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  1. #1
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    Question Total Knee Replacement

    Just checking to see if anyone here has had knee replacement surgery. After rehab, has the surgery limited the types of riding that you use to do? Thanks for your response.

  2. #2
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    My father in law is under the knife for a total replacement as I type this...

    A guy at work has had 2 of them done, he plays tennis, he had to take time off, but is back to it. He rides a recumbent, but always has, I don't think the knee has anything to do with it.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Do a search in the forum. There have been a number of threads in the last year or two where people discussed their experiences.
    "None of us knows for sure what's out there; that's why we keep looking. Keep your faith; travel hopefully. The universe will surprise you, constantly." The 13th Doctor.

  4. #4
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    one of my riding buddies had both knees replaced... does more now than he did before.

  5. #5
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    I just had my second knee replaced two and a half months ago. Five days after the surgery I was riding my old Crossroads for a quick mile and a half trip. No pain from the riding but some swelling was evident.

  6. #6
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    I had a knee replacement several years ago. I had been a runner my whole life but after the replacement my surgeon had some simple advice; walk all you want and ride your bike all you want but, don't run one more step the rest of your life. I've pretty well followed that advice.

  7. #7
    mrwirey
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    kooshbal,
    Greg Bullock is a double knee replacement cyclist. He can tell you everything you need to know.
    Contact Info:
    Email: greg@gabworx.com
    Websites:
    http://www.tek-kneescycling.com
    https://www.facebook.com/tekkneescycling

    Additionally, a local, long time friend of mine is a hardcore cyclist recovering from double knee replacements. His Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/#!/michael....d.9237?fref=ts

    Very respectfully, Tim
    "Anything can be a torch if you set it on fire"

  8. #8
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    Total Knee Replacement

    I had a TKR on 2/26/13 at 49 yrs old. I had been through multiple ACL/MCL reconstructions and revisions previously, and had really bad osteoarthritis. When it finally prevented me from carving a turn on my tele-skis, I scheduled surgery.

    Unfortunately, my TKR was a disaster, and I had to undergo a number of procedures including fasciotomies of my calve and quad to address compartment syndrome. I then managed to bleed out through the fasciotomies, necessitating a transfusion of 6 units of blood and then further procedures to deal with clots that formed in my lower leg. I remained in the hospital for a couple weeks.

    I was on my trainer after a few more weeks, as soon as all the stitches and staples were out of my leg. I was outside on my bike (very carefully) at 10 weeks, and rode approx. 5,000 miles over the year. I initially was advised to avoid hills and take it easy. My idea and my Dr's idea of easy were pretty divergent though and I regularly was doing 2-5 hr rides, albeit at a slow pace. I did have some trouble out of the saddle for a while, but that has improved as my leg strength had developed. Do the PT and work with weights! My doc was big on hydrotherapy, which was interesting, but not the same as weights.

    I still have some crepidus behind my knee cap that has to be dealt with at some point, but it doesn't prevent me from riding.

  9. #9
    Cannondaleman
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    I know this is late, but I had a TKR to my left knee in December 2015. I had just bought a new Orbea Avant. I am 60 years old and my knee has been a disaster. I wish that I would not have had it done! I can't ride with clip-in pedals, since my knee won't bend more than about 90 degrees. 3 different ortho dr's say live with it. I had a manipulation and scoped, but the stupid scar tissue keeps forming. If i could clip-in father back on my foot, that would be less bend and would help. Next spring I am going to go with platform pedals and tennis shoes and keep the heel or middle of my foot on the pedal. This seems to be my only option if I want to keep riding.

  10. #10
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    It's interesting that more and more I hear of people with regrets of doing TKR. Most likely would be an unscientific conclusion that this is notable, because most patients are probably happy with their results and don't speak out. Still, I hear quite a few of these reports where the surgery did not return significant range of motion and that's just what I would be looking for.

    I tore my meniscus in 2015, resulting in a scope and In October 2017 I cancelled my TKR, most likely at the chagrin of my orthopedic surgeon. Instead, I asked for 6 more weeks of physical therapy and some pain management (Celebrex). My PT included several weeks of dry needle therapy and I never did fill the Celebrex prescription because with the consultation of my GP, I instead used the maximum recommended dosage of ibuprofen on days I was going to be particularly active, i.e., playing tennis or group cycling training rides.

    Now, TKR is very likely still in my future (especially whereas a second opinion warned me that OA was now debilitating my other knee), however, knock on wood, I have been able to increase my knee's range of motion, get back on the bicycle and manage my problem with ibuprofen as needed. I also use JointFlex rub on those physically active days, but I have no scientific proof that it helps. The ingredients don't look as though they would especially make a difference.

    As they say, YMMV, but at least for me and for right now, I am thrilled to be back on the bicycle and almost racing again. And playing tennis hasn't been this pain-free in several years. Maybe there is more than one way to treat this health issue.

  11. #11
    Cannondaleman
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    I have heard that it is like 6% that have arthrofibrosis after TKR. I would have taken those odds. But now that I am in that group, I wish that I wouldn't have done it. Funny, my implant is made by Stryker and the model is called ''Triathlon''! Go figure............

  12. #12
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    I have had both replaced. I'm 73 and can now ride as much as I want without pain. Your Ortho is important, what is their reputation, look to the PT pros. Its hard to get them to talk straight, but they know which local Ortho gets the better results. PT is the hard part of recovery. You must be willing to endure the pain during PT to get the results you want.

    I couldn't leave the hospital until I could bend 90 degrees and walk up and down 3 steps. Only 2 days to get there. Don't be afraid to look around and shop for the best knee doc in your area. It's worth it. I have 2 Strykker Tritanium Knees. work great for me... No there aren't the same as original equipment, but my OE's were worn out.

    the continuous motion machine they put you in in the hospital is your friend use it for over the recommended 8 hours per day. It helps prevent the scar tissue from forming.

