The advances in minimally invasive surgical techniques and knee prostheses enable individuals to return to most routine activities after knee replacement surgery. High impact activities such as running or jogging may not be advisable; however, hiking is low impact and can be safely performed if you take a few precautions.
Gradually Increase the Distance:
It may take about 12 weeks during to adequately regain knee function. During this time, you should regularly perform physical therapy exercises to build up your strength. Once you have been cleared by your surgeon to return to hiking, start out by taking short walks and slowly work up to longer distances as your strength and stamina improves.
Start on Easy Hiking Trails:
Initially start hiking on flat terrain with less obstacles to minimize your chances of falling and damaging your newly placed knee implant. Once your muscles have developed sufficiently, you can begin hiking on uneven terrain. It should be noted that hiking uphill puts less stress on the knee than hiking downhill and you should choose your hiking trail according to your level of progress.
Carry a Lighter Load:
Every extra pound you carry on your frame puts an additional 4 pounds on each knee as you walk. For this reason, you should get rid of any superfluous items and stick to only the bare essentials when deciding what goes into your backpack.
Consider using a Walking Poles:
Walking poles are the ideal companion when you start hiking again after knee replacement. They provide extra stability, take some of the load off your knees, and are especially useful when going up and down hills.
In addition to being specialist in knee and hip joint replacement surgery, Dr. Paul Jacob also has a Masters’ Degree in Physical Therapy and is uniquely qualified to help patients return to activities they enjoy after knee replacement surgery. Call (405) 424-5426 to book your appointment today.
Dr. Jacob brings cutting edge techniques and technology to the Oklahoma City area. He has extensive training in minimally invasive, rapid recovery joint replacement as well as robotically assisted hip and knee replacement. Dr. Jacob is a pioneer in outpatient joint replacement allowing some patient to go home the same day as their procedure and recover in the comfort of their own home. The cornerstone of Dr. Jacob’s practice is to have the recovery process be easier, faster and less painful allowing his patients to get back into the game of life. Dr. Jacob is committed to bringing the highest level of orthopedic care while treating each and every patient like a family member. Providing you with patient centered care you can trust.