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Sex After Joint Replacement: Positions for Hip and Knee

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

You’ve had joint replacement surgery and may be wondering what positions are safe for sex. The positions on this sheet should be safe after either a hip or a knee replacement. Try to avoid putting too much pressure on your new joint. Also, take the same care getting out of a position as you did getting into it. If you have had a hip replacement, always keep the joint within a safe range of motion.

After a hip replacement, be sure the knee on the affected side:

  • Remains level with or below the hip.

  • Does not cross the body’s midpoint (the bellybutton).

Setting the Scene

Having sex can be a little easier if you plan ahead. Here are a few tips:

  • Take a mild pain medication about 20-30  minutes before sex. This can help prevent minor aches. Avoid taking medication so strong that it masks warning pain.

  • Have pillows and rolled towels nearby. They can be used for body support.

  • Relax. Do a few easy stretches within a safe range of motion.

Face-to-Face

Face-to-Face

  • This position works after either a hip or a knee replacement. Being on the bottom is safe for a man or a woman with a new joint.

  • The partner on the bottom keeps his or her legs apart and turned out slightly. Use pillows to support the legs on the outside. Depending on comfort, the person on the bottom can recline propped up on pillows or lie flat.

  • If the man has a new hip joint, place pillows between his knees. This keeps them from crossing his body’s midpoint (bellybutton).

Sitting in a Chair

Sitting in a Chair

  • This position works after a hip or knee replacement. It is a safe position for a man or a woman with a new joint.

  • The man sits on a straight chair. His feet are supported or are flat on the floor. The woman sits on the man’s lap.

Woman Lying and Man Kneeling

Woman Laying Man Kneeling

  • This position works for a woman with a new hip or knee joint.

  • The woman lies on the bed on her back, buttocks near the edge of the bed. Both feet should be supported or flat on the floor.

  • The man kneels in front of the woman, on pillows placed on the floor. His hands are placed on either side of her body.

Side-Lying Position

Side-Lying Position

  • This position works for a man with a replaced knee joint. He should lie on his side, with the new joint on the bottom.

  • A woman with a replaced hip or knee joint can also use this position. She lies on her side, with the new joint on the bottom.

  • Use pillows for support.

Man Propped on Elbows

  • This position is for a man with a new hip joint.

  • He lies on top of his partner. His legs are stretched out behind him, with a pillow between his knees.

  • He supports his weight on his elbows.

Special Note

If your partner has had a hip replacement:

  • Make sure he or she has the surgeon’s okay before having sex.

  • Help your partner stay within a safe range of motion.

  • Control the amount and speed of movement during sex.

  • Do not put all your weight on your partner’s hips.

Medical Reviewer: Bechtold, C Dustin, MD; Ma, C Benjamin, MD Last Annual Review Date: 2012-06-05 Copyright: © 2000-2010 The StayWell Company, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Bones, Joints and Muscles section on Better Medicine