Science and technology are discovering and building the tools to keep us walking, jogging and riding our bikes to the grave. Whatever the reason for knee or hip cartilage failure, these surgeries are giving thousands a second chance. While a replacement is still not the original, in most cases the pain is gone and the recipient is able to regain pain free movement and an active lifestyle.
It is at this post surgical point that a recipient must decide how to make the best of this second chance at pain free movement. If you were 4-5 day per week golfer maybe you are down to 2 or 3 rounds of golf per week and maybe you ride in a cart 30% of the time. If you were a runner, maybe you become a hiker. The point is that you can still enjoy many of your previous life activities(prior to the painful few months leading up to surgery), but you will need to make a few adjustments.
Additionally, you also need to fine tune your exercise/fitness program to both optimize your general health and stay active in your desired activity. Working out too aggressively can cause joint pain, speed up joint wear and like an overtrained athlete hurt your performance and increase the potential for injury.