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Sports Health. 2011 Sep;3(5):441-50.

Physical activity after total joint arthroplasty.

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  • 1Center for Shoulder, Elbow and Sports Medicine, New York Orthopaedic Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York.



Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is a common surgical option to treat painful degenerative joint disease. However, there is currently no consensus on the appropriate intensity of physical activity after TJA or how physical activity level affects the rate of revision surgery.


A systematic review of the literature regarding physical or athletic activity after TJA was performed to determine current clinical opinion and recommendations regarding appropriate activity levels after TJA, as well as variables affecting successful surgery and improved outcomes.


Many studies in the literature regarding athletic activity after TJA focus on total hip arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty. The literature reports contradictory results regarding rates of physical activity after TJA as well as the relationship between physical activity and rates of revision surgery. The current trend in expert opinion shows more liberal recommendations for patients to engage in athletic activity after TJA.


Individual characteristics, lifestyle, and patient preferences must be taken into account when one considers appropriate recommendations for athletic activity after TJA. Current trends in clinical opinion favor a higher level of athletic activity after TJA, but clinicians should caution patients not to participate in contact sports or sports that create high joint loads in the replaced joint.


activity; arthroplasty; joint; physical; total

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