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Re: TKR - Total Knee Replacement
bobpickering #55020 04/28/19 10:43 PM
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Steve C Offline OP
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A friend loaned/gave me a "Cryo/Cuff with Gravity Cooler" ice pack system, and I sure used it for the first number of weeks. PT people said to ice it, but the Cryo/Cuff is way better.

Re: TKR - Total Knee Replacement
Steve C #56773 03/26/20 09:03 PM
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Steve C Offline OP
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Hey all, I see I haven't written about the knee for quite a while. Thought I'd write an update. Just wrote this as a reply to someone asking me about it, since he was considering getting one.

The knee replacement has been very good for me. Before the replacement, I could not descend stairs or a mountain trail without holding a hand rail, or hiking poles, and dropping from the bad leg to the good one -- the good leg was doing 75% of the work. Now, that is history.

I still have an arthritic ankle that is the limiting factor now. (Broke it badly in a motorcycle accident almost 50 years ago.) I had to stop training on a stairmaster because the ankle got worse and worse until I quit. When I hike, I double-wrap the ankle using two ankle brace/wraps, and so far that helps. I am hoping and planning on attempting a full JMT hike late June into July. We will see how I well I do. If problems arise, I don't think the knee will be the problem.

I use my knee probably harder than most people my age (69), because I like to push myself on a spin cycle--setting the friction to the point (23) that I have to stand to keep the pedals turning. I do that for a minute, then sit/rest go easy for 30 secs, then repeat -- for 15 minutes. Now that I can't go to the gym (corona virus closure), I ride my mountain bike on some local river bluffs, climbing and descending a number of times. The crazy thing is the crepitus (grinding noise) that comes from the knee when I straighten it under stress. It sort of sounds like I'm shaking a pepper mill. Put my hand on the knee when it's doing that, and I can feel the grinding. This all worries me, and I am not sure how long everything will hold up. I think I'm pushing it, but becoming a couch potato just isn't going to happen as long as I can keep moving. Others with knee replacements don't have my issue, but nobody works it like I do.

I know a guy my age with a double replacement, and one has been re-replaced. He's had lots of trouble and pain with his. He assures me that his experience is in the ~2% who have had lots of problems. He was still hiking on the knees, but going slowly.

Other than my snow-shoveling adventure on the Main Whitney Trail last June, I just haven't done any hiking. I took the family to Glacier and Yellowstone last summer. Only lite day hiking, which was no trouble at all. I'm keeping the idea of a Whitney shoveling trip open for this year, but we will see.


By the way, the message board software here is aging, it went down this morning, the hosting company says I have to replace things or it will fail for good in a month or so, when they do a permanent upgrade.

Re: TKR - Total Knee Replacement
Steve C #56774 03/27/20 07:26 AM
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B
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Be a compliant patient, Steve; follow your doctor's instructions.

Don't do what I did after 5 weeks on my back after bi-lateral toe surgery and do a day hike from Pine Creek trail-head to Italy Pass...and back...on pain meds. Idiot me. Shocked my doc.

My current doc, a retired Navy Seal, told me to "embrace the suck".

Growing old is not for sissies, eh? So, we keep putting one foot in front of the other and carry on.

Last edited by Bob West; 03/27/20 07:30 AM.
Re: TKR - Total Knee Replacement
Bob West #56775 03/27/20 08:32 AM
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Steve C Offline OP
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The only instructions my doc gave me was "no jogging or running". smile
I asked about emergencies, he said running to get out of the street, something like that was ok.

Re: TKR - Total Knee Replacement
Bob West #56776 03/27/20 10:40 PM
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I took a pretty good leader fall on the Lower Exum Ridge on Grand Teton back in 2004. We bailed off the route. I headed up to solo the upper Exum Ridge, while my partner headed back to camp. About half way up, I realized that I had probably broken my foot. Having no choice, I finished the climb, made it home, and went to the doctor. Yep, two broken bones. After 6 weeks, he cleared me to “go for a hike” as long as I wore “substantial footwear” that would protect my foot. Technical ice climbing boots fit the bill perfectly, so I brought crampons and a couple of ice tools and headed up the main couloir on North Peak. When I got done, I drove to Tuolumne for a burger. Then I put on a pair of “substantial” trail runners and did the easiest route on Cathedral Peak. It felt great to be out again. And I was compliant the whole time.

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