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Ask PT Pete: Lifting Weights with Knee Replacements

Dear PT Pete, 

I have knee replacements in both legs and scar tissue in one knee. My replacements are sound. I want to lift heavier weights at the gym to retain my muscle mass, but don't know if the downside of heavy leg lifting would wear my knee replacements out early. I am in my 60’s very fit and have lifted for 30+ years. Can I lift heavy?
- Jo from Boise

Thanks Jo! It is very important to keep up with good muscle tone and strength for the health of your knees, but that can be accomplished without having to lift heavy weights. Lifting too heavy can put unwanted stress on your knees and other joints. Ideally, weight lifting with a goal of 10-15 reps until fatigue is safe. The high-intensity, low repetition max approach is not ideal for any joint on your body after a certain age.  Please consult with your surgeon if you want to know the specific weight limit for your lifting program. As with 

Pete Garber is Viverant's co-founder and resident Physical Therapist. What questions do you have for PT Pete? 

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Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.

Posted by jhammond at 10/21/2016 5:54:00 PM
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