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How Can a Knee Replacement Affect Daily Life?

A knee replacement is a painful operation and requires several weeks to recover properly. While it doesn’t completely debilitate the patient, and most individuals should be able to move with the help of a walker or crutches, it can have some impact on many day-to-day activities. Even months after the surgery, there are some side effects from the procedure. Here are a few things you should expect following a knee replacement surgery.

Exercise & You

If you loved to exercise, run, play sports, etc., you may notice a difference following the surgery. Many doctors may discourage patients from playing sports that put a lot of pressure or could potentially injure the knee such as football, basketball, and even soccer. Even lifting heavy weights during a strength training session can put too much pressure on the knee, causing extensive damage. You must be mindful of the activities you perform, even after recovery. When running, be mindful of your course and don’t spend too much time running downhill, be cautious with high-impact sports, and even avoid activities with too much jumping or kicking.


If you work at a desk all day, you will notice very little change following your surgery. It is still important that you get up and move your body, but you won’t need to worry about straining it or putting too much pressure on it. However, if you perform a lot of manual labor or are on your feet all day, you will need to take it slow when first returning to work. Spending too much time on your feet can put a lot of strain on your joints, causing intense pain. You also need to make sure you wear the proper shoes. If you are working in environments with the possibility of falling, make sure you wear shoes with non-slip soles. After a knee replacement surgery, you are at a much higher risk of injuring and permanently damaging your knee.

You May Need to See a Specialist Regularly

Following your surgery, you will need to visit an orthopedic specialist regularly to ensure your knee is healing nicely and the recovery process is going smooth. However, you may also need to visit the doctor if you experience a lot of pain, particularly weeks after the surgery. Furthermore, you should also continue with physical therapy for extended periods of time to make sure you develop your full range of motion again.

For the most part, your life should return to normal following a knee replacement. While there may be a few limitations, give yourself some time and don’t rush the recovery process.

If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI), please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online. OSI is Northeast Wisconsin’s exclusive provider of Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery for Hips & Knees. OSI has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere. The Appleton location also has a walk-in clinic that provides care for new orthopedic injuries.

For post-surgical recovery and rehabilitation, Recovery Inn is located on the campus of the Orthopedic & Sports Institute in Appleton (OSI). This skilled nursing facility was the first orthopedics-only recovery facility in the nation attached to a surgery center. At OSI, you can have your surgery and rehab without leaving the building. Physical and occupational therapy take place steps from your room, where you will be rehabbing with the nationally recognized therapists from Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Recovery Inn Executive Director Shaena Van Handel at 920.560.1066.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.