Exercising with a knee replacement
Having a knee replacement does not mean that you have to stop exercising. All it means is that you are going to take certain precautions until your knee is pain free and full range of motion is restored. In fact you need to exercise in order to keep fit, strengthen your leg muscles and prevent joint stiffness. Many knee problems are caused by weak leg muscles; the surgery takes care of the knee problems, but exercise is necessary to help you gain the most benefits from the replacement.
In addition to performing the exercises given you by your physical therapist, you should also walk as much as possible. Low-impact activities such as swimming and cycling are great for your post-surgery workout. They have cardiovascular as well as strengthening benefits.
Modern knee replacements have made it possible to eventually move on to weight training. This is a wonderful improvement since weight training strengthens and tones the muscles that are needed to keep the joint stable and facilitate walking. About six weeks after surgery you can begin exercising with weights; always seek professional advice from your physical therapist.
As with everything else, moderation is the key. Do not be afraid to exercise, but do not be over zealous either. In time, you should be able to resume all of the activities you previously enjoyed.
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