Many people want to keep up on the hobbies they had before their knee replacement, but fear that the replacement will hinder them from doing so. Have no fear, gardening and lawn care are still realistic hobbies after a knee replacement. Knee replacement surgery has improved by leaps and bounds over the years, resulting in better joint movement post replacement surgery.

The Importance of Rehabilitation

The role of rehabilitation is very important. If you want to get back into your flower garden, it is crucial that you follow your orthopedic surgeon’s advice. Make sure that you attend all of your appointments with your surgeon and your physical therapist. Make sure that you also do the assigned exercises to increase mobility and flexibility of the replaced joint. If you are given a continuous passive motion machine (CPM), it is important that you use it regularly. This will help prevent the build-up of scar tissue and stiffness in your knee.

You will get back to your gardening in due time, so do not rush the healing process. Listen to your doctor, your physical therapist, and your body. By around week 13, you should have the ability to return to some strenuous activities. Of course, this varies from person to person. Full recovery generally takes from 3 to 12 months. The more you put into your rehabilitation, the sooner you should be able to return to your hobbies.

Gardening After Surgery

In your garden, you can use a gardening stool. A gardening stool will allow you to reach your plants without the added strain caused by kneeling. While this isn’t always what a person wants to do, it is better to use a stool than to not be in the garden.

Container gardening is another option for knee replacement patients. If you are still in your recovery period, you can get containers and grow some starter plants. This will allow you to keep your fingers in the dirt and protect your knee. Containers are also a viable solution for growing some vegetables.

Gardening after knee surgery

Ask your friends who garden if they will grow starter plants for you. Many flowers and plants are able to be transplanted. This would enable you to have the garden you wanted during recovery.

Meet with an occupational therapist or ask your physical therapist for post-surgery gardening advice.  They will have great suggestions that are more tailored to your specific situation. Remember to keep exercising your knee. Stationary bikes and elliptical trainers are great forms of low-impact exercise.  There are numerous gardening forums on the Internet that will have members that have experienced knee replacement. Forums are a great place for advice and support.

Knee replacement does not stop you from living a full life. It is totally possible that you will be able to eventually go back to doing all garden activities you did before your knee replacement. The key is to make accommodations for the recovery of your replaced joint until you and your orthopedic surgeon determine that you are ready to resume all activities.

Robin is a blogger at Matthew Boes M.D. Orthopaedic Surgery in Raleigh, North Carolina. She loves to garden. 

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