Can you Kneel Down after a Knee Replacement?

Kneeling after total knee joint replacement is not a problem for most patients. For others though, kneeling can be a problem. The really interesting question is- why? Why is kneeling a problem for some patients? A key point in considering this topic is that the knee prosthesis is more than capable of tolerating the load of kneeling. In other words, kneeling is not dangerous for your new knee joint… so for those who do have problems with kneeling, there are usually other problems present that need to be addressed.

Many patients who don’t kneel after their knee replacement surgery have simply not attempted to do so. This may be because there simply isn’t a need to kneel during day to day activities. Others avoid kneeling after knee replacement surgery because at some point along the way, they learned that kneeling was a no no after a total knee replacement.

My view is that following a total knee joint replacement, our minimum goal should be to restore a sufficient degree of motion and loading tolerance to facilitate normal performance of everyday activities. Among these everyday activities is the action of getting oneself up off the floor from a sitting or lying position. Invariably, this activity will require at least a brief moment of kneeling. It is therefore important in my view that patients can at least tolerate kneeling to an extent that facilitates the action of rising from sitting or lying on the floor. This is really important for elderly people who may find it difficult to get up if they are unfortunate enough to have a fall whilst on their own.

If you’re contemplating having a total knee replacement, rest assured that your capacity to kneel is unlikely to be limited by the artificial knee joint. Problems with kneeling after replacement surgery are more likely to be the product of soft tissue irritation or sensitivity that are likely amenable to conservative treatment options.

If you have had a knee replacement and are having difficulty with kneeling, the following tips can help you decide whether or not to seek out an assessment:

  • If the kneeling pain is associated with swelling or other symptoms such as loss of sensation or tingling, it would be a good idea to get it checked out.
  • If the kneeling pain is affecting your function you should book into see your physio or doctor.
  • If your knee was going along fine but suddenly became problematic during kneeling, it would be a good idea to have it assessed by your Physio or Doctor.

A clinical examination of your knee will hone in on other possible drivers of your symptoms. If your unsure, it is better to err on the side of getting your knee checked out by your Physio or Doctor.

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