Colorado has some of the best skiing in the country and for many Coloradans, the world class ski resorts throughout the state played a significant role in their desire to move here. It should come as no surprise that the ability to ski after knee replacement is a serious concern for many individuals in our region who undergo this procedure.
The good news is that skiing after knee replacement is often a realistic outcome. Advances in knee replacement techniques and technology have delivered better results than ever before, allowing patients to resume many of their favorite activities. However, it’s essential to understand that every patient’s situation is different, and your ability to ski after knee replacement will depend on your circumstances.
If you’re planning on skiing after knee replacement, there are a few considerations to be aware of.
Your ability to fully resume your favorite activities is dictated by how completely you restore full strength and range of motion. Therefore, it’s critical that you follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions and are diligent with your physical therapy work.
There are three primary stages of your recovery:
In most instances, you should be able to resume skiing after this 12-week rehabilitation regimen. Remember that you’ll need to continue working out to ensure the muscles around your knees remain strong. You’ll also want to include flexibility exercises in your regimen. Before getting on the slopes, it’s also a good idea to do some dry training focusing on strength and balance. This will ensure you’re in proper ski shape when you first get out on the mountain.
Generally, it’s not recommended to first learn to ski after knee replacement. If this sport wasn’t part of your lifestyle before surgery, you shouldn’t expect to take it up afterward. Similarly, beginner skiers may be better off looking for new activities to enjoy following knee replacement. If you struggled to get down blue and green runs before surgery, it’s probably not a good idea to try and ski afterward. However, experienced skiers should be fine on the slopes after knee replacement.
While experienced skiers should be able to ski after knee replacement, you may have to make some accommodations. You want to avoid skiing terrain that will result in heavy impact on your knee or significantly increase your risk of injury. The following tips will help you ski safely on a prosthetic knee:
Make sure you always listen to your body. Call it a day if you’re experiencing any soreness or stiffness in your knee when skiing. This will reduce your risk of aggravating your surgically repaired knee.
You may benefit from knee replacement surgery if you’ve struggled with chronic knee pain. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics has developed a reputation as one of the leading orthopedic surgery clinics on the Western Slope. Our surgeons are all board-certified and fellowship-trained, ensuring your procedure is performed by some of the finest doctors in the region.
Our knee surgeon, Dr. Kevin Borchard, uses the Mako Robotic-Arm Surgery System by Stryker to improve the precision of your procedure. This state-of-the-art technology allows for greater procedure customization while minimizing surgical risks.
In addition, Dr. Borchard regularly achieves knee replacement outcomes that exceed industry standards. His patients benefit from shorter stays in the hospital and the ability to complete their physical therapy in an outpatient facility rather than an inpatient rehabilitation center. Dr. Borchard’s patients also rank in the 90th percentile for distance walked before discharge from the hospital, providing a smooth transition into their post-operative physical therapy.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the Western Slope.
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