Can You Play Pickleball After Knee Replacement?

Pickleball is a popular sport beloved by players of all ages. It’s known for being fun, social, and a great way to stay active. However, for those who have undergone knee replacement surgery, there may be some concerns about whether or not they can safely participate in the game.

The good news is that playing pickleball after knee replacement is possible, but there are some things to keep in mind. In this blog post, we’ll explore what you need to consider before stepping onto the court.

Playing Pickleball After Hips or Knee Replacement:

Can You Play Pickleball After Knee Replacement

Recovering from a knee replacement surgery during the first year can be difficult. The process involves rehabilitation and the aim to resume the activities you enjoy. If you love playing pickleball, it’s crucial to take a cautious and gradual approach when returning to the sport.

In the initial months after your surgery, your main goal will be to undergo physical therapy to regain your strength and range of motion. You can introduce pickleball into your exercise routine once your therapist deems it safe. It is crucial to heed their advice and avoid over-exerting yourself.

As your recovery progresses, you might be able to participate in more structured pickleball sessions that include drills and exercises to enhance your technique and endurance. Additionally, you could engage in casual pickleball games with friends or join organized pickleball leagues.

Typically, patients can resume playing pickleball within 3 to 6 months after surgery, but it might take as long as a year to regain sufficient strength and balance to feel confident.

By Paul Norio Morton, MD

It’s crucial to keep in mind that everyone’s recovery process varies. Therefore, it’s acceptable to take your time and pay attention to your body’s signals. If you start feeling tired or sore, don’t be worried about taking breaks or lowering the intensity of your activity.

During the first year after knee replacement surgery, you will make progress and accomplish your goals. As you aim to resume playing pickleball and other activities, it is important to practice patience and acknowledge your successes. With determination and the appropriate mindset, you can once again enjoy the sport you are passionate about.

Tips to Playing Pickleball After Surgery

If you’ve had a hip or knee replacement, and you’re looking to start playing Pickleball again, here are some tips to help you get back on the court safely.

Consult with your doctor

Before even considering playing pickleball again, it’s important to consult with your surgeon or doctor first. They will be able to assess your condition, and determine whether or not your knee can handle the demands of pickleball. Depending on your situation, they may recommend waiting several months post-surgery before returning to the sport, or may advise against playing entirely. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to err on the side of caution and take your doctor’s advice seriously.

Take it slow

If your doctor gives you the green light to play pickleball again, it’s important to take things slow at first. Even if you were an experienced player before your surgery, your body needs time to adapt to the demands of the game once again. Start by playing with lower intensity, for example by having gentler hits or less running. You can gradually increase your intensity as your body adapts.

Invest in proper gear

To avoid putting unnecessary strain on your knee, investing in proper gear is key. This includes good shoes with cushioned soles, knee pads, and compression sleeves. Additionally, having the right paddle is essential. Look for a paddle with a larger surface area for improved control and power.

Warm-up and stretch

Before each game, warm up your muscles and stretch properly. This will loosen up your body, reduce the likelihood of injury, and prepare you for the physical demands of pickleball. Focus on stretching your legs, specifically your knee joint muscles, as they’re the ones that are most important for the game.

Listen to your body

Finally, it’s important to listen to your body at all times when playing pickleball. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop immediately and rest. Don’t “play through the pain” as it will only worsen your condition. Instead, consider getting rest, taking a break, or seeking medical advice if your pain persists.


Playing pickleball after knee replacement is possible, but it requires caution and care. Before considering playing again, speak with your doctor, invest in good gear, and take it slow. With proper preparation and a mindful approach to the game, you can return to the court and enjoy the fun and social aspects of pickleball once again. Remember to listen to your body and never push yourself beyond your limits.

About the author

John's love for pickleball began when his wife bought him a set for Christmas one year. He quickly became obsessed with the game, and now plays several times a week.

John loves nothing more than spending an afternoon on the court with friends, whacking balls back and forth.

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