BUT, it was not the pain and discomfort in the replaced knee, 75 % of the patients in this study had other health concerns why they could not kneel including obesity, other health problems, but the number one reason was problems with the other knee.

What Is A Knee Replacement

The knee is a complex joint made up of three compartments: medial , lateral and patellofemoral . Within these compartments are three bones: the femur , patella , and tibia . Over time, the stress placed on the knees by sports, injury and general activity causes the cartilage to wear away, leaving the bones to rub against each other. The result is pain and stiffness, which can become debilitating over time and lead to a significant decrease in quality of life.

The goal of knee replacement is to restore function in the knee and alleviate discomfort, Dr. Assini explains. Depending on the specifics of the patients needs, we may perform a total replacement or a partial replacement, both of which can be done with minimally invasive techniques.

During a partial knee replacement, only one component of the knee is resurfaced. Often, the medial compartment is most affected by wear-and-tear. So, if the remaining compartments of the knee are healthy, only this component will be replaced. When all three compartments are damaged, a total knee replacement is performed. The damaged cartilage is removed, and the implants are placed to restore the knees anatomy. With either a partial or total knee replacement, the goal is a well-aligned, stable and pain-free joint.

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Knee Experts In Farmington Hills Michigan

Knee replacement surgery requires continuous care from well-trained and compassionate providers. After the procedure, you will have to return for a follow-up visit after 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and once a year. Guiding you to get used to your new knee and helping you get back to your everyday routine is a critical task that you should rely on experts for.

Trust in our team at Tri Country Orthopedics at Farmington Hills to guide you through every stage of recovery. Our board-certified surgeons specialize in treating joint problems through state-of-the-art surgical methods and nonsurgical treatments, including physical therapy.

To schedule an appointment, call 474-5575 or fill out our online form. We look forward to helping you return to your favorite sport safely.

Additional Tips For People Flying After Tkr

“From Surgery to the Slopes” Snowboarding after a Total Knee Replacement
  • Give yourself plenty of time to heal if you are planning a trip after TKR. Unfortunately, I planned my trip long before I made the decision to have TKR surgery.
  • Take advantage of the early boarding group to ensure you have a comfortable seat. Know where you want to sit before boarding the plane.
  • Sitting in the front of the aircraft also means you will one of the first to exit the aircraft and you can avoid standing in the aisle or sitting in your seat waiting your turn to leave.

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Reply To ‘is It Possible To Ski After A Knee Replacement’ Posted Aug

Dids1 wrote:So there’s hope… Thanks for your replies and I’ll send Pavel a message too. My husband does a lot of cycling so has a lot of muscle in his legs which has probably got him through many ski holidays to date. Cycling has been great for his general fitness and well being, but anything high impact such as football and skiing just cause it to swell. A few years ago he had a cartilage op which he feels was not entirely successful and he also has a cyst on the back of his knee which swells too. He also has arthritis in it…

I Thought I Would Be Able To Kneel After Knee Replacement I Cant An Expectation Of The Total Knee Replacement To Improve Patients Ability To Kneel Was Associated With Lower Odds Of Satisfaction

Lets remind ourselves here that many people have very successful knee replacement surgeries and they can function better afterward. These are not the patients we see. We see the patient who had an over expectation of what their knee replacement could do for them and then they found out, the knee replacement could not help them do all the things they thought it could.

Lead by researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary, a 2021 study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology assessed the relationship between patients expectations for total knee replacement and satisfaction with surgical outcome.

What the researchers did was look at patients who received total knee replacement surgeries and then they gave questionnaires that measured depression scale, body mass index , comorbidities , and prior joint replacement), at 1-year post- total knee replacement to assess overall satisfaction with total knee replacement results.

The researchers then divided up responses to see what the patients considered important factors in their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the knee replacement.

Here is what 1,266 patients who had a knee replacement had to say:

  • 74.7% of patients were very satisfied,
  • 17.1% were somewhat satisfied,
  • and 8.2% were dissatisfied.

An expectation of the total knee replacement to improve patients ability to kneel was associated with lower odds of satisfaction

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How Long Before I Can Fly After A Knee Replacement

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Factors To Consider Before Your First Ski

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Now you are done with your rehabilitation and are geared up for the upcoming skiing season. But you will have to accept the fact that for quite some time you cannot hop back on the slopes as you did before.

Initially, you will have to be more selective about the terrain you ski on and the days you choose. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you slide down those lofty slopes:

1. Begin each day of skiing with an easy run and check in with your knees.

2. Check the snow conditions. It is best to start with soft snow to ease your new knee into skiing and reduce the extent of the injuries from the falls.

3. Have the ski boot fastened in a looser setting so that your leg does not feel too cramped.

4. Look for groomed snow and avoid moguls or bumps. A groomed surface is created by running a snow-groomer vehicle down the slopes and packing all the snow down to make it tight and compressed. It is easier to ski on these surfaces.

