How Long After Knee Replacement Can You Fly (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10 Weeks

For people who are highly adventurous, it might be difficult to wait once they get their knee surgery conducted successfully. Though the surgery is a safe one, intense physical activity should be avoided for a few weeks. It is a proven fact that flying is not impossible after having a knee replacement.

If proper care is taken, one can easily fly after ten weeks. The duration depends on a number of internal as well as external factors. Above all, the knee caps need time to get affixed. 

How Long After Knee Replacement Can You Fly?

The duration is based on the type of flight taken. If airplanes have to be used for travel, it is a lot safer as compared to other modes. Certain other forms include helicopters and parachutes. The main subject of discussion is regarding the normal flights.

It is safe to travel by air ten weeks after getting a knee replacement done. There should be a large gap so as to allow the replaced knee to settle. Even if the person can walk freely post the surgery, flying should still be postponed by a month or so.

This is advisable in order to rule out any risk of unsuccessful replacements. A better option is to wait till there are no more appointments left. This is easy to follow since the doctor would discontinue treatment only after all other health parameters fall in place.

Medicines should be consumed regularly so as to make the knees capable enough of flying safely. The high altitudes exert a certain amount of pressure on the whole body, including the replaced knees as well. It is better to consult the doctor as well.

The internal mechanisms take a lot of time to fall in place since the body treats the replaced knees as foreign objects. As time elapses, the flexibility increases too. Another way to decide the flying routine is to plan the replacement when there are no more compulsory flights required. 

In summary:

HealthTime
Healthy individual10 weeks
Individual with underlying ailments12 weeks

Why Can You Fly So Long After Knee Replacement?

Thrombosis is the worst side effect of flying too soon after getting knee replacement surgery done successfully. It is a deep vein blood clot that leads to excruciating pain, and partial paralysis at times. One must also take care of underlying health conditions which might affect recovery time as well as efficiency of knees post replacement.

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The most prominent of them is diabetes. People with any type of diabetes are advised not to fly within a month as they need to concentrate on their underlying issues as well. As mentioned before, a successful knee replacement is one that leads to an overall beneficial movement instead of affixed knees.

In case the nuts and bolts are loose, movement should be restricted immediately. Flying might have grave consequences as sitting in the same position for a longer duration of time has an equally adverse effect on the replaced knees as that of rigorous physical activity.

For each and every chore that requires bending of knees, the concerned person must try to move one knee at a time. This brings the contention to a conclusion that those who get both the knees replaced together should avoid flying as much as possible since there is no support system as such.

Even if walkers are used right from day one, handling them during flight is too inconvenient. For old patients, frequent visits are needed to the loo as a result of excessive medication, which in turn increases the risk of joint pain.

Conclusion

The first flying experience following a knee replacement is sure to be a special one. To make it more memorable, the concerned individual should focus more on aftercare instead of rushing towards the activity. The wait might be extended up to a few more weeks if the proper medication is not adhered to.

In the case of such a surgery, the success rate depends upon the long time reliability instead of the quick results. Knees are prone to take time in recovering due to restricted movement. It is essential to have extra protective gear for both the knees as well. 

References

  1. https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/0301-620X.89B7.19091
  2. https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/0301-620X.95B1.28573

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