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How Soon Can I Get Back To Normal Activities?


While recovering from elbow surgery, it's important to remember that you should not lift anything with the operative arm. You’ll most likely also be advised to take it easy and modify your positioning to keep pressure off of your elbow. Please consult with your orthopedic surgeon before you begin to lift anything.

In most cases, successful elbow replacement surgery will relieve your pain and stiffness and allow you to resume many of your normal daily activities as instructed by your doctor. But even after you have fully recovered from your surgery, you will still have some restrictions.

Once you've had your elbow replaced, normal daily activities do not include:

  • Contact sports
  • "Jamming" activities such as hammering or heavy or repetitive lifting
  • Activities that put excessive strain on your elbow
  • Lifting anything heavy

Be certain to follow your doctor's instructions so that you don't overdo it. Although your artificial joint can be replaced, a second implant is seldom as successful as the first.

For the first two years following your elbow replacement, you doctor may suggest you take preventive antibiotics before dental or surgical procedures that could allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Generally, talk to your orthopedist and your dentist or urologist to see if you still need preventive antibiotics before any scheduled procedures.