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Racing after a knee replacement

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Racing after a knee replacement

Old 01-19-20, 07:45 PM
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DMC707 
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Racing after a knee replacement

Got a grim diagnosis from my orthopedic surgeon after he's already put my knee back together again a couple of other times

he is recommending a total knee replacement. I have not found many examples of anybody returning to racing after such a procedure. I realize that you can return to recreational cycling as I do know a handful of people but they are senior citizens and primarily interested in getting around the mountain bike trails in a gentlemanly fashion

im a trackie for the most part but due to location, i do a fair amount of criteriums, but havent been able to in a couple of years. Anything out of the saddle or standing start hasnt been possible for a while

i've seriously considering a second opinion because my doctor doesn't really differentiate between just riding an exercise bike for rehab or taking a cruiser down to the local pub versus an actual race, whether track or road

but just am in research and question mode now
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Old 01-19-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Got a grim diagnosis from my orthopedic surgeon after he's already put my knee back together again a couple of other times

he is recommending a total knee replacement. I have not found many examples of anybody returning to racing after such a procedure. I realize that you can return to recreational cycling as I do know a handful of people but they are senior citizens and primarily interested in getting around the mountain bike trails in a gentlemanly fashion

im a trackie for the most part but due to location, i do a fair amount of criteriums, but havent been able to in a couple of years. Anything out of the saddle or standing start hasnt been possible for a while

i've seriously considering a second opinion because my doctor doesn't really differentiate between just riding an exercise bike for rehab or taking a cruiser down to the local pub versus an actual race, whether track or road

but just am in research and question mode now

I know a guy. He was just as fast after as before. Anecdotal evidence is the bomb.
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Old 01-20-20, 01:58 AM
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Maybe tell us a little more about yourself?

Age
Gender
Years racing
Disciplines races (ever)
Racing category in said disciplines
Racing goals long term

Would all help forum users assess the situation and offer advice.
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Old 01-20-20, 06:44 AM
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Orthopedists routinely recommend recumbent or stationary bike use after knee replacement but I've never read of anyone approve competitive cycling, and for good reason. First off, artificial knees can withstand injury but damage to your knee area can be catastrophic because multiple operations can leave you with permanent damage to muscle cover and structural bone / quad support. Second, while biking is generally seen as a low impact activity, peddling while standing can place tremendous stress on the knee due to a combination of lateral bike movement and constant weight shifts. I don't do criteriums but would guess the risk of injury is significant; I'll leave evaluation of the risk to others. It may be, though, that knee replacement and criteriums don't mix well.
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Old 01-20-20, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
Maybe tell us a little more about yourself?

Age
Gender
Years racing
Disciplines races (ever)
Racing category in said disciplines
Racing goals long term

Would all help forum users assess the situation and offer advice.

Maybe tell us a little more about yourself? Good call

Age : 48
Gender: Male
Years racing licensed for 31 years - had some inactive spells so roughly 20 years actual experience
Disciplines races (ever) Track, road, mtb
Racing category in said disciplines 2 track, 3 road, 2 mtb (both XC and gravity)
Racing goals long term compete at track Masters Nats and not be laughed out of the park is goal 1. Dealing with injuries has taught me patience so I know this likely wont happen overnight

Im a stocky guy so i gravitate towards my strengths (track events, crits and other short course road events, and downhill on the MTB side ) I dont fantasize about entering events that last over 2 hours in duration as i dont have time to train for anything with any significant distance - but since my last surgery for a meniscus repair, my riding has primarily been just cruising around solo and rarely getting above tempo pace. Even with the meniscus repair , i dont trust the knee to track properly out of the saddle.
Currently going through physical therapy for a rotator cuff surgery from earlier this year as well -- its been a fun year
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Old 01-20-20, 10:05 AM
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I have a track racing friend who was about 8 years older than me who raced with one and then two knee replacements. At age 70-74, he did a 2:37 2k pursuit and 38.5 500 meters in Manchester to win both events at Masters Track Worlds and BAR. He had great leg speed before and after surgery. And one cannot do a sub 39 500 without a great standing start.

The problem with anecdotes and third hand info is well, it is very unreliable and may not be applicable to your particular situation and may be extreme outliers. If you need the surgery, then you have to go for it and if you are highly motivated to race post surgery, then you will figure out what it takes to achieve that goal.
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Old 01-20-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I know a guy. He was just as fast after as before. Anecdotal evidence is the bomb.
Existence proof is the bomb. If it worked for one guy, then its worth getting a second opinion from a sports ortho that knows something about cycling. That is assuming cycling is pretty important to the OP.
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Old 01-22-20, 07:14 AM
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48 is very young for a replacement. Is a partial applicable in your case? At 48 a replacement would mean another one in your lifetime.
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Old 01-23-20, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by denvertrout View Post
48 is very young for a replacement. Is a partial applicable in your case? At 48 a replacement would mean another one in your lifetime.

Yes -- this is alarming to me . Since I started this thread , I sought another physical therapist who is a bit more aggressive and more used to working with people with athletic aspirations and I will be gathering all applicable xrays and medical documents and getting the input of another surgeon . Not that my surgeon was bad - he has performed procedures on prominent national pro motocross athletes as well as kids from the college (Oklahoma football) ----- but those folks are in their early twenties, not late forties -- and I think something as potentially as serious as this necessitates having 2 or 3 different sets of eyes on it
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Old 01-31-20, 11:14 PM
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I have a right knee replacement, which failed, then it led to a massive infection, I became septic, had to have a PICC line an IV pump. I was RE-replaced in 2 weeks,

Since the replacement, ive done NO exercise, but for work.

Im in pain on the operated side constantly. I just re-started cycling and noticed I do OK, but now that Im racing and upped the hours on bike and watts, IM in even more pain.


I personally feel, Im wearing out my replacement faster and im in MUCH MUCH more pain now, but am having more fun than ever. I will continue, but feel due to pain, I'll have to limit my training and always be a cat 5.

My surgery was done in So Cal by Dr. Phillip Meritt. Boo.
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