Knee Replacement

Lilli
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Joined: 31 Dec 2017, 5:04pm

Knee Replacement

Postby Lilli » 31 Dec 2017, 5:17pm

I have found old posts from people having a knee replacement but am keen to know how cyclists have got on with having a total knee replacement. Mine is booked for the 12 Jan. I am relatively young (57) and most of the general info and expectation seems to be for older and people not so passionate about getting on their bike lol. I would love to hear about your experience and I guess the million dollar question about when did you start to get out on the bike again and back towards your pre surgery activity. I know everyone is individual but a benchmark would be helpful.

Thanks

Karen

bogmyrtle
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Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 10:29pm

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby bogmyrtle » 31 Dec 2017, 6:30pm

I'm heading down the same road as you. Currently waiting for an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon.
Hope all goes well for you. All the best.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

softlips
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Joined: 12 Dec 2016, 8:51pm

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby softlips » 31 Dec 2017, 7:00pm

Long time ago (he's been dead twenty years) but my dad got back cycling pretty quickly after his TKR. He actually used an excercise bike as soon as he was home.

Tell your surgeon you intend to cycle afterwards - it can impact the approach and prosthesis.

AMMoffat
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Joined: 1 Dec 2007, 1:05pm

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby AMMoffat » 31 Dec 2017, 11:28pm

I had a knee replacement exactly 2 years ago. I reported my progress on the forum here:
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=109605 and there is some helpful advice from others too.

My main advice is to be diligent in doing the physio, without overdoing things. The exercises I was given took an hour to work through and I did them 4 times a day diligently for the first few months. It will be very painful at first - don't be tempted to stint on the painkillers you'll be given - but perseverance will pay off. Ice (or frozen peas) will be your best friend for a few months afterwards. If you have the opportunity to use a hydrotherapy pool then take it.

Also, don't be overly concerned by the speed at which others progress. The amount of swelling post-op seems to be a very individual thing. I know someone who was able to cycle after 3 weeks. It took me much longer before I could even bend my knee enough to turn the pedals on the turbo trainer with the seat set much higher than normal and it was 12 weeks before I really felt I had turned a corner. The main thing to focus on is that you are progressing but at your own pace.

Now, 2 years on, the new knee does not limit my cycling or any other sporting activities I choose to do and I have no regrets.

My other experience was that the hospital physios lost interest at the point I could bend the knee beyond 100 degrees or so and was largely out of pain, as of course that is sufficient for the generally older and non-sporty people who have this op. I would strongly recommend finding a sports physio or other rehab specialist to help you reach your goals.

Good luck
Last edited by AMMoffat on 5 Jan 2018, 10:16pm, edited 1 time in total.

turfroof
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Joined: 24 Jul 2010, 10:44am

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby turfroof » 1 Jan 2018, 3:21pm

I posted on the linked post (!) a year ago - I agree with AMMoffat - don't skimp on the painkillers - they ensure that you do the required physio in a 'good style ' , I alternated paracetomol; and ibruprofen - less 'problems ' for me than other stronger stuff . Don't just go for max leg bend - you need to get it straight too - I couldn't straighten my leg for years before I had the op - DO THE PHYSIO ! and the peas on knees ,and do it regularly - several times a day if possible . Turbo trainer is a good idea - I could only rock the pedals for a start but progressed to full stroke in a week or 10 days ,albeit with the saddle higher than normal . I can't remember how long it was before I was pedalling outside again, 4 to 6 weeks I think ,but you'll know when your ready ! - I pedalled up and down the river on a flat cycle path for a couple of weeks then started doing short flat rides to coffee stops and back again - very tiring for a start but at least I knew things were on the up - at this point ,I ordered a new touring bike ;o)
I've been pain free since I had it done , things continued to improve for a good few months post op , like others ,I don't really feel limited by my 'new ' knee at all - it doesn't bend as much as the other , so saddle height is still crucial but hillwalking (with poles to protect good and new knee) is fine - it doesn't limit the cycling either - I'm just back from a month through Zanskar ,across to Leh and back to Manali - plenty of ups and downs in that lot !
I choose not to ski or run these days but as much out of respect for 'good knee' ,as well as the replacement ...

Feel free to drop me a pm with any questions - good luck . Mike

Lilli
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Joined: 31 Dec 2017, 5:04pm

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby Lilli » 5 Jan 2018, 8:21pm

Thank you all for your replies - really helpful to hear your experiences

daveanmucker
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Location: Mawdesley, Lancashire

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby daveanmucker » 10 Jan 2018, 1:34pm

I had a total knee replacement in October 2017, it has gone amazingly well and I am back on the bike building up my fitness. I would stress that the advice about doing the physio exercises is the important thing, it hurts at first but it is well worth it.

