• SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE. BoneSmart will be unavailable from 8:00am - 10:00am CDT on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 due to required systems maintenance and upgrade.

    If you are unable to log in, please check back later and the maintenance should be completed.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

TKR Pre-op question about post-op travel


Jun 18, 2016
United States United States
I’m trying to prepare for what looks to be quite a recovery, and now having questions about travel in the year following the surgery. We have a tentative trip planned at the approximate 10 month mark - but I’m not certain that a 10 hour flight, followed by a lot of sightseeing in uneven places, is going to be possible.
Just wondering if this is even something to be thinking about!
At ten months, my newer knee stiffens with prolonged sitting (more than my first knee did at six months) but that's due to some scar tissue which most folks don't have. A couple of minutes walking in the house and it's ok.

It's range of motion is excellent, and it is very happy doing yardwork and three mile walks (including paved or staircased hills, as in visiting San Francisco's Bernal Heights). My next challenge in the coming weeks is the more uneven terrain of Ukiah's Low Gap Regional Park. I plan on carrying my walking stick just in case. You might check the most recent page of my Recovery thread next week for my update!

I think you'll be fine with your travel plans - on the flight, you'll want to get up to stretch and walk in the aisle regularly. Earlier in recovery some of our members wear support hose when flying; I'm sure some will check in here with input!
@mendogal - Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Janet. I’ll hop on over to your recovery thread right now - how encouraging to hear what you can manage now! :)
I would just piggy back that, with checking with your surgeon before finalizing any plans. Plans are great, and I'd hope your knee would cooperate, but it will be in charge of how you are doing. You will definitely want to make certain you have scheduled time to elevate and ice - that will be your best friend.

Some surgeons have protocols on travel, etc. Checking is the best answer.
My recovery goal is to travel to Australia and hike the highest mountain. I'm 7 and 4 months post op. Hope to go around this time next year.
I've already realized the hardest part is going to be the flight, not the hike. I know I'm doing better than a lot of people. I've already hiked a relatively flat 4 miles. But a 1-2 hour drive and I'm so stiff when I stand up. Even starts to get achy while sitting in the car to the point I have to stop and walk around a bit (closer to the 2 hour mark). I did acupuncture pre and post surgery. I'll probably go for a few sessions before the flight.
Best I can say is see how it goes. Try to figure out what may help. Change dates if needed (don't book too early).
@eaglemom Yes, I’m absolutely ready to allow my postoperative knee to call the shots! There’s no pressure to take this trip, it was just something we’d planned on before my knee took a seemingly-overnight turn for the worse. I’m in no hurry to rush into a trip that could possibly end up being a horrible choice!

@lrj Thanks so much for your input - it all helps to give me a picture of what to expect after my surgery. That said, if I can do a quarter of what you’re able to do at the 4 month mark, I’ll be thrilled! (Being so much older than you, I’m going to guess it’ll be a much slower ride to recovery for me.) I love that you’re already making plans for scaling the heights in Australia!
We have a tentative trip planned at the approximate 10 month mark - but I’m not certain that a 10 hour flight, followed by a lot of sightseeing in uneven places, is going to be possible.
Yes, it will!

Perhaps my experience with travel post-my first TKR (2021) will give you confidence:

At almost exactly 10 months post-op, we did a 3+-week trip across Scandinavia. We took an 8-hour flight to Norway, hiked and biked through fjord country; then, took a 4-hour train ride to Oslo, where we did 2-days of city walking tours. Next, we flew to Copenhagen to join a 2-week cruise of the Baltic with daily stops that involved lots of walking on old cobblestone streets to tour the medieval cities. On the way home, we had two flights with a stopover that required "running" through Frankfurt airport because our first leg flight was delayed.

I did elevate and ice my knee during the trip to keep the swelling down, but my knee did really well. You can check out my full knee #1 recovery story here: https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/benne68s-1st-tkr-recovery.67226/
@benne68 WOW!! I’m a bit winded just thinking about your incredible trip and the many, many steps you covered while seeing all the sights! It‘s hard to imagine that I’ll be up and running to that degree a year from now, but your progress is pure inspiration!! Now to hop onto your recovery thread to get the details….
Thanks so much for taking the time to share, Deb!

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

  • Jockette
    Staff member since March 18, 2018
  • djklaugh
    Staff member since December 30, 2020
  • Susie-Q
    Staff member since February2, 2022
  • mendogal
    Staff member since November 10, 2023
  • Pumpkin
    Staff member since March 26, 2015

Forum statistics

Latest member
Recent bookmarks
Top Bottom