Primary Hip and Knee Arthroplasty| Volume 37, ISSUE 3, P460-467, March 2022

Can I Ski Doc?: Return to Skiing Following Total Joint Arthroplasty

Published:December 10, 2021DOI:



      Currently, there are little data on performance, safety, or return to downhill skiing after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). This leaves surgeons with little information for patient counseling regarding skiing.


      An online survey was sent to 4360 patients who had undergone at least 1 primary TJA at a single academic center over the past 10 years (4 surgeons). The survey asked patients about their prior and current skiing activity including ability level, limitations, and reoperations. Demographics, patient-reported outcomes, and reoperations were also captured through chart review. Chi-squared, analysis of variance, and t-tests were used to compare demographics and outcomes. Paired t-tests were used to compare preoperative and postoperative skiing levels.


      Of the 763 survey respondents, the average follow-up was 4.4 years (range 0.5-10.3). In total, 35.6% had never skied, 26.5% had not skied in the 5 years prior to surgery (remote), and 37.9% had skied in the 5 years prior to surgery (recent). Seventy percent of recent skiers returned to skiing after surgery, compared to 11.9% of remote skiers. The majority of skiers, mostly advanced, returned to their prior level. There was no difference in return rates in those with a single total hip arthroplasty vs total knee arthroplasty vs multiple TJAs. Rates of reoperation were not significantly different between patients who did and did not return to skiing.


      The majority of recent skiers were able to return to skiing after TJA at their same level without an increase in reoperation rate. Further studies are needed to determine long-term consequences of skiing after TJA.


      Abbreviation used:

      TKA (Total Knee Arthroplasty), THA (Total Hip Arthroplasty), UKA (Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty), TJA (Total Joint Arthroplasty)
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