If you work and your job requires little physical exertion, you may return to it three to six weeks after surgery. New methodologies of joint replacement promise a quicker recovery and the possibility of returning to work and restricted physical activity sooner. Consult with your surgeon regarding your particular situation. It will be as long as three months before you can do more vigorous activities, such as prolonged walking, standing or lifting. Some kinds of labor, such as construction work, may not be advisable following joint replacement. Discuss your occupation in detail with your surgeon if you have concerns.

Most people are able to resume driving about three to six weeks after their surgery, depending on which joint is replaced. You should have regained adequate muscle control for braking and accelerating before you try to drive.
Before long, more vigorous activities such as walking or swimming will usually be recommended to keep you healthy and your joint mobile. Pursuits such as golf and bowling are also good.

You will, however, need to avoid certain high-impact activities for the rest of your life, such as jogging or high-impact sports. Participating in such activities could put excessive wear on your joint, causing it to loosen and become painful. Your doctor will advise you about which sports to avoid.
Realistic Expectations
Most people who undergo joint replacement surgery are dramatically better after three to six weeks and continue to improve for several months. Most also experience a dramatic reduction in pain at the affected joint and a significant improvement in ability to perform common activities. Keep in mind, however, that joint replacement surgery will not enable you to do more than you could before you developed arthritis. Your surgeon will be your best guide as to what progress you can expect, based on your specific circumstances.

Be aware that components of your artificial joint may activate the metal detectors used for security in airports and other locations. Tell the security staff about your artificial joint if you trigger the alarm.

You should also let your dentist and other health professionals know about your artificial joint. Dental work and other surgical procedures can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream, making the site of your joint replacement vulnerable to infection. You should always be given antibiotics before dental or invasive procedures to prevent the chance of infection.
It's impossible to predict how long a new joint will last, since factors such as age, weight, activity level and bone strength, among others, determine the final outcome. If your new joint loosens over time, it may be necessary to repeat the surgery. However, many people with artificial joints have few problems fifteen to twenty years later or even longer. It's likely that your new joint will bring you years of pain-free activity