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Discussion: Knee Replacement

Posted Discussion
Sept. 6, 2007
2 posts
Knee Replacement
Any of you still playing softball after knee replacement? If so, how has the experience been?
I\'ve been playing in Norcal mostly but lately my left knee has been giving me more problems.
Sept. 6, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
There is a guy named Terry who plays for Hidden Hills out of the Quad cities in Illinois. He is one of the fastest outfielders in the 60 AAA level you will see. He had a replacement and you couldn't tell unless someone told you.
Sept. 7, 2007
58 posts
I too am extremely interested in this subject. I am currently experiencing extreme pain in my left knee, I had an arthroscopy done recently and the doctor told me I am bone on bone, (ostioarthritis??) . Anyway, apparently the only way to stop the pain is knee replacement. When I informed my doctor that I wasn't interested in stopping with softball he told me that he thought I should hold off on the knee replacement until I was ready to do so. He has ordered a special brace for the knee at this point. I haven't got the brace yet, as it comes from California and I am in St. Augustine, Florida. I would like to hear from any other senior players that have had replacement done. I know of one man in Las Vegas who has two knees, a hip, and a pace maker and he is still bangin' it at 75 years old.
Sept. 7, 2007
Men's 70
31 posts

You are exactly where I was last year this time as I went down to Bradenton for the Winter. I have played sostball 3-4 times a week yearly with 8- 12 Summer tournaments as Manager of the Millers team. I was bone on bone but iIwas misdiagnosed at first and spent last winter getting all kinds of shots and then the brace from California which was a waste of money(Medicares). I chose to get a total knee replacement July 9th this year and my Dr. told me NOT to play competitive softball again for fear that an injury to the new knee could be disasterous. My new knee is great and I am sure that I can do anything that I did before. However, I will decide in November if I will return to Softball. DON'T wait, the longer you wait the more damage you do to the rest of your body.

Mort-Millers 70
Sept. 7, 2007
E. Ness
122 posts
I am bone on bone in both knees. I have been doing the shots now for 4 years and have both braces. My doctor says I need to have the knee replacements and he says once I have them I am doing playing ball.:( He also wants me to wait until I am 60 but I fear the time is drawing close.

I can tell you this the shots are great for about 6 weeks and then they wear off. The braces help some but not enough so I guess it all depends on how much pain one can handle.

