The study asked the surgeons via a single page questionnaire whether they would recommend regular patient participation in 28 particular sports after hip or knee replacement surgery. Those recommendations are highlighted in the following table.
Recommended exercise includes: Golf, Swimming, Cycling, Sailing and Scuba
Not recommended exercise includes: Squash, Ice-hockey, Baseball, Running Water skiing, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby
To be recommended or not recommended required that more than 75% of surgeons agreed. Anything between these scores received a classification of intermediate. Cross-country skiing was recommended after knee but not hip replacement.
Recommended sports were supported by more than 75% of responders. A range of energetic and contact sports were not recommended by more than 75% of responders - including karate, soccer and water-skiing. Other activities, like tennis, ice-skating and aerobics had intermediate scores, and were neither recommended nor not. This paper had a literature search to identify reports on hip or knee surgical procedures and sports. In active golfers who had a knee replacement in the USA, the majority report a mild ache while playing, usually on the target side .
Obviously, there is a great deal of individual difference in ability to make a complete recovery after a major surgery. The decision to return to sport is one you must make along with the guidance of your surgeon and Physical Therapist. For more information about knee and hip replacement surgery and rehabilitation, please see: Surgery NetLinks.
Bandolier, a monthly journal produced in Oxford provide health information based upon research evidence.
BJ McGrory, MJ Stuart, FH Sim. Participation in sports after hip and knee arthroplasty: review of the literature and survey of surgeon preferences. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 1995 70: 342-8.
WJ Mallon, JJ Callaghan. Total knee arthroplasty in active golfers. Journal of Arthroplasty 1993 8: 299-306.