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knee replacements and hill walking

knee replacements and hill walking

Postby mrssanta » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:39 am

here is a question of professional interest really (and also my >50 year old knees creak a bit).
Is there anyone out there who has had a knee replacement and how did it affect your hillwalking career?
I know that people have done the full round of Munros with new hips but I haven't heard much about people who have had new knees.
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby Border Reiver » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:19 pm

We are in our mid 60's and my wife has had knee problems for quite a few years now. Various xrays and scans have shown there is bone death and the cartilage is torn. She has talked to a couple of specialists (through the NHS) and last December she had the area under the kneecap flushed out and cleaned. That is all they are prepared to do. The surgeon warned her in advance that whatever he could do probably wouldn't result in any improvement. She did see a top sports physio and he thought that a knee replacement might be beneficial.
I went with her on her last visit to see the surgeon and he said that things would have to get a lot worse before he would consider a knee replacement. He did also say that her knee would probably give her problems in the future. I've got osteo arthritis in my knees and they twinge a bit at times, but we both can still manage walks of well over 10 miles. In the space of a month last year we climbed the three peaks in west Yorkshire without too many problems.
As regards the bone death (due to lack of blood supply I believe), the second scan on her knee showed some improvement over the first scan (9 months previously), which her surgeon put down to her keeping up the hill walking.
We do know someone nearby who had knee replacements and she says she hasn't got the mobility that she had before - she cannot flex her knees as well as before the op.
Your best bet is to start with your G.P. and see where it goes from there. My wife has noticed a small improvement since her minor operation, but not much and she's prepared to put up with the occasional pain when hill walking.
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby Giant Stoneater » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:01 pm

My mother who is 80 had problems with her knee for the last couple of years,seen her GP,sent to hospital for scan,could not do anything as it was not bad enough to do anything,end of story.
Mother went to private physiotherapy where they had a look at the scan and confirmed what the hospital had said,but they did look at her posture as she was compensating for the bad knee.They corrected her posture and got her walking more naturally so much so that she is back to going short walks that she was really missing and the pain she was in has massively reduced.
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby Sgurr » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:53 pm

Try halfmanhalftinanium as he gave me a very good report on his new knees when husband was still thinking of going ahead. He isn't now as he has decided he would rather walk albeit painfully than not be able to. We had a rather unfortunate encounter with a guy who had to have an amputation after his replacement went wrong.
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby prog99 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:57 pm

Hi there, check out Alan Kimber's blog (well known retired guide) He's had his done and blogged extensively about it and is still very active.


(Scroll down to the knee bits)
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby mrssanta » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:11 pm

thats a really interesting blog thank you prog99.

Border Reiver, I am a GP, I was looking for information to inform my practice. My knees do creak a bit but not badly enough to need anything doing. Not many people are "serious" hillwalkers, most think going up Roseberry Topping (200m ascent, 4k round trip) is seriously gnarly. I don't know anyone who has had a knee replacement and done lots of hillwalking afterwards.

I think what I have learned from reading this is what I already thought. Physio, physio, physio, 1st 2nd and 3rd,. Knee replacements have their drawbacks, for instance 50% of people can't kneel afterwards or so I'm told, so it might ruin a wild camping lifestyle too. I think I am going to start doing knee exercises now!

Sgurr that's a really scary and serious complication. Risks from surgery may be low, but they are still there!
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby fireman » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:22 pm

I had a left knee replacement 4 year ago ( I was 59) and was back on the hills after 5 month, albeit sub 2,000ft. Eventually I started to go a bit higher, but, then the right knee started to play up this curtailed the hills big style again. I've just had my right knee replaced and hopefully in the near future I'll be back on the hills.
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby Yoke » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:36 pm

My wife had a partial Knee replacement a couple or three years ago and has since completed several long distance walks including for example the TGO (100 + miles ) the year after the op , Kentmere Horseshoe (9 miles 3,000ft + ascent) regularly knocks out 30 - 40 mile weeks, in fact she completed a 23 mile walk with 3000ft of ascent just a couple of weeks ago.

She never walks with poles and says that yes there is sometimes discomfort but it is always manageable, interestingly she suffers more if she does not get the miles in regularly so not surprisingly the more exercise she gets the better.
The surgeon that operated on her knee has recently done a 3rd year examination on her knee and was well chuffed with it and said to carry on doing what she does.
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Re: knee replacements and hill walking

Postby golfpunk » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:31 pm

interested in the replies in here because I am in the osteoarthritis in my right knee camp but I am only 34 years old :( :( :(

I seen a orthopedic specialist at the end of january 2017 and that's when I got the bad news. it's bascially a result of me rupturing my ACL when I was 21 playing football and apparently having any sort of major surgery in your knee like that can lead to this 10-15 years down the line.

with me only being 34 i've been told that i'm nowhere near the age of a knee replacement unless my quality of life drastically decreases. since august last year my knee has been extremely troublesome with locking and days of serious discomfort. i'm currently seeing a physio but she has advised I go back and see a specialist to see if there is anything else resulting in the number of bad days I am having. she thinks an MRI could flag up something as all I received in my diagnosis last year was just an x-ray to confirm that there is basically no meniscus on the medial side of my right knee.

i've not managed up a hill since june last year (sgor gaoith) which is fairly depressing as the way my knee is these days it's not looking good for the future.

would love a knee replacement if it gives me 20 years free of pain.
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