How Much Weight Can You Lift After Total Knee Replacement

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weight lifting after knee replacement surgery

As you return from the hospital after a knee replacement surgery, you will want to get back to your normal activities as soon as possible. However, taking it slow and progressing as you recover is important. Activities and household chores involve a lot of bending, kneeling, and lifting things which may cause damage to the operated knee joint. 

Your surgeon will recommend lifting less than 4 to 5 kg (10 pounds) for the first 4 to 6 weeks after total knee replacement to avoid any strain on the knee joint. During the first few weeks after the surgery, your focus should be on getting enough rest and avoiding strenuous activities such as lifting weights. 

What Should I Avoid Lifting After Total Knee Replacement Surgery?

Once you are home, you would want to keep your surrounding organized and clean but keep in mind that you have just undergone major surgery and have not recovered. You should be cautious in lifting heavy things, moving around too quickly, bending, stretching, and lifting heavy weights after your knee replacement, as your knee is bound to buckle and give way if not taken care of. 

After a total knee replacement surgery, it is generally recommended to avoid lifting:

  • Weight above 10 to 15 pounds
  • Groceries, laundry baskets, and other heavy household items
  • Objects that require bending or twisting at the knee, such as a vacuum cleaner or mop bucket
  • Objects that require you to kneel down, such as picking up a pencil from the floor

It is important to listen to your body and avoid activities that cause pain or discomfort. It’s also important to follow the instructions provided by your surgeon and the physical therapist regarding weight lifting and other activities. They will be able to guide on the activities that you should do and not do at different stages of your recovery. 

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Household Chores to Avoid After Total Knee Replacement

Though staying inactive after your knee replacement surgery is not recommended, it is also important to know what kind of activities are right for you. After a total knee replacement surgery, it is generally recommended to avoid certain household chores that stress the knee joint. These may include:

  • Vacuuming or mopping, which cuase twisting and bending of the knee.
  • Climbing stairs which can be difficult and painful for the first few weeks following surgery.
  • Lifting heavy objects such as laundry baskets or grocery bags.
  • activities that require kneeling, such as washing dishes, laundry, or cleaning the floor.
  • Sitting or standing in one position for extended periods.

Make sure that you consult your doctor or your physical therapist before starting any new activity while you recover. Engaging in strenuous activities can put unwanted stress on your knee joint resulting in an injury or delayed healing.

Why I Can’t Lift Weights After my Knee Replacement Surgery?

You must be wondering why it is that I can not lift anything heavier than a coffee mug after knee replacement surgery. What is the big deal if I do some household chores? Yes, these questions may seem right from your perspective, but remember that not giving your knee enough time to recover can affect the outcome of the procedure. It is better to be cautious than sorry later.

Firstly, when you lift any weight, be it 5 or 10 pounds, you should know that you are placing significant stress on your leg and knee. More strain is exerted if you start walking and moving around with that object in hand. 

Even if you follow all the precautions while lifting that weight or the object, there are chances that you might twist your new knee. This will increase the risk of your knee getting damaged. Hence, it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions while you recover and make sure you avoid unwanted stress on your knees until you heal completely. 

Some Safe Lifting Tips After Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a major procedure, and recovery and rehabilitation post-surgery should not be taken lightly. Once you are home, following the dos and don’ts, as advised by your surgeon, is mandatory. Lifting heavy weights is a complete“NO” for the initial few weeks after surgery. 

Once your surgeon gives the go-ahead to start lifting low weights, there are some tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Do not lift any object that is heavier than 10 pounds until you fully recover.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects repetitively even as you recover (e.g., lifting or moving heavy boxes)- Use a cart to transport them
  • When lifting any object, bend with your knee, not your back. Hold the object close to your body while maintaining a normal arch in your lower back.
  • Lift any object that is between your knee and waist level. Set up your kitchen area so that you can lift the objects at this level.


Recovery from a total knee replacement (TKR) surgery can take several months. The specific recovery time will depend on factors such as age, overall health, and the type of surgery performed. Your recovery period can be challenging, but remember that it is going to be totally worth it. Following the instructions from your doctor and physiotherapist will help you have a smooth recovery. We at Medfin can help provide you expert guidance on each aspect of your knee surgery and ensure that you lead a healthy and active life. 

Disclaimer: The content on this site is the copyright of Medfin and is intended for informational and educational purposes only. This should not be considered as a substitute for medical and surgical expertise. Results from any treatments or surgeries are subjective to an individual patient and the type of procedure/surgery performed. Please seek professional help regarding any medical concerns. Medfin will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.

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