The huge majority of Knee Replacement patients experience a huge reduction in knee pain. They also feel an increase in confidence in the joint for most daily activities. Although few people report a knee which feels completely "normal", they can often return to activities they haven’t felt able to for years.
This prompts the Clinically Relevant Question:
Can I kneel after my Knee Replacement?
The short answer is "Yes" in most cases, and it is certainly a worthy aim of your rehabilitation. The range required is much the same as that required for climbing and descending stairs, getting in and out of low chairs and comfortably getting off an average toilet.
There is no evidence that kneeling is harmful to your knee replacement. Some people are afraid of damaging the implant, but kneeling actually puts no more stress on your implants than the activities listed above.
However, there is a difference between "Can I…" - am I allowed? - and "Can I…" - am I able to?
There is certainly no universal prohibition to kneeling after Knee Replacement Surgery, but some patients think it might be uncomfortable, some haven’t regained sufficient strength to kneel and get up again and some have been given advice not to by their doctor, Physio. or even by friends.
In one study, when patients were asked if they could kneel, just 37% answered "Yes", but when actually observed, 80% were able. Also, many people don’t need to kneel over an average day, so they don’t!
Having said all that, there is certainly a proportion of patients who find it too difficult to kneel due to discomfort from the joint or the scar, not having enough range of movement or not having the strength, but this is of the order of less than 20%.
Dr Brighton's Advice
The best advice is:
- Work hard to optimise movement and strength
- Try gradually to kneel & practise (ideally with your Physio.)
- Use a cushion when you kneel, and
- Have a chair, stick or some other support around (at least at first) to help you get up.
- Click here for more info.