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How Do I Take Care of My New Joint Replacement?

The life of an artificial joint varies from patient to patient. Once you make the decision to have joint replacement surgery, it’s important to take care of it.

Many factors contribute to an artificial joint’s longevity and can vary from patient to patient. Some of these factors include your physical condition, the health of the bone and soft tissue surrounding the implants, activity level, weight, adherence to your surgeons’ instructions, and the accuracy of the implant’s placement during surgery. Your results will depend on your personal circumstances. Individual results and complications will vary. It’s important to follow your surgeon's instructions.

Like the natural joint, how well the materials in an artificial joint withstand the wear and tear of everyday life contributes to how long the artificial joint will last. Talk with your doctor about the following points and how they might affect the longevity and success of your joint replacement.

Consult your surgeon before beginning any new sport or activity.

  • Repetitive heavy lifting (consult your orthopedic surgeon before you begin to lift anything with the operative arm)
  • "Jamming" and “impact loading” activities such as hammering or boxing
  • Current health and activity level
  • Physical activities involving twisting or impact stresses on the operative joint
  • Activities that might impact the shoulder such as shooting a gun
  • Activities that may place you at a risk for falling such as downhill skiing
  • Pushing/pulling heavy objects
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This article was medically reviewed for accuracy by Dr. John Sperling, paid Zimmer Biomet consultant.

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