Patients who undergo a hip or knee replacement should be careful when they return to athletic activity after their operation as they may be risking their new joint, scientists have warned.
A review of data on the subject has revealed that, while many patients want to get back to their usual physical activity regime as quickly as possible after surgery, they generally have to reduce their levels of activity after joint replacement.
Dr William Healy, an orthopaedic surgeon at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, commented: "Baby boomers have a lower tolerance for discomfort and disability if they are involved in athletics.
"After joint replacement they often want to be able to keep up the same level of sporting activity that they enjoyed in the past."
However, the findings, which are published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, show that while patients are increasingly undergoing joint replacement surgery to improve the function of their knees or hips, the likelihood is that they will not enjoy the same level of athletic activity as before.
Dr Healy advised that patients who want to play sports after their operation should train and build up their back, hip and knee strength.
However, he added that patients should be aware of the potential risks of doing sports after joint replacement surgery.
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