Question:My husband had a total hip replacement about six months ago. He's back to running and playing tennis as if nothing ever happened. Is there any danger of being too active after with a joint replacement?
Answer:There isn't a simple yes/no answer to this question. Many doctors caution their patients to avoid high-impact activities such as running and tennis. There's some concern that the implant won't last more than 10 to 15 years. That could mean another surgery on the same hip.
On the other hand, it's clear that weight-bearing activities are important to maintain good bone strength and density. Studies show that patients who are less active and more sedentary actually lose bone. Bone loss around the implant can cause it to loosen and require revision surgery.
Your husband's surgeon is probably the best one to ask this question. Knowing the type of implant and surgical procedure used can make a difference, too. When patients are educated and informed about their joint replacements, then they can make the best decisions about activity and lifestyle.
For active, healthy adults, being more active than is advised may improve their quality of life enough to make it worth the risk.Teri G. Rosenbaum, PhD Candidate, et al. Ambulatory Activities Maintain Cortical Bone After Total Hip Arthroplasty. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. September 2006. No. 450. Pp. 129-137.
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