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How Long After Knee Replacement Can You Fly

The Unexplained Noises My Knee Is Making

When Can I Fly After Total Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery

This is something we typically hear in a post-knee replacement patient who is having some challenges.

I started to become concerned when I noticed a clunking and clicking sound coming from my knee. Like metal on metal. My doctor told me that this was no concern, some people who get knee replacements have these old car, sounds come from their knee. Not to worry. My doctor did advise me that the sounds if they continued could be caused by weakened muscles and tendons in my knees and I should consider an exercise program to tighten them up.

I did ask if the knee implant was coming loose. My doctor said, if it were, I would not be able to walk up and down stairs or even put weight on that foot. I would have a lot of swelling and I would feel like my knee may give out. I looked at the doctor and said, BUT I DO HAVE THOSE SYMPTOMS, Yes you do, the doctor said, but it is not from implant loosening. You probably just need to strengthen that knee up.

What Cant You Do After A Hip Replacement

Its advised that you do not ignore the advice of your surgeon and/or physiotherapist.

The;NHS states;that in order to look after your new hip in the best possible way you must:

  • Avoid bending your hip at a right angle where possible.
  • Avoid any activities that require a twisting motion.
  • Avoid swivelling on the balls of your feet.
  • Avoid laying on the side of the wound or applying any sort of pressure to it in the hours and days following surgery.
  • Avoid crossing your legs over one another.
  • Avoid low chairs and toilet seats .
  • Avoid activity in the aftermath of surgery and avoid high-impact sports altogether.

Hip replacement surgery recovery time for partaking in different activities varies but the table below summarises this in a simpler format for you.


Swimming after hip replacement surgery

As soon as the wound heals .

Skiing after hip replacement surgery

Not recommended see above section.

Flying after hip replacement surgery

3 months after surgery.

Recently Had A Hip Or Knee Replacement

Having replacement hip or knee surgery shouldnt stop you from going back to living your normal life.

This includes all the things youd usually do in your day-to-day routine, from just walking, climbing the stairs and being able to drive, to the more advanced and exciting stuff.

A hip or knee replacement shouldnt put you off booking holidays and travelling. But, regardless of what you plan to do post-surgery, you should always consult your doctor and listen to their advice before you go back to your usual active routine that you had before surgery.

Sometimes youll need to make some tweaks to your daily routine. A knee or hip replacement can be a complex operation, so you need to give your body a fair amount to time to make a sufficient recovery.

Read Also: Which Knee Brace To Buy

Walking After A Hip Replacement

Walking after hip replacement surgery is a process in itself.;If you have an enhanced recovery programme then you can be up and walking within hours of having surgery, but this varies from person to person and usually depends on how well you feel. However, when you first start walking you should expect to feel a certain degree of pain and discomfort.

The NHS suggests that your general fitness and well-being, including your ability to stand up and walk to a certain extent, plays a part in how soon you can be discharged from hospital.

When youre discharged and recovering at home, its important to take each day at a time and build yourself up in terms of walking short distances.

If you are a keen hiker, or someone who regularly walks longer distances whilst on holiday, you should get some advice from your physiotherapist on the best way to get back on those hills, everyone is different so its best to talk to them to see which is the best way for your to recover. If walking or hiking is a part of your travel plans, remember that you shouldnt fly until at least three months post-surgery. But the good news is that this is a great time to enable yourself to recover before enhancing your own mobility.

Summary Of This Video: A Patient With Back Pain And Clicking In The Knee

Flying After Knee Replacement Surgery

The patient in this video came into our office for low back pain. I did a straight leg raise test, on this patient to help determine if his back pain was coming from a herniated disc. During the test I noticed a clicking sound coming from his knee. The patient had a knee replacement. It is very common for us to see patients after knee replacement who have these clicking sounds coming from knee instability. This is not an instability from hardware failure. The hardware may be perfectly placed in the knee. It is instability from the outer knee where the surviving ligaments are. I believe that this is why up to one-third of patients continue to have pain after knee replacement.

Recommended Reading: Whats Good For Arthritis In The Knee

Also Check: How Much Is Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Surgery And Clotting Complications

A very long flight prior to surgery can increase the probability of complications for patients undergoing hip and knee replacements when preventive measures are neglected.

In orthopedic surgery, the cutting of bones prompts the body to respond by revving up its clotting system, a response that mirrors its reaction to a bodily injury. Due to the size of the bones involved in hip and knee replacements, there is a higher risk of blood clotting than other orthopedic surgeries. Dr. Bass also adds that in patients with hip fracture, the risk is further increased because of the immobilization of patients prior to surgery.

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.

