Swimming After a Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

Swimming After a Total Knee Replacement

If you have just had a total knee replacement then you may feel unsure about what you can and can’t do. If this is an activity you enjoy then you may be wondering about the feasibility of swimming after a total knee replacement. Remember that the real advice for this must come from your surgical team; you should never make a decision such as this one based on something you read on the web. This article only aims to provide some general ideas about swimming after a total knee replacement and should not be considered medical advice.

Opinions about Swimming after a Total Knee Replacement

The general advice given by most surgical teams is that people avoid extreme sports following this type of surgery. But what about swimming after a total knee replacement – would this be considered an extreme sport? Well the good news is that most surgeons agree that swimming after a total knee replacement can be a good idea. This is because swimming is considered a low impact sport on the knee. When you do something like running it will put up to nine times your bodyweight on your knee, but with swimming the impact is far less than this.

The reason why you are advised against certain sports following a total knee replacement is the risk that it could damage the artificial knee. These are very strong but they are just not as resilient as the real knee. The risk is that if you damage the knee because of high impact sports you will need to return to surgery and have the whole procedure repeated again. Obviously this is not something you want or that the surgical team wants; there are risks with every surgery and you want to avoid these wherever possible. This is why doctors can be very negative about the idea of you doing high impact sports like running. They can be quite positive about activities like swimming after a total knee replacement though, because these are less likely to cause damage.

Should You Choose Swimming After a Total Knee Replacement?

Before you go off jumping into a swimming pool you will need to speak to your surgical team first of all. They will be able to offer the best advice and in some cases they may feel that it is unwise – although in most instances they will be positive about the idea. Every case is unique and you will need to discuss your case with the people who understand it. There are also other reasons why you might want to avoid swimming after a total knee replacement. If you knee incision isn’t fully healed then you could risk introducing infection or reopening the wound – this could cause a lot of complications.

For most people swimming after a total knee replacement won’t be too much of a problem. They will have to wait at least a few weeks though until the wound is healed and the physiotherapist has given the all clear.