Ask any dancing enthusiast and they’ll tell you that their worst fear is not missing steps during a performance. While that is something they’d do anything in their power to ensure doesn’t happen, their worst fear is not being able to dance anymore. And when your doctor recommends a knee replacement, it may seem like the end of your dancing days whether you do it professionally or as a hobby.
Fortunately, knee replacement isn’t the end of your square dancing days. After knee replacement surgery, it’s not advisable to do high impact activities that may put too much strain on the implant. Luckily, square dancing falls in the category of low impact, knee-friendly activities.
If you’re scheduled for a knee replacement procedure, it’s crucial to know what to expect in terms of your performance and recovery post-surgery. We’ve provided all the information you need to be well prepared and know what to expect after your surgical procedure. Let’s dive right in.
Can You Square Dance After Knee Replacement Surgery?
While square dancing may seem a tad outdated for some people, it’s a thrilling experience for individuals who grew up in the 1950s and it has stood the test of time. Close-knit communities use this dance as a way of passing time and having fun.
And the best thing about this dance is that you don’t have to be a professional. As long as you know the steps, you can jump in at any moment and enjoy the fun. What’s more, you don’t need classes. The steps are so simple that you can learn them on the spot and enjoy yourself.
Source: J. C. Western
If you love square dancing, the thought of a knee replacement can have you rethinking the entire procedure. No one wants to be a spectator when everyone else is square dancing. Unfortunately, most seniors have to face this reality at some point.
When you’re young, a few days of rest is enough to ease the pain and promote healing. But this isn’t the case when you’re older. Recovery takes a longer period and you may have to stay off the dance floor for a long time to manage the pain.
In some cases, the only option is to get knee replacement surgery if the damage is too much. However, most dancing enthusiasts prefer not to take this route out of fear that they may never be able to do what they love most – dance.
And this begs the question, can you still square dance after having a knee replacement? Yes, you can. After knee replacement surgery physicians require their patients to engage in low-impact activities to avoid applying too much pressure on the area.
Some of the activities they recommend include:
- Square dancing
- Using an elliptical
- Weight training with smaller weights for more reps
- Low-resistance rowing
- Table tennis
- Ballroom dancing
Activities to Avoid After Knee Replacement Surgery
After your knee replacement procedure, your physician’s goal will be to improve the survivorship of your implant. As a result, they will advise against engaging in high-impact activities that put too much pressure on the area.
One of the things your doctor will ask you to avoid is running or jumping. This means you shouldn’t participate in activities like football, basketball, climbing, parachuting, hang gliding, or high-impact aerobics.
While you may still be able to do these high-impact activities even after your surgery, it’s not recommended since it affects the durability of your implant. However, recommendations will vary from one physician to another depending on their approach and your condition.
Other Important Considerations
Apart from understanding your limitations in terms of activities after knee replacement surgery, it’s also a good idea to know what to expect in the recovery phase. This way, you’ll know if the procedure was successful.
Besides, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed judgment on when to resume normal activities after your surgical procedure. Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions among knee replacement candidates.
What’s the Recovery Process Like?
Your immune, endocrine, and nervous system will perceive the implant as an open fracture. To heal this “fracture”, your body will induce a biological response that will induce you to rest thereby enabling unhindered regeneration of damaged tissue.
If you’re not mobile, you’re under a lot of stress and taking drugs; it may interfere with the healing process and result in inflammation. Smoking and anemia may also affect the healing process. As a result, doctors will ask patients to stop smoking and those suffering from anemia will have to take iron supplements before the procedure.
After the procedure, you don’t have to wait until the skin is fully recovered for the joint to work as it should. However, your doctor will recommend physical therapy for at least 3 months after the surgery (2 to 3 times a week). After that, you may need physical therapy once every week for another 3 months.
You should give yourself at least one year for a full recovery. This time is sufficient to recover from residual injuries and any compensatory patterns develop while you were experiencing pain.
How Soon Can You Start Dancing Again?
How soon you can resume normal activities will solely depend on your situation. Everyone is different. The recovery time may take longer for some patients than others. After the surgery, the primary focus will be to reduce any inflammation and pain.
Once you notice an improvement in these areas, you may start seeing a difference in your movement and range of motion. To improve your range of motion, you will have to undergo physical therapy for some time.
Your doctor may also recommend light activities like cycling and strength training workouts to improve strength. You can expect to start dancing again in about 4 to 6 weeks.
Will Your Dancing be Affected?
Yes and no. After knee replacement, you should expect to dance the same way you did in your 20s. Furthermore, you’ll notice a difference in your range of motion with the implant compared to your natural knee.
However, you’ll still be able to square dance confidently. And the best part is that you’ll be doing it pain-free. Therefore, while it may take time to get used to your new knee, in the big picture, it will be a small trade-off since you’ll be enjoying what you love doing and not having to deal with pain all the time.
Source: Beyond the Barre
Getting knee replacement surgery isn’t an easy decision especially when you think of the ways it may affect your day-to-day activities. Fortunately, if you’re a square dancing enthusiast, this isn’t something you need to worry about. Square dancing is a low impact activity that’s appropriate for candidates who’ve undergone knee replacement surgery.
However, you may have to wait a few months before getting back on the dance floor. After the procedure, you’ll need to give the knee some time to heal and go through physical therapy to regain your full range of motion.
Also, don’t expect to dance the same way you did before. It will take time to get used to moving with the implant. What’s more, you may not be able to move as fast since you have to watch your movements with a knee replacement to ensure its survivorship.