Tennis has been called a lifelong sport and pickle ball is quickly becoming just as popular. Whichever game is your favorite, it can be devastating to think that having a knee replacement could keep you from being able to return to the court. However, that does not have to be the case. By following a few helpful guidelines, you can be back on the court playing without your old knee pain to hold you back. Here are some tips for getting back to the game safely.
- Make sure that you carefully follow the post surgical instructions you receive from your doctor. Do not rush to start playing again even if you are feeling better. Returning to activity too quickly can damage the newly replaced kneecausing a delay in healing or even the need for revision surgery. Wait for your surgeon to give you clearance for physical activity before getting back on the court.
- As a part of your post surgical rehabilitation, work with your physical therapist to develop sport specific training exercises. These will help focus on local muscle strengthening and increase the joint flexibility you will rely on to while playing.
- Playing on clay courts is preferred to playing on hard courts. Clay courts put less stress on your knee because they are softer and slower than other courts. This will reduce the impact to your knee as well as give you more time to prepare for each stroke.
- Once you are back on the court, always warm up and stretch using range of motion exercises before starting to play. This will help increase blood flow to the joint and muscles helping to protect them from injury.
- Use proper body mechanics while playing. Remember your limitations. Do not try to push your new knee by making fast cutting maneuvers or by stretching for a ball beyond your reach.
- When you first return to the court, playing doubles is preferred. Having a partner will decrease the area you will need to cover which will be less demanding on your knee.
- Do not over exert yourself or try to take on too much too quickly. Be sure to allow time for your joint and muscles to rest and recover after playing.
Exercise is encouraged for all patients because of the positive effects of muscle strengthening, joint flexibility, and general health benefits that it provides. If you have had a knee replacement, you are no exception. Returning to the court will not only keep your body in good shape, but also help to strengthen and stabilize your implant. Like many others have, you might even find that because of your surgery you have a better quality of life on and off the court.
Dr. Frisch is an orthopedic surgeon focusing on minimally invasive hip and knee joint replacement as well as regenerative treatments for enhanced healing. Dr. Frisch uses robotic technology and performs outpatient knee replacement so you can go home the same day as surgery. He believes in creating a very personalized experience with the highest level of service. For all appointments & inquiries, please contact our offices located in Rochester and River District, MI.