When Can I Start? – How Can I Get Into Sports Again?
Total knee replacement (TKA) surgery is not an easy surgery to go through. Not only is the pre-surgical process a tough mental challenge, the post-surgical process also has its mental challenges that many patients are presented with. For non-athletes, these challenges come in the form of walking again, running, feeling comfortable putting weight on your new knees, etc.
However, for athletes, amateur and professional, a total knee replacement surgery can truly be a frightening thought. Although successful knee replacements provide patients with tremendous relief from pain, they also help to realign the joint, improving the overall function of your knee, in addition to your overall mobility.
For athletes, the potential benefits of a total knee replacement could be tremendous. However, after agreeing to do the surgery, you’ll experience a whirlwind of questions like, “When can I start training again? When can I start playing again? How long is the recovery process?”
Don’t Be Unrealistic
When recovering from a total knee replacement surgery, the most important thing you could possibly do is maintain a clear head and don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself, your doctors, and most importantly, your own body. Every patient’s healing and rehabilitation process is completely different, and that is often a key aspect to keep in mind when recovering.
For some statistics to help you keep a positive frame of mind during your recovery process, take a look at this:
A recent study looked at 40 patients who were underwent a total knee replacement surgery. Of those 40 patients, 75% of them reported that they participated in high impact physical activities prior to surgery. After, 93% of those patients reported that they had been able to go back to those high impact activities without issue.
Studies show that your potential for returning back to sports after your total knee replacement depend on several factors, with your general health being an important one. If you’re generally a healthy person, chances are better that you’ll have no issue returning to sports after your surgery.
However, many doctors do not recommend that high impact physical activities are practiced after a total knee replacement surgery. But then again, you know your body! You have to take accountability and responsibility over your body and your abilities and be realistic when it comes to your physical endeavors.
Most Importantly – Always Talk To Your Doctor
The most crucial piece of advice you can take before and after undergoing surgery for a total knee replacement is to maintain a clear line of communication with your Orthopedic surgeon. Not only will they be able to pain you a more accurate picture in terms of what you can expect for your particular recovery, but they will also be there with you to help guide you along during the recovery process. Not only can they help to ensure that you regain mobility, they can also help to recommend physical therapies that would most benefit you and set you up to get back into your normal routine again, including sports!
Whatever you do, just don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, that is exactly what your Orthopedic surgeon is here to do!