Sports And Activities After Private Knee Replacement

a man walking rehabilitation after Injury

After a private knee replacement, you may wonder if you will ever be able to resume your favourite sports or activities. The common question is, “Can you play sports after knee replacement?” The answer is not straightforward because it primarily depends on the specific sport, your overall health, and the success of your knee replacement surgery. However, many patients can engage in knee replacement sports activities with careful planning and medical guidance.

Hip and knee surgeons are highly skilled professionals who specialize in surgeries like total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and even revision surgery for those who may have complications from previous operations. These experts strive to ensure that their patients can return to an active lifestyle after surgery. However, returning to an active lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to participate in all the activities you once did before surgery. Particularly after total knee replacement surgery, your doctor will likely recommend sticking to low-impact activities to minimize the risk of complications and prolong the life of your prosthetic knee.


Many people choose to have a knee replacement to alleviate pain and regain mobility. However, understanding what to expect post-surgery, including which sports and activities are safe, is crucial to your recovery and long-term success.

Sports and Activities to Avoid

soccer player injured knee in soccer field

Despite the advancements in surgical techniques and prosthetic designs, certain high-impact sports, like running, soccer, basketball, and other activities that involve significant knee stress, are typically not recommended after a knee replacement. It’s crucial to consult with your surgeon or physiotherapist before resuming any sports after knee replacement to prevent unnecessary risks and complications.

Furthermore, many people inquire, “Can you run after knee replacement?” While each individual’s situation is unique, most healthcare professionals advise against running post-surgery due to the high impact it places on the knee. This high impact can lead to complications such as loosening or even dislocation of the prosthetic knee. The goal of your recovery is to maximize the functionality and longevity of your new knee, so it’s essential to prioritize low-impact activities that won’t jeopardize your health or the success of your surgery.

When can I start exercising after knee replacement?

The timeline for resuming exercise and sports after a knee replacement surgery varies from person to person. Generally, low-impact exercises can be started a few weeks post-surgery once you have clearance from your healthcare provider. Always start slowly and gradually increase intensity as you regain strength and stability.

Sports and Activities to Try

Cycling after knee replacement sports

After a knee replacement, engaging in sports and physical activity helps your recovery process and improves your overall health. Although certain sports and exercises should be avoided to prevent putting excessive strain on your new knee, there are numerous low-impact activities that you can participate in safely that will not only keep you active and fit but also contribute to the longevity of your knee replacement. Let’s look at some of the safe and recommended sports and activities you can try after a knee replacement.


Walking is an excellent low-impact activity to start with after knee surgery. It helps to strengthen your leg muscles and improve your cardiovascular health without straining your new knee. Moreover, walking promotes flexibility in the knee joint and enhances your overall balance and coordination. Starting with shorter walks and gradually increasing your distance as comfort and endurance improve is a strategic way to incorporate this beneficial activity into your recovery regimen.


Swimming is another great choice for exercise after knee replacement. The buoyancy of the water supports your weight, reducing the stress on your joints while allowing you to move your joints freely.


Whether stationary or outdoor, cycling is an ideal knee-friendly sport. It helps to improve your knee’s range of motion and strengthen the supporting muscles without causing undue stress on your joint.


Yoga can be beneficial for improving balance and flexibility after knee replacement. However, certain poses may need to be modified or avoided altogether to protect your new knee. It’s advisable to work with a yoga instructor who has experience with knee replacement patients, ensuring that you safely maximize your yoga practice while nurturing your recovery and overall well-being.

Tai chi

Tai chi, with its gentle, flowing movements, can help improve balance, strength, and flexibility, which are crucial for your new knee’s performance.


Rowing, particularly on a machine, is a full-body workout that can help build strength and endurance without putting excess pressure on your knee.


Golf can also be enjoyed after a knee replacement, but using a golf cart and avoiding carrying heavy golf bags to protect your new knee is essential.

Tips for Staying Safe

Playing sports after a knee replacement is a common goal for many patients. However, it’s crucial to remember that your new knee joint needs proper care and gradual progression to regain its function. This is where physical therapy plays a crucial role. Working closely with a physical therapist, you’ll be guided through a personalized exercise regimen that will help strengthen your muscles and improve the mobility of your new knee joint. This careful and structured approach ensures a smooth recovery and lays a solid foundation for safely returning to sports and other activities you enjoy.

Always warm up before starting any sport or activity. Listen to your body, and don’t push through pain. Wear supportive shoes, and consider using assistive devices like knee braces if needed. For more information about knee pain and knee replacement, refer to resources from CDC or Mayo Clinic.

Final Thoughts

A knee replacement doesn’t mean an end to your active life. In fact, with the right guidance, you can soon return to many of your favorite low-impact activities. Patience and consistency in following your rehabilitation program will lead you to a steady recovery path. Always remember to consult your healthcare provider before beginning any new activity post-surgery. For further assistance and personalized care, contact Timely Medical today.

Embrace this journey to rediscover mobility and reclaim the joy of an active lifestyle.

About The Author

Christian Baker

Christian was born in a Group Health hospital in Washington state and holds both American & Canadian citizenship. Christian is the head of our diagnostic & ambulatory surgery department for our Canadian…

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