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Thread: Anyone Hiking after Knee Replacement?

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    Senior Member BISCUT's Avatar
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    Anyone Hiking after Knee Replacement?

    19 Years ago I had an incident at work in which I tore the meniscus in my left knee. I'm left handed and my left leg is my power leg for all intensive purposes. I was lucky to have a great surgeon (he works on pro football players and pro soccer players) complete my repair by tying the remaining meniscus instead of just scraping. Repair has been great since.

    Two weeks ago I re-injured the same knee at work. I went back to the original doctor who completed my repair thinking I had torn the meniscus again. Pump the brakes! The repair held up! Nearly 60cc of fluid was drained form the knee and some good old cortisone was used with success. Feels a lot better now.

    Bad news is my images shows arthritis in the left side of my knee and a touch on the kneecap. I'll be getting some gel injections for a while. Doctor wan't to stay away from a partial knee replacement as long as possible (I didn't even know a partial knee replacement was possible). It sure does seem inevitable though.

    I'm about to turn 47 and probably will be retired in a year to a low speed part time job. I'm petrified I won't be able to hike. Hoping to hear from some successful knee replacement hikers!

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    There are several current and former members of this forum that have had knee and hip replacements. As far as I know, all have continued hiking after appropriate rehab and recovery time.
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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    My mother, who has since retired (nearing 80 now), had hers replaced at about 60 yrs old and went another 10+ on it. It wasn't the knee that caused her to stop....probably the body part in the best condition.

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    Yes, I had a partial right knee replacement in February 2018 due to osteoarthritis. Overall, it has been good, although I did have a period of time with some complications late last year that werenít fully explained. Much better now. I also have some sciatic issues which can mask knee pain (news to me). I still hike regularly, although not quite as aggressively as before. But still, that pain I had before the surgery is no longer. I need to get my left knee done but Iím holding off as long as I can via injections and a stretching routine.

    The most important thing you can do, and I canít stress this enough, is to stick with the PT no matter what. You have to be able to regain motion and flexibility or the scar tissue will take hold. They will get you moving literally the next day. They wonít send you home until you can do certain things like walk up and down a flight of stairs and get in and out of a car (assisted by medication and crutches at first of course). Itíll hurt, but youíll be surprised how fast you improve, especially if youíre an active person. I was back to walking flat trails under a mile round trip in about a month. Depending on your vehicle and which knee it is, driving will be out for a few weeks.

    Iím glad I had it done, but be aware it will never be the original equipment. Youíll know thereís something artificial in there, but after a while you get totally used to it.

    One other thing to note is the type of anesthesia. I had general and it really did a number on me and made he very sick. You should be given the choice of a spinal which is supposed to alleviate some of these symptoms.
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    I believe one member of VFTT had both knees done and redid the 4K list in less than 1 year

    FWIW, A good friend had two knees done 2 years ago. He had a knee doctor that prescribed specific physical therapy prior to surgery. He had a fast recovery and attributed t to the PT before the surgery.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 10-11-2019 at 07:01 PM.

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    Senior Member BISCUT's Avatar
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    Hopefully the gel shots will be effective and I can keep active a few more years before a knee replacement. Thanks for all the info.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Don't wait. Just get the knee replacement. I had the right one done 6 yrs ago the left 4 yr. I've hiked hundreds and hundreds of miles since. Just came back from Glacier,Yellowstone,Tetons,Roosevelt Nat Parks. was averaging 30 miles or more a week. I wish I got them done in my mid 50's and now I'm 71. The ones they made and do today are so much better and if ever a revision is required that too is simple job. I suffered and wasted time and money with micro fractures, shots,etc. Wasted time aend life style is what i did. I just had my shoulder replaced and the knee thou more painful the first two weeks the shoulder was worse as i couldn't use it for months. I was hiking in 3 1/2 weeks with the TKR's.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BISCUT View Post
    Hopefully the gel shots will be effective and I can keep active a few more years before a knee replacement. Thanks for all the info.
    These types of surgery are best done as soon as possible, if they will eventually be needed. Age is not your friend in recovery. I had meniscus surgery last year, that in itself went very well, but I have been fighting bursitis ever since.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    These types of surgery are best done as soon as possible, if they will eventually be needed. Age is not your friend in recovery. I had meniscus surgery last year, that in itself went very well, but I have been fighting bursitis ever since.

    waiting screws up the mind,body and other parts still in good shape. Injecting gel or cortizone will screw up ligiments,muscles etc.