We do have a couple of guys here in town with both knees replaced and they are playing ball but because of the way I swing the bat my doctor says NO! So as I am fast approaching that time I need to decide if I am done or not.
Sept. 7, 2007
Men's 50
19 posts
I too have osteoarthritis and managed the discomfort for the last 5 years or so with ibuprofin. This year however I experienced pain in my left knee like never before. Subsequently a cortizone shot and anti-inflamatory's have alleviated the discomfort. I play 5 days/8 games a week, plus monthly tourneys and so far so good. My doctor also suggested Synvisc once the cortizone (3 shots safely) fails to work. For quality of life a knee replacement down the road. Perhaps in the next 10 years medical advancements will provide something more than a "low impact" replacement knee which will allow us to continue playing the game we dearly love.
Sept. 7, 2007
58 posts
I have been doing some research, and have been talking with anyone who will talk with me about this. I was turned on to a web site called and I saw that it was an advertised site from Johnson & Johnson. They state on that site that there is a world class marathon runner (female) that has their knee. She has been running on it for some length of time and they are saying she will get at least 15 years out of it. That sounds really promising to me. Much more research is needed however. ( this scares me to death) I have been hitting once a week with the Hollis Appraisals guys from Jacksonville, and one of them told me his wife has had two knees done by the same doctor I am seeing ( the same one, apparently the first one broke!) So there is some cause for alarm.
I genuinely feel for anyone who is going through this like I am, Mine is so bad I am having trouble walking much less playing. And I can't sleep all night either.
The doctor is telling me that the brace he has prescribed will help to straighten out the knee ( I am also getting bow-legged) and relieve the pressure form the inside part of the knee that is without cushion. He says that will alleviate some of the pain. We will see. All I can say is I will keep everyone posted when I get the brace.
Sept. 7, 2007
the wood
1096 posts
My Dr told me 5 years ago that I was a candidate for a full knee replacement. I said that he could do this immediately after the autopsy.
Failing that, we tried the shots but they didn't work for me. This is because I had torn cartilege at the time so he went in and did a clean up.
This was 3 years ago and with a lot of physical therapy, in conjunction with glucosamine/chondrointon, my knee feels better than it has in a very long time. I used a neoprene brace in damn near every physical thing that I did and have found that this retarded my progress somewhat. I only use it for BP and games now... not when working out in the gym or doing cardio.
My oldest brother tried SynVisc 6 years ago as he was about to have a full replacement. His life was too full at the time for the FR so they went with the shots. He still has not had the FR as the shots have continued to work well for him.
It really boils down to your personal circumstances as well as your relationship with your doctor. I have seen several guys playing with full/partial replacements and playing well. I have also seen some 'bad examples'.
Bob Woodroof
Sept. 7, 2007
Men's 60
91 posts
Sept. 7, 2007
Men's 60
23 posts
I had a total knee replacement (left knee) in Oct 2003. Before the surgery I had the same problems that you guys have mentioned, bone on bone, intense pain, no cartilage and very little meniscus. Prior to the replacement I had my knee drained (big needle!) about 10 times and had stroid injections. This only releived the pain for about 7 days. I also had the Synvisc treatments three different times. The Synvisc never helped me at all. I also had three arthoscopic surgeries in a two year period. They didn't help either. I was playing ball all this time, but I was only about 70% healthy and sometimes missed several months at a time after surgeries. I was 57 years old when I had the replacement. After the replacement procedure I went to physical therapy three days a week for 6 months. Seven months after the surgery I was back playing ball. Since the replacement I don't have any pain!! That's the main benefit, in my humble opinion, of having a more pain!! I'm able to get around pretty well today. I play infield and ususally have a pinch runner, but overall I do okay. I know I'll never be 100% again....but, the surgery was well worth it and I hope to play ball for years to come. My recomendation to you is....don't put the surgery off, get the replacement done now, work yourself back into playing shape and "play ball"!
Sept. 7, 2007
1 posts
I have had 2 knee replacements 1 on each knee. I can still play but not in the position I played all my career. I play catcher and DH but at least I can still play the game I love. If you listen to the doctor and rehab the way they tell you there is a good chanc you can still play. I've been playing for 43 years and will continue to find a way to play until the good Lord tells me I can't.
Sept. 7, 2007
Men's 70
410 posts
one of my teamates had one knee replacement, once he got comfortable with it, he's pretty much back to normal, he pitches and plays his position pretty well. runs well also. i am also in the same situation as most of you. i am contemplating going for it, but it's kind of scary at the same time. i am bone on bone, got spurs in both knees, when i get up off a chair, seems like my knees lock up and snap ,crackle and pop. i am surviving on 800 mg ibuprofen , one per day when @ tournaments only. i am also trying to lose a little weight, ( 5' 10" - 185 lb) i will stop running for everybody,unless in a do or die situation. i have also dropped the running,jogging routine at the gym. racquetball is going to be phased out also. i think i will decide at the end of the year, gulp ! frank, texas geryhounds 65's . good luck to all in your decisions .
Sept. 7, 2007
Men's 55
102 posts
Had replacement surgery Oct 2006. Rotatating Knee Platform from Dupey, newest techology. Have movement in all directions as well as fexibility that I haven't had in 10 years. PAIN FREE. Should last approx 15 years.

Feels good to play the outfield again, and swing with my lower half.

