The primary focus of exercising after knee replacement is to build and maintain strength of the muscles surrounding the knee, to maintain a normal range of motion, and to avoid loosening or dislocating the prosthetic. Orthopedic experts recommend avoiding contact sports and other jarring activities that put a great deal of pressure on the knee joint — like running, for example.
Some people have an uncomplicated course of recovery from joint replacement surgery; they follow up with physical therapy and stay on track with home exercise. For others, recovery is more difficult, for a variety of reasons. But surgeons generally recommend regular exercise for recovery and long-term joint stability as well as function. A well-rounded fitness plan should include strength and flexibility training, as well as no or low-impact cardio — such as walking, swimming, or cycling.
I recommend requesting medical clearance for any client with a history of joint replacement. This gives the physician a chance to specify any physical activity limitations or to clear the client to exercise with no limitations; this information is vital for developing a safe and effective exercise program tailored to your clients’ needs. Coordinating care with the physical therapist is also a good idea, depending on how long ago your client underwent post-op treatment.