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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I've always been active in sports and recreational activities. I bowl on two leagues, hike, and play tennis regularly. Now due to uneven wear and arthritis one one side of my right knee, I'm having a partial knee joint replacement. When can I expect to get back to these activities after surgery?

By a partial knee replacement, we assume you are referring to a unilateral knee arthroplasty (UKA). This is the placement of an implant on either the medial or lateral side of the joint. Medial refers to the side closest to the other knee. Lateral is the out side half of the joint.

UKA is a good choice for active, younger adults who don't need a total joint replacement but who have painful symptoms that limit their activity.

Staying active while preserving the implant is a challenge. Sports participation is important to many patients who have a UKA. but finding the right level of activity that avoids implant wear or loosening is important.

Orthopedic surgeons and sports experts suggest the following guidelines for patients with a UKA:

  • Enjoy any sport or activity you like so long as you are painfree.
  • Low- to medium-impact activities are advised. These include biking, hiking, swimming, and golf. Fitness and weight-training are also approved.
  • High-impact activities with jumping or quick turns are not recommended.
  • Build muscle and strength needed before full participation in any activity.

    Every sporting event or recreational activity should be evaluated based on these guidelines. When in doubt, check with your surgeon. Follow-up X-rays and clinical exam by your doctor is important to detect early signs of complications, loosening, or implant failure.

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