What can't I do after a knee replacement?
A Total Knee Replacement is a very good treatment to remove knee pain and allow the patient to walk and climb stairs without pain. Patients will also be able to brisk walk, cycle, swim, play golf, and trek. The main precaution is against bending the knee all the way, for example when squatting, or kneeling on the floor with buttocks on heels.
Why can't I squat or kneel with buttocks on heels?
These actions put a lot of stress on the knee implant, and if done repeatedly, may have a risk of causing the implants to be loosened. Even though some patients do discover that they are able to do this, we advise against this.
Patients can modify their activities slightly to avoid such deep bending positions. For example, patients can sit on a low stool instead of squatting down. They can kneel on their knees with the thigh and body upright, instead of seating the buttocks on the heels.
What other activities can I do after a Knee Replacement?
As mentioned, walking, brisk walking, swimming, cycling, playing golf, trekking can be done after a knee replacement. Going up and down the stairs will be no problem. Some patients can return to light tennis after a Total Knee Replacement (TKR), where the movement is not too strenuous and explosive.
Some patients after a Unicondylar Knee Replacement (UKR) can return to running and strenuous activities. Typically, these are the younger (< 50 years old) patients with painful arthritis of the knee mainly localised to one compartment. The UKR surgery allows them to retain much of their pre-surgery activity level.