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Exercise after Knee replacement - Anyone else?

After a total (successful) knee replacement 12 months ago, I am now ready to begin adding exercise into my daily plan. I have been warned that high impact exercise will prematurely wear out my knee, but apart from walking and swimming, does anyone have any ideas as to cardio exercise that I could try?


  • stfuriada
    stfuriada Posts: 445 Member
    Asking your doctor would be your best bet. He most likely knows what range of motion you'd be capable of and all that.
  • RaineMarie
    RaineMarie Posts: 158 Member
    Try bicycling! It's pretty low impact! I have not had my knees replaced, but I did have a patella realignment a few years back, and have had other knee problems. Every time I go to physical therapy they always encourage bike riding as a good exercise for my knee that has relatively no impact! :)
  • jehavin
    jehavin Posts: 316 Member
    Definitely biking =) I had a knee "realignment" (aka I blew out my patella and ligaments and the recovery wasn't too far off from a replacement pain and mobility wise) in January 2011 and I also was encouraged to do biking during phys therapy. After I was released from phys therapy, I did NOTHING for 6 months (I also found I was pregnant about a month after the surgery, so exercise was not my top priority,) but then my knee started feeling stiff and "cottony" so I bought a nordictrac (off craigslist for $35) and started light biking. The motion is fabulous---really, unmatched by any other except maybe breaststroke swimming---for my knee and prevents the buildup of scar tissue. Now, even while pregnant (again a month after another knee surgery to remove scar tissue from before I started biking,) I bike 3 times a week. I find if I go longer than a week without it, my knee will feel wonky and it only motivates me to get back to the gym. Good luck!
  • snarkysneak
    snarkysneak Posts: 7 Member
    I have a genetic joint disorder that is very hard on my knees and I have had multiple surgeries. I would suggest biking as all my doctors and physical therapists have had me do that. I wouldn't necessarily suggest a treadmill, but that may be personal bias on my part as I have issues with hyperextension of the knee (slipping of that moving band sucks). The elliptical machines work far better for me than a treadmill if you are wanting more walking/running work outs.
  • FinallyFindingLisa
    FinallyFindingLisa Posts: 222 Member
    Both knees done in 2012 (right one in March & left one in November), at the gym I swim - super super good as well as elliptical and recumbent cross trainer and recumbent bike and weight machines (leg press, quads, abductors, adductors & upper body). I've just started back on them this week from the November surgery (8 weeks out)
  • Anthonydaman
    Anthonydaman Posts: 854 Member
    Maybe add resistance training to your current program of walking and swimming. It will help round out your exercise plan
  • daytondwellee
    Asking your doc is the best advice. After my replacement 24 months ago my physical therapist recommended I start with the elliptical machine and avoid the treadmill. I took his advice and 40 lbs later am still in the gym doing anything I want. My knee and my doctor are happy!
  • cw5ret
    cw5ret Posts: 1
    Anything is better than nothing. After your knee replacement you should have had some sort of therapy. Repeat what the therapist showed you to get another start. If you can afford it, try finding a trainer that is more than a rep counter; someone who actually knows the physiology of the body and knows how to slowly improve your situation. This may involve more than just one exercise. Strength training should also be included. After my knee surgery three years ago (torn meniscus) and therapy (6 Weeks) I started out on the reclining bike, very slowly The first week I could barely complete a rotation. I worked up to 30 minutes a session, then went back to the elliptical. Take it slow, but take it a bit further each day. Age doesn't really have much to do with it; it is mainly attitude. I am now 67 and am now using a trainer to help me. We do both aerobic and strength training 2 X a week for a total of about 1 hours each session. I also do 15 minutes warm before on the elliptical and another 15 minutes after the training session. On the other days, I do a combination and once a week nothing but aerobic on the elliptic for 1 1/2 hours. Good luck!
  • gmallan
    gmallan Posts: 2,099 Member
    Haven't had a keen replacement but have had to modify my exercise routine to minimise impact on my knees due to patella tendonitis. I think people have already mentioned cycling and strength training but I find boxing isn't too bad on the knees. You can hit and punching bag or partner up with a pad holder and can definitely minimise the amount you move around and the impact on your knees. Heaps of fun, fantastic cardio and arm workout and great stress relief!!!

    Remember to keep everything pain free and listen to your doctor/physio