    Just rambling a bit, but if you have to have your knee replaced FIND OUT WHO in your area gets the best results. It's your life we're talking about here.

  13. #13
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    I had both of my knees done in 2017 - one in January and one in November, so the newest is just over a year old. I quit cycling back in 2010 because my knees were shot and I had other things I wanted to do like build a house, a workshop and a hotrod. Now I'm getting back into cycling, at age 65.

    My new knees work well. I have about 130 degrees of bending, but it did take a lot of work to get there. Doctors will tell you that you only have 8-10 weeks to get the bend developed, but I worked much longer than that and got the job done. One knee was particularly hard to bend, while the other was easy to bend, but very hard to get straightened. You must be able to fully straighten the leg, or you'll never walk correctly.

    I'm still doing bending exercises to improve my stubborn left knee and I'm making progress.

  14. #14
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    I've recently started on the TKR route, 6 weeks out before my first one.

  15. #15
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    If you can, do exercises to strengthen your leg muscles as much as possible. Get the computer controlled ice water machine they offer. Mine was called Game Day or something like that. It circulates cold water thru a blanket wrapped around your knee. That along with the continuous motion are your friends.

    Stretch the pain meds as long as you can. Cut them in half, etc. After a couple of days at home you'll be able to cut back. However, one hour before you go to PT, take a full dose, you'll thank me.

  16. #16
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    It seems that my theme for 2019 will be "recovery." I've heard similar advice from a number of recent patients I've talked to.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtc89 View Post
    If you can, do exercises to strengthen your leg muscles as much as possible. Get the computer controlled ice water machine they offer. Mine was called Game Day or something like that. It circulates cold water thru a blanket wrapped around your knee. That along with the continuous motion are your friends.

    Stretch the pain meds as long as you can. Cut them in half, etc. After a couple of days at home you'll be able to cut back. However, one hour before you go to PT, take a full dose, you'll thank me.
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  17. #17
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    Is it required/recommended, or doesn't it matter to wear knee pads road riding after TKR?
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
    I'm a wheel builder. SRLPE Wheel Works. Send me a PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    tore my meniscus in 2015, resulting in a scope and In October 2017 I cancelled my TKR,
    Could you tell us more about that? Plenty of people get their knees scoped without needing TKR.

    I had 1/2 of my medial meniscus removed three years ago ("bucket handle tear"). Doc suggested I quit running (not really a problem for me) and stated that I may need TKR in the future. I didn't think that would be a big deal but reading some of these stories has me scared.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    Could you tell us more about that? Plenty of people get their knees scoped without needing TKR.

    I had 1/2 of my medial meniscus removed three years ago ("bucket handle tear"). Doc suggested I quit running (not really a problem for me) and stated that I may need TKR in the future. I didn't think that would be a big deal but reading some of these stories has me scared.
    That was the same experience I had. I knew I had OA and was bone-on-bone. Then I tore the meniscus when I went over the knee on a slide to a ball on a clay tennis court. Seems to me there are a lot of TKR success stories, even people that have both knees done, however there are some horror stories out there as well.

    I cancelled my TKR when I was told that I should no longer play singles tennis and really shouldn't ski. The surgeon was afraid of damage to the prosthetic. I have no regrets of cancelling but I do realize I may need it down the road. Maybe something less invasive will be discovered in the meantime.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    That was the same experience I had.
    Sh*t. At least you had a good story. I tore mine sitting down on the garage floor to pull a hitch pin off of my van. It was probably damaged prior to that though.

    Snowboarding is a VERY big part of my life and I expect to wear out my knees doing that. If TKR means I'll need to stop, that's going to take some consideration.

    Shoot, I would probably sell my house and move south if I had to give up snow sports.

  21. #21
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    I don't wear knee pads, but even after enough wrecks to break 7 helmets, I never had anything worse than road rash to my knees. I do ride more carefully and don't take the risks I used to.

    Anyone who engages in impact sports like running, tennis, basketball and skiing, should expect to give up those activities. Running will ruin a TKR very quickly.

  22. #22
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    both of my knees are thrashed, had a radical and a scope on the left, two scopes on the right.

    the left is the worse of the two as I have no ACL on that leg too. used to run, play basketball / tennis, and backpack...no longer do any of those. even walking more than a mile is now somewhat uncomfortable.

    orthopedist said to delay TKR as long as possible. said I'd 'know' when it was time...

    some of the accounts in this thread convince me that's a good plan.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  23. #23
    Cannondaleman
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    Years from now, doctors will look back on TKR's and say '' I can't believe that they used to do that to people''! Brutal and almost barbaric. Stem cell research seems promising. I really wish I had my old knee back.......

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannondaleman View Post
    Stem cell research seems promising. .
    Two years ago I happened to be on a chairlift with a guy who turned out to be a retired (or soon to be) honcho from Blue Cross Blue Shield. He had a stem cell implant to address a torn meniscus and said, "so far, so good but it's not FDA approved so no insurance covers it - yet".

    I think you're correct.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    both of my knees are thrashed, had a radical and a scope on the left, two scopes on the right.

    the left is the worse of the two as I have no ACL on that leg too. used to run, play basketball / tennis, and backpack...no longer do any of those. even walking more than a mile is now somewhat uncomfortable.

    orthopedist said to delay TKR as long as possible. said I'd 'know' when it was time...

    some of the accounts in this thread convince me that's a good plan.
    When you have a knee replaced, the ACL is removed entirely, since it attaches to the bone, right where they saw it off. I got by for 7 years after I started wearing a custon leg brace on my left leg to help take the load off.

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