I am 62. I play soccer, softball, and skii. I need a new knee in the near future. Are there different types of knee joints? Some that are stronger for athletes? If so do you loose some other benefit?
types of Knee Replacement joint options
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I like the fat kind. Sorry, bad joke. My wife works for these guys, they make some bomber replacement knees:
- 32 Posts. Joined 7/2010
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There are different joint materials. Metal on Metal (tibia and femur) or Ceramic is stronger than the standard metal on plastic joints. However, joint replacements do not provide lateral movement so sports like soccer or basketball (any pivoting) is almost impossible. Running is not a good idea because of the stress it places on the new joint. Too much stress stress can cause the joint pieces to become loose. Many people are able to ski but that's about as physical as you can get. The only reason for a joint replacement is pain so if you can live with it the way it is leave it until you can't walk anymore. Hopefully in the near future they will come up with something that is more bionic and mimics the natural knee. The last thing you want is a joint revision. Second time around you'll be good for walking and bike riding only.
I had both knees replaced 4/ 2011 the same day after 2 failed arthroscopic knee surgeries for menisci that degenerated like an old hose washers 6 mo apart from each other. I tried everything to avoid arthroscopic in the 1st place, but after 3 mo, I couldn't walk and the whole leg was swollen. Then I had arthroscopic, then 5 hyalgan shots a week apart in each knee, then paid for stem cell treatment to each knee- nothing helped and I was bone on bone... went from all out to all stop. [Tried to ski that yr and failed.]
I told both Drs I wanted to continue to ski. [I now live in FL and enjoy 7 days of skiing/ yr out West.] I chose the Dr who was high tech, used strong components, and did almost 500 cases / year with few complications. I skied the following March- steeps but no bumps. We did have powder. I just turned 69. I think if I could go more often, I could ski more aggressively.
A study released last year showed that skiing greens was no more stressful than walking, and blues not bad either. It would be the Moguls, jumps, and vigorous movement putting alot of pressure on the plastic "meniscus" that causes TKRs to wear more quickly. No jumping, no jogging.]
I would like to know from people who have had this done, what do you recommend to get ready for the season, short as mine is? Thanks.
There is a lot in the news today about joint replacement & there are many newer options from total to partial / hemi, cruciate retaining, gender specific, bow vs knocked kneed, various sized & pivoting / rotating. Computer assistive navigation also is an option.
I am fortunate to work w/ some of the US ski team docs & other well experienced surgeons. As a PT & strength / conditioning specialist, I would say that I've rehabbed > 1000 knees of all variants. Find a MD who will explain the best option for you!
I can say that w good confidence, the MDs know what they are doing & I have yet to see the prosthetic be the limiting factor. Strength & range prior to surgery + one's attitude on the process determine the outcome to a large degree. If someone is weakened, waits to long to replace & the muscles are adaptively shortened or is negative in nature, results are challenging.
Our docs will not operate unless you have been to a pre op class, met the nurse case manager, are instructed in a pre op ex program & have expectations discussed. We also try to establish a rehab plan & set up appointments for therapy & blood draws before a surgery date is set. We feel so strongly about this, that we will schedule patients with ANY therapy provider / clinic they desire to complete their rehab with.
Let us know if we can help more & welcome!
Do you have any recommendations for a total knee replacement in southern CA? Surgeons who do a lot of knees and are familiar with the latest "cutting edge" techniques?
I'm very impressed by the Billie Jean King story and her "30 year" Verilast knee.
Be sure and tell the Dr you plan to ski after the replacement. I had both knees replaced at the same time with Smith and Nephew Oxinium, which my doc said would hold up better but not give me quite as much flexion as others- the more u flex, the more pressure is put on a small surface, and the more easily it will wear and/ or dislocate.
I chose a doc who does about 300+ replacements a yr and uses computor assist to get the alignment right. He also did an MRI pre-op to be sure the components would fit both knees well.
I skiied the following March for 7 days in CO.
Rehab is painful, but u have to break up continuing scar tissue as you heal. I was Scuba diving in 3 mo and went on a walking trip in Sept. I have no regrets other than I tried everthing before surgery [cortisone shots, aspiration, hyalgan shot series, stem cells, and arthroscopies- 0 sucess] which took 21/2 yrs out of my life. I should have just done it.... but the doc thought all this other stuff would work. [i'm now 69 and live in FL- get to ski once a year.]
Surgery is scheduled for May 2. The sugeon said I would not be permitted to huck any cliffs or ski any moguls with my new knee. I can live with that.
A trip to CO and several to Mammoth will be the biggest part of my pre-op conditioning. Maybe a few days in Tahoe as well, now that we can ski Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.
I will hang up my skis on Apr. 22, when Mammoth closes their lower base areas. I hope I get to ski some powder between now and then.