    This is why I had a shoulder replacement thou shots helped in the year. The shots I was told by the surgeon will eat out the vital parts to help after a replacement someday.

    And knees are a must simpler thing then shoulders. No bone in shoulders glenoid so these have a high failure rate. Knees last forever. My mom had them done in her 60's she died 4 yrs ago at 94. She was real active . Same for sister. I have no doubts they will last over 40 yrs.
    Last edited by CaptCaper; 10-18-2019 at 08:56 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Replacement parts have a shelf life (10-20 years in some cases). Not unheard of for people to have your replacement replaced. So, age and future activity is something that should be considered. As well as any concerns about major surgery.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    Replacement parts have a shelf life (10-20 years in some cases). Not unheard of for people to have your replacement replaced. So, age and future activity is something that should be considered. As well as any concerns about major surgery.
    10 to 20 is not accurate. I know and have done my research for many years. Most failures of short term are very old and fragile types were no bone health is present. A hiker or anyone else that is healthy can enjoy many more years then what you posted and a revision if ever needed probably in the future of 30 or 40 yrs will be like brushing your teeth.

    Surgery risks is a very small 1 % issue and that again is usually fixed fast and or happens in unhealthy humans to begin with. Have my surgeon and his team do it and you'll be done by the best. This old timer never had an infection and no failures.

    Best to get them done and be active to keep healthy

    Don't scare people saying 10 yrs. Please. That kind of talk scared me to waiting. A big mistake
    Last edited by CaptCaper; 10-18-2019 at 11:00 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    10 to 20 is not accurate. I know and have done my research for many years. Most failures of short term are very old and fragile types were no bone health is present. A hiker or anyone else that is healthy can enjoy many more years then what you posted and a revision if ever needed probably in the future of 30 or 40 yrs will be like brushing your teeth.

    Surgery risks is a very small 1 % issue and that again is usually fixed fast and or happens in unhealthy humans to begin with. Have my surgeon and his team do it and you'll be done by the best. This old timer never had an infection and no failures.

    Best to get them done and be active to keep healthy

    Don't scare people saying 10 yrs. Please. That kind of talk scared me to waiting. A big mistake
    Not scaring anyone. I would suggest nobody takes medical advice from anyone on the internet, though.

    "For 80–90% of people who have total knee replacement, the new joint should last about 20 years, and it may well last longer. If you've had a partial knee replacement, you're more likely to need a repeat operation – about 1 person in 10 needs further surgery after 10 years."

    I'm also not discouraging anyone. I have already suggested my mother had one and was back to hiking in short order.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    Not scaring anyone. I would suggest nobody takes medical advice from anyone on the internet, though.

    "For 80–90% of people who have total knee replacement, the new joint should last about 20 years, and it may well last longer. If you've had a partial knee replacement, you're more likely to need a repeat operation – about 1 person in 10 needs further surgery after 10 years."

    I'm also not discouraging anyone. I have already suggested my mother had one and was back to hiking in short order.

    Still not true. 80 to90 % won't last past 20. That's way off.

    Anyone reading this now or in the future please don't let this sway you. Do your research. With the web now you can see the true status of TKR's. Take it from the Horses mouth.

  14. #14
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    Still not true. 80 to90 % won't last past 20. That's way off.

    Anyone reading this now or in the future please don't let this sway you. Do your research. With the web now you can see the true status of TKR's. Take it from the Horses mouth.
    Yes, agreed. Nobody should take medical advice from a message board No matter which end of the horse is saying it.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    Yes, agreed. Nobody should take medical advice from a message board No matter which end of the horse is saying it.
    I disagree. One should listen closely to those with advice who have been there and done that. And take their advice with other information rather then from anyone who never been there and copy's and paste's off the web at random.

    I will not bother to try to post the sources as it took many hours to find and sort thru all the old data,testimonials,etc. Not to mention countless videos of the many different procedures,lectures I obtained.

    Anyone thinking of Total Knee Replacement's will have to spend the time I did and effort to find the right surgeon and process that works for them.

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