5. Keep to green runs initially and then start blue runs .

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When Can I Swim Or Do Hydrotherapy

Patients can proceed with hydrotherapy 4 weeks after surgery if they meet the following criteria:

  • Wound is clean and dry with no scabs, drainage or blisters
  • Wound is reviewed by rehabilitation physician prior to doing hydrotherapy.

Please contact the office if you are at all concerned about participating in hydrotherapy.

Rehabilitation Program For Skiers After Knee Surgery

Skiing is a strenuous sport that puts a lot of pressure on the knee joints. Therefore, all ski enthusiasts who want to get back to this adventure sport must complete mandatory physiotherapy rehabilitation and focus on strengthening the knee joint.

The tissues need a minimum of 3-6 months to heal before handling the demands of downhill skiing. Physical therapy starts about a week after the surgery and involves increasing the range of motion and strengthening the knee.

Here is a routine all skiers must follow to get back to their favorite sport.

1. In the first week, you need to ice, rest, and elevate the knee as much as possible to reduce the swelling. During this time, it is recommended that you work on those quad muscle shrinking, and straight legs raises. Add to this a couple of exercises for increasing your coverage of motion, like bending and stretching both knees.

2. Add to this a couple of exercises for increasing your range of motion, like bending and extending both knees.

3. In the first 2-3 weeks, the wound heals. The healing focuses on edema management, which entails reducing the swelling caused by fluid trapped in tissues and range of motion. The main aim in this period is to progress from walking with a walker to a cane.

6. The primary tissue maturation happens over the next 3-6 months. So after three months, you should continue with strength and balance exercises with plyometrics and ski-specific training. You could begin with-

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Are Winter Sports Okay After Joint Replacement Surgery

January 19, 2021 by Herman Botero, MD

Winters provides us with the unique opportunity to partake in some great winter sports, like ice skating on a frozen pond or downhill skiing. And while you may not have been able to do these things because of hip or knee pain prior to your joint replacement operation, you may be wondering if you can get back to doing some of the activities you love after your joint replacement. We explain which winter activities you can partake in and which ones should still be avoided after hip or knee replacement surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

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Flying After A Hip Replacement

If you have recently had a hip replacement, some people may be fine and safe to travel on short-haul flights as early as one week after your surgery. However, if you are planning to take a long-haul flight, it is recommended that you wait until at least 3 months after the surgery. This is because these longer flights can restrict blood flow due to lack of movement, increase the discomfort from your surgery which can delay and disrupt the healing. You general health may also be affected, such as dehydration from plane cabins, which in turn may hinder your healing process. If you are outside these time frames, it is still recommended that you check with your doctor before travelling to ensure you have the go-ahead from a medical professional. You may also benefit from contacting the airport and airline when you do decide to travel, to see what mobility assistance you can obtain.

Does Just Looking At Our Ski Editor Bing Sending It In Chamonix

It’s been over three years since we last talked about skiing and snowboarding ACL injuries with top consultant orthopaedic surgeon, James Lewis. So what has changed and what is the prognosis for skiers and snowboarders with knee pain and injury including knee replacements?

What are the most significant advances in surgery and treatments for ACL injuries in the past three years?

As always medicine advances in leaps. The biggest are an increasing interest and availability of repair – this is stitching the torn cruciate ligament back, and supporting it while it heals. This is repair, rather than the common removal of torn ends and substitution.

We have a greater understanding of which sub-types this works best for – ideally when the anterior cruciate ligament has torn of the femur rather than in the middle of the ligament. The key advantage is a much quicker recovery, there is nothing removed and seemingly better results – in part because the original stretch receptors are retained. Additional no ‘graft’ is required from elsewhere.

The second is a widespread adoption of a lateral extra-articular tenodesis – this takes an extra 10 minutes and uses part of the iliotibial band. It functions a little like a seat belt in that if the newly reconstructed knee is about to rotate leading to re-rupture it prevents the excursion. Simply put it reduces the risk of re-rupture from about 6-7 percent down to 1 percent.

How long between injury and surgery, on average?

Still living the dream.

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Can You Go Skiing After A Knee Or Hip Replacement

Hip and knee replacement surgery can be life-changing for those who are suffering from deteriorating joints. The pain and limited mobility are likely to have been holding you back from many things that you enjoy, and the operation can restore a great deal of this back again. For some patients, just walking around again, being able to go up and down stairs or undertaking gentle exercise is rewarding enough, whereas others may wish to return to much more strenuous leisure pursuits.

Skiing is one of these pursuits that we discuss with a number of our patients. For those who have enjoyed winter ski holidays for many years, they can worry that needing a hip or knee replacement might signal the end of this pastime. Encouragingly, this is not often the case.

Whether or not you can ski after a knee or hip replacement largely depends on your level of competency before you had your operation. If you were already a competent skier then there is no reason why, in time, you can return to skiing again. If you are a complete beginner, then it is really advisable to choose a different hobby to learn. Learning to ski after you have had a hip or knee replacement is not a very sensible choice as all novice skiers take their fair share of bumps, falls, knocks and jolts none of which are ideal for a replacement joint.


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