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Activity after Joint Replacement

After joint replacement many people feel they have been given a new lease of life. Many want to go back to the sporting activities they followed before their joint became painful. This may be a risk and a recent study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has shown that patients usually do not go back to their previous levels.

Pain relief has always been the primary purpose of replacing a joint but recent generations have concentrated more on what they can do with their joint as well.

Orthopaedic surgeons are not clear about the level of activity which is safe for major joint replacement, citing wear, loosening and formation of wear debris. Wear is related to the amount the joint is used and not just to how long it has been in situ.

Surgeons look at this from the perspective of the health of the joint and surrounding tissues while patients may look at the increased activity they can perform for a certain length of time. The joint may need to be replaced again at some point but perhaps they have had the use they wanted from it.

Research needs to continue into the wisdom of sporting activities with joint replacement. I know of one man who has done 5000 miles cycling since his new hip and shows no adverse features so there may be more leeway to resume normal activity than is currently realised.


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