Studies show that patient expectations before joint replacement have an impact on their
final outcome. This can work for or against the patient. Some people are just happy to
have pain relief. Others are disappointed they can't run a marathon. There's a wide range
of expectations and results in between.
There are many factors to consider. First, what was your mother's activity level before
her knee became painful enough to need a replacement? How much time has passed from when
she was active to now? What is your mother's activity level at this time (just before
surgery)? If she's inactive, has she lost overall strength and flexibility?
Many surgeons advise the patients who are getting knee replacements to expect pain relief
and improved function. They will likely be able to walk, swim, or ride a stationary bike
if they are in good health and physically fit.
Activities that put a higher demand on the knee joint are not as easy. This may include
running, twisting, dancing, stooping, and squatting. Encourage your mother to ask her
doctor what to expect and how soon to expect it after surgery.