I started with an exercise bike with short cranks, just doing a minute then two so on, moved on to my bike on a stand in the shed slowly building up, within 3 weeks I was out for a short ride on the road.

newbootclimbco
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Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby newbootclimbco » 7 Feb 2018, 10:46am

Further to comments made regarding total knee replacement. I saw my possible knee surgeon yesterday at Poole Hospital I went there with thoughts of a positive outcome, I had stated the fact that I enjoy long distance cycle touring, and Treking I also swim a fare bit. I was told that I could have both knees done,[ not at the same time ] but afterwards may not to expect more than about 15/20 cycle rides and no long distance hill walking. Needless to say I'm disappointed with his diagnosis . The surgeon is also a cyclist himself. I am 66 so wound't want to put off having this op much longer, I suppose when I do eventually have TKR I will have to get on with the phisio and exercises and hope for the best. cheers .T.

mercalia
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Re: Knee Replacement

Postby mercalia » 7 Feb 2018, 7:43pm

out of interest how do you know when your knees need replacing? do they replace both or just some times one?

brynpoeth
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Re: Knee Replacement

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Feb 2018, 7:49pm

Replacing a knee is a big job, strains the body, blood is lost
It would be crazy to do both at once!

My knees are ok, someone who knows more will be along soon
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AMMoffat
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Joined: 1 Dec 2007, 1:05pm

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby AMMoffat » 8 Feb 2018, 8:19pm

newbootclimbco wrote:Further to comments made regarding total knee replacement. I saw my possible knee surgeon yesterday at Poole Hospital I went there with thoughts of a positive outcome, I had stated the fact that I enjoy long distance cycle touring, and Treking I also swim a fare bit. I was told that I could have both knees done,[ not at the same time ] but afterwards may not to expect more than about 15/20 cycle rides and no long distance hill walking. Needless to say I'm disappointed with his diagnosis . The surgeon is also a cyclist himself. I am 66 so wound't want to put off having this op much longer, I suppose when I do eventually have TKR I will have to get on with the phisio and exercises and hope for the best. cheers .T.


Whilst I can't comment on your specific knees and am aware this surgery can be less successful than I've experienced, I might want to seek a 2nd opinion given your surgeon's less than positive prognosis. I know I've been lucky with my recovery, helped by very hard work at rehab which is ongoing and I'm also younger than you, but 2 years post-op I can comfortably cycle 50 miles and do all the hillwalking I want. My only limits are fitness, not the new knee.

There is more than one option for replacement joints and some are more suitable for more active people so worth exploring the options.

Feel free to pm me with any questions.

Angela

AMMoffat
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Joined: 1 Dec 2007, 1:05pm

Re: Knee Replacement

Postby AMMoffat » 8 Feb 2018, 8:27pm

brynpoeth wrote:Replacing a knee is a big job, strains the body, blood is lost
It would be crazy to do both at once!

My knees are ok, someone who knows more will be along soon


They generally do one at a time but at the hospital physio sessions I attended after my op there was a chap there who'd had both done together. I wouldn't have coped with both together and can't see how I could have done all the physio on both legs at the same time. I needed the other leg to stand on! I'm not sure, with the benefit of hindsight, that chap thought it was a good idea having had them both done together either. There must have been a very good reason that route was chosen.

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nurgles
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Re: Knee Replacement

Postby nurgles » 12 Jun 2018, 11:58am

Having read as many of the posts about TKR as I can ,I just wanted to share my own experience to date.

I had the operation in Dec 2017.Previously (about 9 years before) I had a High Tibial Osteotomy which I think made the operation a bit more difficult as most of the metalwork had to be taken out before fixing the new knee joint. (One of the screws wouldn't come out though.) After a couple of weeks I got an infection in the scar which I believe has delayed my recovery a few weeks. Within one week I was in the gym working on my thigh muscles, the bend and trying to improve the straightness. I have continued with this religiously. After 3 months I decided to have a repeat Hernia operation to try and reduce the period of overall recovery. It was awkward for a few weeks but I am glad I did that.

During the gym period I tried every week to use the stationary bike but just could not turn the pedals comfortably. Raising the saddle didn't help.I don't want to resort to shorter cranks etc.After 12 weeks ,I started trying one of my bikes on the road but at maximum bend it was just too uncomfortable. My mountain bike was a little better than my touring bike.

It is now 6 months and I have managed a few 15 mile rides but it still is uncomfortable at maximum bend. I am not "clipped in" preferring to move my foot a bit forward on the pedals occasionally. The progress is slow but I am starting to be able to move my foot backwards a little each time on the pedal.
I am now 67 and a lifelong cyclist. I think if cycling was less ingrained in my blood I wouldn't be trying so hard.The irony is that before the operation I could cycle ok but couldn't walk very far.Now I can walk (18 holes on the golf course twice a week) but am not happy with my cycling progress. I will consider the operation to be a success when I can ride 25 miles comfortably.

I think anyone who is considering the operation should be prepared to be patient. Although I hoped my goal could be achieved in 6 months, I think realistically it will be a year.

One issue I didn't consider ,was the whole leg being uncomfortable at night. It is still swollen and am continuously trying to move about in bed trying to find a comfortable position. I don't know if anyone else finds this?