T Nation

Lifting Heavy After Knee Replacement?

Question for any folks out there with a replacement knee.

I had a knee replacement last year, and at 53, I’m back to lifting after 13 years of no lifting. Doc said no grueling workouts, but … after three months of being back in the gym, my squat is 205, and my DL is 325, both gaining.

Has anyone ever experienced or heard of a replacement knee’s inability to handle excessive weight or damage resulting from heavier lifting? I’m making gains again in my lifting life, and don’t really care what the doc says.


Ask Vlad Alhazov how the knee replacement held up to squatting 505kg lel. Srs

If this came from your surgeon at the time of the replacement I’d be wary cos maybe your new knee joint / half joint / tissues legit isn’t made to deal with this stress and there’s all kinds of risky business. I doubt it tho.

Lifting is good for health (doubly good for you since you are on the older side) and just plain good fun so I’d ask your doctor why he has made these recommendations or seek clarification on what grueling actually means. If he can’t justify his advice then go get a second opinion and in all likelihood you’ll get the go to lift. Or just say fuck it and lift anyways lel.

Docs are too cautious or aren’t really versed in sports anyway. Not as heavy as you obviously but I had ACL surgeries on both knees, no meniscus etc the first one before I started lifting, the second one after my first year of lifting. Well my first knee took 1,5 year to heal and is still the weakest, the second one after 3 months I was runing for 40 mins, and one year later had a 200 kgs deadlift so :slight_smile:
I say if you don’t have pain, keep good technique and aren’t too greeedy, lift away

I think as long as your knee is like stable and mobile enough then it’s all good. I think there’s specific tests but I dunno them maybe a ortho surgeon will?

Thanks for the replies! I too believe docs provide very generalized advice. I’m in the category of F@#* it, I’m feeling strong and healthy for my seasoned age! Stronger than many of the young bucks in the gym, but with age, I wised up to the benefit of food and rest.

Get after it!

Well I know it is very anecdotal and might not be relevant, but arguably one of the strongest (if not the strongest) squatters in the world, Vlad Alkhazov, had knee replacement surgery…and he’s still killing it. He just squatted 1,175 pounds in just knee wraps if that gives you an idea. On a more practical level, I think as long as you progress slowly and rehab smart you should be good!

I am 64 and had both knees replaced when I was 59.
I do box squats to parallel, wide stance, keep my knees over my feet. Twice a week mostly. If it feels right I go up, if not, stay static.

Currently doing set work, 5 reps, at 325 and making good uphill progress. Every few workouts I do squats w/o box to competition depth but currently keeping those light, in the 2+ plate range for reps of 8.

Also do single and 2 leg machine presses and machine leg extensions and pretty heavy too for an old guy. It took 4 years for my left quad to almost catch up with me right quad. There are no OS who will tell you it is ok to squat or lift weights after TKA. So I never even bothered asking mine. They do not understand.

I say go for it, just be smart about it. Rule number 1, do not get hurt.
You have been lifting for a long time. You get it. Now go get it back.