Advise, stay on you therapy and exersice. I have a upper, lower body, and cardio work out program 4/5 days a week. Free weights, dumbells, leg lifts, lunges, straddells, bike and treadmill.
Sept. 7, 2007
Men's 65
1 posts
Had total right knee replacement Oct 31, 2006. Told doctor Iwould on the field in April. He said I could as long as I followed his instructions. I was back bowling in Jan 2007 and ot practicing in March. Played twice weekly starting in April and went to Reno R&R tournmaent, hit .954 and didn't use courtesy runner! No pain, swelling or other problem. Played 3rd, 1st and pitched and would have played outfield if necessary. Can't tell you the change in my life to be pain free and able to still play the game! I had the DePuy from Johnson and Johnson which should last for at least 15-20 years. I also have returned to golf and play twice a week without using a cart. Needless to say I am happy to have made the choice for replacement as I was also bone on bone. Only problem is the other knee needs replacing but told doc would not do it until end of season.
Sept. 11, 2007
Men's 70
5 posts
Before agreeing to Total Knee Replacement surgery, check out (on-line) "UniSpacer Knee Replacement Overview." If your bone on bone is on the medial side of your knee (the inside), you may be a candidate for this much less invasive, painful rehab, shorter surgery, etc. procedure. I discovered the UniSpacer while researching my own T.K.R. decision. Asked my ortho doc about it, he didn't know. He checked it out (in one day), called me back and said he was going to get himself trained and offer it to his Kaiser (Nor Cal) T.K.R.patients.
He did and is. It's not for everybody. Your Osteo has to be on the inside, only.
It won't hurt you guys to check it out online and ask your ortho doc if a UniSpacer wold be appropriate for your knee.
As you all know, T.K.R. surgery is major surgery. It's a last option. I learned, not all doctors know everything.
Knowledge is power.
Good luck.
Sept. 13, 2007
Men's 55
98 posts
I was reading the paper this morning (inland valley daily bulletin) and i saw this add, it said, free seminar on a unique alternative to total knee replacement, The Oxford Partial Knee from Biomet, will let you keep up to 75% of your healty knee, resulting in more rapid recovery, less pain, and more natural movement, The Doctor's name is S. Samimi, Orthopedic Surgeon
Sept. 14, 2007
Men's 55
245 posts
After several arthroscopic surguries on both knees my Doctor suggested a partial knee replacement for my right knee, but would not do it if I continued to plat softball. He said the parts will wear down too fast and insurance companies won't cover surgury again. What he suggested and what I had done was a Tibial Osteootomy. I had this done this past Nov.. He guaranteed this for 15 years! No more braces and I can run for myself! I am more than pleased. I havn't been able to run the bases in 3 years and it felt great the first time that I crossed the plate and scored. I'm not totaly free of pain, but it's nowhere near the level that I had before. It may be something to discuss with your Doctor. Good Luck!
Jan. 25, 2008
Bob Dillon
Men's 55
1 posts
reading the discussion about total knee replacement (TKR) I Just turned 56 - I have played competitive softball since I was 17 years young - 16 " and 12 " in Chicago and the last 18 years 12 " in Georgia ---- Our league in GA does not offer a senior division so we play in the Open A league - with a good mix of 50 40 and 30 year olds -- I also play on a church team and COED team -- for the past 9 year's plus - I have been hobbling around the bases - popping aspirins ? ibeurpron - getting shots - anything to avoid the TKR that my doctor stated was the only remendy - He also stated I could do no more damage to my knee that was already there - bone on bone (MRI was done in 1998) and that someday I would be back in his office when the pain and discomfort got unbearable - In Jan 2007 I had the TKR surgery with the new technology rotating platform knee - Under DR's order I sat out the Spring 2007 season and returned in a limited role 1B - C - DH for the summer season - The biggest challenge I had was my knee reflect muscle had to be retrained for running or jogging might be a better word to the bases - I did use a pitch runner - swinging a bat was mostly done with my upper body and arms - I was not comfortable (mind game) to trust rotating around on the new knee to drive the ball - Fall league 2007 I was back playing 1B - no pitch runner (a little faster than jogging speed) - and although I lost some distance in hitting (which hopefully I'll keep working on (mind game) to rotate the lower body a little further to add some additional torque (bat speed has not changed). TKR was the right decision for me - I'm pain free now and will trade that off for the small decrease in mobility. I feel your pain with every article I have read in this disscusion board - I kept saying to myself hold off and they'll come up with some new technology - cartilegde replacement injection -- didn't happen - Good Luck
Jan. 25, 2008
5 posts
I started researching knee replacements about 5 years ago. I decided the Rotatating Knee Platform from Dupey (Johnson & Johnson) was the best for sports, including softball. I then found the doctor with the most experience and best reputation in Southern California. I had my knee done over two years ago and within three months I was hitting and playing in tournaments. Now my other knee needs replacement and I will have that done after the TOC this year. Unfortunatley anything can happen at our ages and were only one play away from retirement. With all of us with knee issues a time will come if you love the game you may have to come to the same decision that I did. Do your research and if you decided to have the replacement, I believe you can have many additional year of softball ahead of you. My doctor had no issues with me playing softball again. He said he will always be available for repairs...
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