Activities & Sports
You may resume activities two to three months after surgery as tolerated, such as bowling, dancing, horseback riding, golf, doubles tennis, and skiing. You may resume these activities if you did them regularly before surgery and if you perform them safely.
The best lifelong activities are:
- swimming, and
We do not recommend any running, jumping, or heavy lifting as these activities may wear out your new joint replacement sooner than expected. This will lead to more surgeries over the course of your lifetime.
To guard against infection in your joint, we recommend early treatment of any bacterial infection. These include:
- skin infection,
- ingrown toenail,
- upper respiratory infection,
- sinus infection, or
- invasive procedures.
You should see your primary care physician for complete antibiotic treatment, if appropriate. A virus, such as the flu or a cold, is not a bacterial infection and does not generally require antibiotics, but we still recommend making an appointment with your primary care physician, in case you need treatment.
Infection Warning Signs
Warning signs of a possible infection include:
- persistent fever (higher than 101.5 degrees);
- shaking or chills;
- increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling of the wound;
- drainage from the wound;
- Increasing pain with both activity and rest.
Notify your doctor immediately if you develop any of these signs.
Read more about infection in joint replacement.
Follow Up Care
Your joint replacement should last for 15–20 years depending on your age, weight, and activity level. It is critical for you to return for your regular appointments, even when recovery is going well.
Follow-up appointments with your surgeon consist of X-rays and complete examination of your joint. If there are changes to your joint replacement or surrounding bone, we may be able to detect it before you feel it.
Attending all follow-up appointments will help you avoid possible problems later in life and help us to know our patients are getting the desired results from surgery. Your surgeon is likely to have you return for repeat X-rays at
- one year;
- two years; and then
- five, 10, 15 years after surgery, unless deemed otherwise.
Patient Reported Outcomes: MEval
As part of the recovery process, we ask patients follow-up questions in a health questionnaire survey. The health questionnaire is a "patient reported outcome" or PPO, which is a set of questions that only you (the patient) can answer. University of Utah Health calls this collection of reported outcomes mEVAL.
Patient reported outcomes are very important tools to understand how well you as a patient are doing. Traditionally, the health care industry has measured the quality of care through process measures like infection rates. However, none of these measures really help define the value of care a patient received from a medical intervention.
We use these metrics that patients report about their care to hold our providers accountable for the quality of the care they give.
There are many different patient reported outcome questionnaires, and you will be asked certain ones based on the type of provider you are seeing or the medical condition for which you are being treated.
To keep track of your progress, we prefer to ask you these questions at every visit.
The adult reconstruction clinical research team is dedicated to improving the outcomes of patients. The team consists of your surgeons along with dedicated:
- advanced practice clinicians,
- a research scientist,
- a research coordinator, and
- a research assistant.
We also work closely with the statisticians to design high quality research studies that help us better understand the outcomes of your treatments, risk factors for failure and methods to reduce those risks.
Additionally, our surgeons are dedicated to improving the care pathways that you receive while in our care and studies have been and will continue to be performed to refine these pathways. Our team has been the recipient of several research rewards over the last few years and we strive to continue performing at the top of the class.
Contact Your Doctor
Please call your doctor if:
- Your incision is draining or redness/swelling increases.
- Your incision is opening up.
- You have a temperature over 101.5 degrees.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have calf pain and swelling that does not improve with elevation.
- You have new redness or pain in lower leg.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery, medications, or treatment plan.
Call 911 immediately if you experience any of the following:
- A pop and strange twist to your leg with or without bearing weight. This may be a sign you have dislocated your hip.
- Inability to lift your foot and straighten your knee.
- Sudden difficulty breathing, chest pain, or chest pain when you cough.
- Shaking chills or a temperature over 101.5 degrees.
- A severe fall and the inability to bear any weight on your leg.
- Numb, cold, or blue/pale looking toes.