Also Check: What Are Gel Injections For The Knee

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

When Can I Go On A Cruise After Knee Replacement Surgery

Up and Down the Stairs After Knee Replacement

I had a few dates in mind but I still had to ask my doctor when I could go on a cruise after knee replacement surgery .; After talking with the doctor as well as friends who went through TKR surgery, I felt confident Id not only be able to go on the cruise, but Id be able to enjoy it.

Recovery will differ for each person, but my cruising experience should help you as you plan the timing of your surgery.

Also Check: How Long To Recover From Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

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.

How Long Before I Can Fly After A Knee Replacement

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Knock Knees

Why Does My Knee Replacement Hurt So Much At Night

At the same time, your activity level has likely increased due to the demands of your ReHab program. This can cause even more physical pain that can spike during bedtime. Narcotic Pain Medications: It seems there are several vicious cycles youre a part of when it comes to joint replacement recovery and sleep.

Skiing After A Knee Replacement

Can You Run With a Knee Replacement? [Get Answer Here]

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.


Skiing after knee replacement surgery

Not recommended see above section.

Flying after knee replacement surgery

As soon as you are able to sit comfortably with the knee bent usually 3-4 weeks after surgery.

Read Also: How To Relieve Pain From Twisted Knee

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.

Flying After Catorid Artery Surgery

Cartorid artery surgery is a procedure to remove fatty deposits that have caused a narrowing of the cartorid artery with the intention of reducing the risk of stroke. Patients may find it takes up to four weeks to recover fully from the surgery. There are currently no known cases of flying causing harm to patients after catorid surgery. However, patients recovering from cartorid endarterectomies will need to contact the airline they are traveling with alongside their travel insurance provider to let them know about their condition.

Read Also: How Long Is Knee Surgery

Caring For Your Knee During The Flight

Up, up and away! You are finally on the way to your destination. If you have a flight that is going to be over 30 minutes the next section is important.;

This section pertains to what you need to do during a long flight to keep your recovery on the right path and reduce pain and discomfort throughout the flight.;

  • Get up and walk every 30 45 minutes. It is extremely important to keep moving to promote good circulation and prevent stiffening of your knee.;
  • Compression socks are also a good way to prevent DVT caused by blood clots.;
  • Do as many of your seated exercises as space will allow: :
  • Ankle pumps
  • Seated knee extension
  • Seated knee flexion

The last three exercises on the list may not be possible due to the limited amount of space on an airplane but they are very beneficial to your range of motion and circulation, so if you have enough room to do themdo them!

Being seated in one position without moving your knee or getting up to walk puts you at risk for a blood clot. Keep that knee moving!

How Long Will It Be Before I Feel Normal

When Can I Fly After Knee Replacement Surgery?

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, it’s best to avoid extreme movements or sports where there’s a risk of falling, such as skiing or mountain biking. Your doctor or a physiotherapist can advise you.

Also Check: Can Ice Help Knee Pain

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.

Additional Tips For People Flying After Tkr

  • 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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What My Doctor Said About Cruising 2 Months After Tkr

After discussing the trip with my doctor, he encouraged me to have the surgery prior to the cruise. He felt that by 10 weeks I would be fine .

He believed Id be able to resume most of the activities that I was involved in prior to the surgery. Those activities included swimming, hiking, playing golf, and pickleball.

Some of the shore excursions that were offered with the cruise involved hiking and walking long distances. Other friends that have had TKR also assured me that with hard work I would be ready to go.

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

5 Tips to Speed Your Recovery After Knee Replacement ...

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

Read Also: Why Does It Hurt Behind My Knee

Prolotherapy And Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

We are going to briefly address two treatment options that we offer here at Caring Medical. These are non-surgical, injections. These treatments may help the patient who has difficulty kneeling by restoring stability in a loose and wobbly knee following knee replacement.

Prolotherapy is an injection technique utilizing simple sugar or dextrose which causes a small controlled inflammation at weakened tissue. This triggers the immune system to initiate repair of the injured tendons and ligaments. Blood supply dramatically increases at the injured area. The body is alerted that healing needs to take place and reparative cells are sent to the treated area of the knee that needs healing. The body also lays down new collagen in the treated areas, thereby strengthening the weakened structures. Once the tendons and ligaments are strengthened, the knee, even one that has been replaced, stabilizes.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is the use of a patients blood platelets and healing factors to stimulate repair of a tendon it is considered when tendon damage is more severe.

When the patients have already had a joint replacement, we will do a physical examination of the knee to assess how we may be able to help.

  • Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy fix soft tissue, it cannot fix hardware failure,
  • Prolotherapy
  • and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy works by stabilizes the knee by strengthening the natural muscle and bone attachments, ligaments, and tendons.


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