If you’ve had knee replacement surgery, you might wonder whether you can run. This is a common question that frequent runners ask when they have been faced with having to have knee replacement surgery.
In fact, it is not only a question that runners ask but also a question that most people ask before getting knee replacement surgery.
When we think about running after knee replacement surgery, there is another question that comes to mind. Even if you are able to run, should you run after having knee replacement surgery?
Well, if you want to find out the answer to these questions you’ve come to the right place. We are going to walk you through everything you need to know about running after having knee replacement surgery and if you should run even if you can.
What Is A Knee Replacement?
A knee replacement is a surgical procedure where your damaged knee joint is replaced by an artificial one. The artificial knee joint is made of metal and plastic parts that are connected together by screws and/or cement.
After the knee replacement surgery has taken place, you will be given crutches and a cane for support while walking. You may also be given physical therapy exercises to help strengthen your muscles so that you can regain full range of motion in your knee.
Can I Run After Having A Knee Replacement?
The short answer is yes! Many patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery are able to return to their pre-surgery activities including running. However, this depends on several factors such as:
As you get older, your bones become more brittle and weak. Therefore, you may experience pain and discomfort during exercise. These problems could increase over time and make it difficult for you to continue exercising.
Type Of Surgery
There are four types of knee replacements, which include total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty.
TKA involves replacing all the knee whereas unicompartmental knee replacement replaces just one compartment of the knee.
How long has it been since your knee was operated on? It’s important to note that the recovery period varies from person to person depending on how well you heal following the surgery.
For example, some patients are able to resume all normal activities within 6 months while others require up to 14 months to recover fully.
However, with all this in mind, it is possible to run after you have fully recovered from knee replacement surgery. It might take a while for you to get back into your running shoes but it is possible that you will be back in them eventually.
There have been cases where those who were runners before have eventually been able to run again.
In fact, there have been cases reported of people who have had a knee replacement being able to run a marathon. So there is evidence to suggest that you can run after knee replacement surgery. However, there is the issue of whether you should.
So Should You Run After Knee Replacement Surgery?
Whilst there have been people who are able to run after surgery, the real question is whether that would be a good idea for you. It is believed that knee replacements have a lifespan of around 15 years.
With this in mind, many doctors and surgeons believe that running could reduce the lifespan of that knee replacement surgery.
It is often advised by many doctors that you should not do anything that has a high impact on your knee. This includes doing things such as running.
It is believed that anything that has a high impact on your knees can wear down the knee replacement which might require you to have another replacement sooner than expected.
However, this is a case-by-case scenario. There are ways for you to minimize any damage to your knee replacement so you can run. If you get the right training, there are ways for you to run without creating such a harsh impact on your knees.
Tips For Recovering After Knee Replacement
Now that we know it is possible to run after a knee replacement, here are some tips to help your recovery and to ensure that running after a knee replacement is a good choice for you.
The first step towards recovering is to start an exercise program. The best way to ensure that you don’t cause too much stress on your knee is to start slowly. As soon as you are able to safely start exercising it is a good idea that you try. Even if your only exercise is physical therapy.
In fact, it is a good idea to fully stick to doing all of your physical therapy exercises to help you recover quickly. This will also help you to strengthen your muscles so you can use your knee.
If you feel like giving up because you think you cannot run after knee replacement then it is time to change your mindset.
The most important thing to recovering after a knee replacement is ensuring that you allow yourself time to work on your mental health as well as your physical health.
Your mental health can really impact how quickly you recover from having a knee replacement. When you are feeling depressed, stressed, anxious or angry it can make it harder for you to heal.
By staying positive and optimistic about the future, you will find it easier to cope with whatever life throws at you.
Eat Good Food
If you want to recover quickly from knee replacement surgery and start running again, then food becomes critical. Whilst you are not able to be active it is important to stay fit and healthy. Diets can have a huge impact on how quickly we heal.
It is also worth noting that staying fit and healthy can help with the amount of impact that is put on your knee when you are walking and running. You want to try to make sure you are putting as few harsh impacts on your knee as possible.
So yes you can run after having a knee replacement. There are plenty of things you can do in order to prepare to be able to run after having a knee replacement.
However, you should always seek medical advice to check if running is the right activity for you to do after a knee replacement.
We hope that this article helps you understand more about whether you can run after a knee replacement. Please share this article if you found it useful. Thank you for reading!