Playing Pickleball After Knee Replacement

Does your knee hurt a lot? Are you diagnosed with arthritis? Is the doctor recommending knee replacement surgery? In either case, the fear of not being able to play pickleball might be there in your mind. But we have good news for you. It is possible to play your favorite sport after having your knee replaced. But of course, there are some conditions that you must fulfill, and this guide on “Can I play pickleball after knee replacement” discusses all of them. So, let’s not waste more time and dig deeper into it.

Is It Possible To Play Pickleball With an Arthritic Knee?

So basically, pickleball is a low-impact sport. This implies that you can easily play it while having an arthritic knee, as compared to games like tennis. Tennis is something that puts extra strain on your knees and requires quick lateral movements, which may get challenging to cope with.

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Contrarily, pickleball can, in fact, prove to be beneficial if you have an arthritic knee, as the physical activity you perform during it helps with signs and symptoms of arthritis. A plus point is that it even improves joint mobility. However, there are some considerations that you need to take care of when playing pickleball in such a condition. These precisely include:

  • Wearing knee braces and supportive footwear
  • Making physical therapy a routine
  • Performing dynamic stretching and proper warm-up before playing the sport
  • Taking pain and inflammation meds (if required)

When these non-surgical options do not provide any benefit over time, then your physician may recommend a surgery.

Can You Play Pickleball After A Knee Replacement Surgery?

When it comes to playing pickleball after having your knee replaced, you can definitely return to the sport after some time. However, the duration is not specific as it depends on a lot of factors, with post-surgery care being the major one. Here are some tips that can help when you start playing pickleball after a knee replacement surgery:

  • Never go against the advice of your surgeon. Doing so can lead to complications, prolonging the recovery period.
  • Start slowly. This means you must begin with performing light physical activities and then gradually move towards playing a full-fledged pickleball match.
  • Do not forget to wear cushioned shoes as they offer ideal traction, minimizing the stress put on your knees while playing.
  • Only make controlled, smooth movements. You must avoid sudden turns at all costs as they can strain your knees, leading to added trouble.
  • Do not play pickleball matches back to back. Always take extended breaks to provide your muscles adequate time for recovery.
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When Should You Return To Pickleball After Knee Replacement Surgery?

There is no specific duration that decides that you can play pickleball after knee replacement surgery. However, there are a few signs that may indicate that your knee is now fit for a match. These include:

  • Your surgical incision has completely healed, and there is no swelling at the site of the surgery.
  • You do not feel any pain or discomfort in your knee while moving around.
  • Your post-surgery rehabilitation period is completed. This is crucial for getting your knee’s strength and range of motion back.
  • Try performing a 30-second one-legged stand for both your legs. If you pass this test, you can play pickleball, as being able to balance your body properly is a must for it.
  • Your surgeon has given you a positive signal to continue playing pickleball after a detailed analysis of your knee post-surgery.

Don'ts Of Playing Pickleball After A Knee Replacement Surgery

Here are some things that you must avoid at all costs when playing pickleball after a knee replacement surgery:

  • Ignoring Your Diet & Hydration: You must take proper care of your nutrition intake, which should include lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and complex carbs. Drinking adequate water is also a must. It flushes toxins from your body and ensures the proper functioning of your muscles and joints.
  • Not Taking Proper Rest: Giving your body enough time to recover and heal completely is something that can help you in the long run. Do not force it, or else you’ll end up with more complications.
  • Rushing The Process: This can be dangerous for your knee, especially if it has not recovered fully, increasing the chances of re-injury.
  • Don't Leave Physical Therapy In The Middle: It should only be stopped when the muscles surrounding your knee have gotten strong enough and all the goals associated with it are achieved.
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Is It Safe To Play Pickleball After Hip Replacement?

Just like knee replacement surgery, it’s quite safe to play pickleball after having your hip replaced. However, again, you need to take care of a lot of things, which include completing your rehab, staying hydrated, not forcing yourself too much, and more. Typically, you can make a comeback after 3 to 6 months of hip replacement surgery. But, you must not rush the process and focus on your recovery first. The key is to regain strength in your body parts and start being able to balance yourself properly, or there will be chances of a re-injury.

Can I Play Pickleball After ACL Surgery

Besides knee replacement surgery, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgeries are also quite common, in which a torn ligament of the knee is replaced with a tissue graft. While you can return back to playing pickleball after it, the recovery period generally encompasses 6 to 12 months. The goal is to gain back the motor control so you can enjoy the sport without any pain. Usually, physicians start physical therapy within a week of surgery so you can work on regaining your knee function, strength, and balance as early as possible.

The rehab program typically includes a combination of simple range-of-motion exercises along with more complex balance workouts. However, you have to start slow and then gradually progress toward more challenging exercises as your knee’s condition gets better gradually.

Once your rehab is completed, the physical therapist will conduct an assessment of your knee. If it’s all fit, you can finally return back to the sport. However, it’s essential to be aware of the risk of injury. There is almost a 5% chance of you suffering from a second ACL injury if you fail to take proper care.

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Advances In Knee Replacement Technology

The recent advancements in knee replacement technology have enhanced patient outcomes. Let’s have a look at some of them:

  • Smart Implant Technology: It employs a new titanium implant that also features a built-in tracker. This device can basically record and transmit data about your gait, which helps tailor the rehabilitation plan accordingly.
  • Robotic Surgery: In many countries, robotic arms are being utilized during knee replacement surgeries to ensure precise placement. This approach basically helps reduce pain and also assists in achieving improved function of the knee.
  • Innovative Pain Management Methods: To control pain and decrease opioid use, methods like perioperative administration of liposomal bupivacaine are being used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Playing Pickleball Hard On Artificial Knees?

Generally, pickleball is not hard on artificial knees, all thanks to its low-impact nature. However, you must exercise caution when playing this sport after a knee replacement surgery to prevent any complications.

Can A Person With A Knee Replacement Play Pickleball?

Yes. Anyone can play pickleball with a knee replacement after passing a specific period of rehabilitation. This duration can vary but typically includes several months, which is enough for the knee to heal completely and get back its strength and flexibility.

Is Pickleball Safe For Knees?

Yes. Playing pickleball is completely safe for knees as it is a low-impact sport. To avoid injuries, you must wear supportive footwear and practice smooth, controlled movements.

What Sports Can You Not Do After Knee Replacement?

There are some high-impact sports that you must avoid. For example, playing tennis after knee replacement is not recommended as it requires quick lateral movements. A few other examples include football, rugby, and all those games that include running or jumping and may put significant stress on your knees.

When Can I Play Pickleball After Total Knee Replacement?

There is no specific timeline on when you can return back to playing pickleball after knee replacement. It depends on various factors, including your overall health, the success rate of the surgery, and your knee’s progress during rehabilitation.


That was all about playing pickleball after knee replacement surgery. Simply put, you can definitely play this sport with an artificial knee. However, there are some precautions that you must take to ensure your well-being. Moreover, it’s equally crucial to give proper time to rehabilitation before returning back to this sport after having your knee replaced. So, have you or any of your loved ones had any experiences with knee replacement surgery? How long did it take to return back to pickleball? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Emma James

A distinguished writer with an impressive 8-year track record of contributing to various prominent informational websites.

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