Sport and total joint arthroplasty

The number of joint replacements has increased significantly in the last decades. In Germany, nearly 170,000 primary knee and 230,000 primary hip replacements are performed each year. Physical activity and light sports are generally recommended after joint replacement is necessary for health reasons. Expectations on joint replacement are steadily increasing, especially with regard to the return to sports. Unfortunately, the data on the sports and joint replacement is extremely low, so that there are currently no evidence-based guidelines for the “return to sports after hip or knee replacement”.
Do not raise exaggerated expectations
What does that mean? Tischer and other prosthesis specialists advise that patients with an endoprosthesis should be examined for sport orthopaedics and internal medicine before exercising sport. He also strongly recommends consultation with the surgeon. Although modern endoprosthetics have reached a high level of quality, an artificial joint is only a replacement joint and not as good as a healthy natural joint. Therefore, according to Tischer, no exaggerated expectations should be raised, no exaggerated promises should be made, and the patient should rather be “slowed down”. Doctor and patient should have realistic expectations.
Despite the undisputed progress, Professor Dr. Florian Gebhard (Ulm) also says that “the generally known recommendation for gentle and cyclic endurance sports such as swimming, hiking, cycling or golf should not be valid until three months after the operation at the earliest, or better six months after the operation in any case”. If higher loads are planned, such as skiing on holiday, this should always be clarified individually. And competitive sports with artificial hips are still not recommended because they can considerably shorten the durability of the prosthesis.
Author(s) Source
Tischer T, Mittelmeier W, Kluess D, et al.

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