Sports activity after total hip and knee arthroplasty : specific recommendations concerning tennis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Lower extremity total joint arthroplasties are among the most successful operations in orthopaedics. Presently, it appears that some patients wish to not only have general functions restored, but also desire the opportunity to return or continue on a high level of activity. This review summarises the literature concerning athletic activity, and tennis in particular, in relation to lower extremity total joint arthroplasties. Orthopaedic surgeons frequently recommend participation in low-impact sports such as swimming, walking, bicycling, bowling and golf. The patient's return to these recreational activities appears to be without problems. In contrast, there has been a general consensus from surgeons to avoid high-impact sports such as tennis and jogging after total joint arthroplasty, but there have been numerous studies that reported functional results being compatible with these activity levels. Conflicts emerge with some studies that describe lower survival rates for hip and knee arthroplasty in patients participating in high-impact sports. Most of these studies report that participation in sporting activities following total joint arthroplasty refers to increased polyethylene wear and debris, which could eventually result in implant failure. With recent advances in implant technology and surgical technique, the survival rates for modern prosthetic designs and patients with these high demands are promising. Various studies assessing the association between clinical outcome and participation in tennis did not demonstrate a harmful effect on implant survival rates. Although the majority of these studies do not reflect a true representation of the average patient undergoing total joint arthroplasty, more surgeons are confronted with the patients' desire to continue with sports activity. To optimise results, patients who demand higher levels of activity must be carefully selected, and must have the motivation and drive to optimise their results. In general, all patients should be encouraged to remain physically active to improve general health, maintain good bone quality, and improve implant fixation. There is still a need for prospective, randomised controlled studies concerning high activity and its impact on total joint arthroplasty.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Seyler, TM; Mont, MA; Ragland, PS; Kachwala, MM; Delanois, RE

Published Date

  • 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 571 - 583

PubMed ID

  • 16796395

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0112-1642

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2165/00007256-200636070-00003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • New Zealand