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Discussion: Knee replacement thoughts

Posted Discussion
Oct. 20, 2011
goforit
97 posts
Knee replacement thoughts
Could i get some serious feedback from players that have had a total knee replacement. I'm at that stage and i'm thinking of getting one near the end of November. I would like to know thoughts on rehab, running after surgery and does the new knee affect how you are now able to swing a bat.

Thanks
John Giesler
Master Collision
Oct. 20, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
john we have 3 guys on our team who have had it done,(2 have both knees and a hip,and the other just a knee).all 3 can still hit the ball hard with no problem.i think they had a 6 month rehab before being able to play,with limited mobility.2 run pretty good as they are a year or more out from the replacement,the other is still under a year,he gets a runner sometimes.

been told to look for a sports surgeon and let him know of your plans to keep on playing.
Oct. 20, 2011
goforit
97 posts
Thanks Mad dog, i hope some others see this and give me some insight into the recovery and then starting to play again. I was never a speed demon but i would like to run without the pain. What positions do your team mates play?
John
Oct. 20, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
2 play all over,1 is mostly an outfielder and the other plays inf,of and pitches(they also CR).the third who has just been done not quite a year ago,has played mostly first and catching this year(he is one of the two that has had both knees and a hip done)as he is not quite a year out from one of his surgeries.

good luck and hopefully everything goes good for ya........
Oct. 21, 2011
dj
32 posts
john: I had my left knee replaced last Nov 17th, I started playing in April on our thurs travel league, I had a runner from home plate and I caught, started running to first on my own about June, I think it was more like a fast trot, I still havent run full out, hitting started slow I could hit 300' before and my power took a while to come back, my leg felt like it was in the way when I took my swing. My power is back now. Go slow everyone is different. I think it takes about a year. I was bone on bone and that pain is gone, I really had a rough time walking before the replacement. Sorry about the log post and good luck with replacement

DJ
Oct. 23, 2011
goforit
97 posts
DJ,

Thanks for the comments. So i assume that your knee is no longer stopping you from taking a full swing with power? I saw one of your earlier posts to murray that stated you wished you had looked into what you should do before surgery and your rehab afterward, any thoughts on this for me. Did you let your doctor know you were going to continue playing softball? I walk pretty good still and go up and down stairs with onlyy some pain but its starting to ache more and more in certin positions and i'm getting fluid on the knee more and more that needs to be drained before i play. Sorry for the long post but i'm planning on doing this after Vegas in November and i'm trying to be as informed as i can be.

John
Oct. 24, 2011
dj
32 posts
John: yes my full swing is back, you can start ding some rehab now, lift weights and ride a bike, to get the area around the knee stronger. I did tell the doctor I was going to play softball, that was ok with him, he told me no sliding or diving. The first doctor I had said no way cold I play again. My wife sent me to a sports doctor to said it was ok. Try to start riding a bike as soon as you can after replacement. Everyone is different some heal faster and some slower. Good Luck

DJ
Oct. 26, 2011
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
John, I am very glad that I had my surgery last December. I had gotten to the point where I was in constant pain and couldn't practice or work out enough to be consistent in hitting and my back was often hurting because of the compensation for my bad knee.

I definitely lost power over the last 6 months of last year. I was very diligent (for me) about working out and strengthening my leg for the 3 months prior to surgery and post surgery. I started hitting in March and playing in April.

When I started playing it was 5 months from surgery and I still had a lot of swelling and limited range of motion...but it did not affect my hitting or power very much as I was able to hit HR's as consistently as I had a few years ago before my knee got so bad. I just DH'd and had a runner whenever I got on base.

We went to Phoenix last weekend and that was the first tournament where I played the field for more than an inning or two. I played 1st for 1 game and 3rd for the last 3 games. I'm still working on my running and it hurts a little when my right (surgical) leg hits the ground when I run. I was able to beat out a double play ball this weekend on a grounder that I hit to 3rd!

During my rehab I was very happy with the progress for the first 2 months then from that point up to 6 months I felt like I made very little progress. At that point, I started going to a massage therapist for active release therapy (ART) that really helped to break up the scar tissue and give me more range of motion. It was one of the most painful things I ever went through with her digging deep into the soft tissues to break up the restrictions...but really worth it. When people heard I was getting a massage they asked if it came with a "happy ending" and I said it did. The happy ending was the end of the hour that she was torturing me!

Sorry for such a long post, but hopefully it helps answer some questions. Good luck, Murray
Nov. 1, 2011
3rdbase
8 posts
I had it done on one knee 6 years ago, best thing I ever did for myself due to the issues it was causing. Rehab is the answer and wish anybody who has had it the best.
Nov. 3, 2011
Rckound
Men's 55
6 posts
Not to hijack this thread or anything, but at what age were you all when you had yours done? I'm 56 and can still run pretty well, but the doc has said that I'll have to have both of them done eventually. I wonder about just how long I should put it off? Better to wait as long as I can stand it, or bite the bullet now and just get them done? Been getting the Synvisc 1 shots and they work pretty well but only last about 6 months and they're not cheap. All of you that have had replacements and are back to playing, let's just say that at least you give me hope. Go get 'em, guys!
Nov. 4, 2011
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
I was your age (56) when I got mine done. The Synvisc didn't work for me. It all depends on your quality of life and what your pain level was.

For me, it was when it started affecting my everyday life that I made the decision to have it done. I couldn't stand for more than 1/2 hour and I had trouble sleeping at night due to the pain.

One thing I did not do was think of putting it off because of fear of it wearing out sooner. I'd rather get it done now and be pain free for the next 5 years rather than wait for 5 years with the hope that it will wear out when I am 90 instead of 85. I imagine that 30 years from now the knee replacement technology will be much different than today.
Nov. 4, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
the one guy on our team had his done in the early to mid 50's,the other's were in their early 60's.all of them are real glad they had it done or they wouldn't be playing today.

with all who get this done good luck and i hope it gives you the relief you need.
john have ya gone and done it........
Nov. 4, 2011
Mr. Manassas
230 posts
I had both knees replaced and my two cents on the matter is that the rehab is more important than the actual operation.
I had the use of a pool and in addition to the formal rehab I simulated the motions that you use in a game in the water...including the running motion. I used the pool 5 days a week.
Nov. 6, 2011
Comeback Kid
1 posts
Thanks John,

I came here to post this question. I had right knee replaced eight weeks ago. I had to give up soft ball after 2005 season (I was in three leagues) due to the excessive bone on bone pain. A career change, insurance and life delayed surgery till this year. I'm 54.

I'm very encouraged at what I have read here. My thoughts on having it done:

Locate a surgeon who does a lot of procedures and minimize the amount of muscle that is cut. Let him know your expectations and select the right joint.

Attack the rehab with all you got, at every stage ask, what is the maximum I can do. but still listen to your body.

One thing I would do different, Prior to surgery I would work till I could easily touch my toes if not with my palms, and stretch my quads till I could hit my butt with my heel. Good Luck
Nov. 7, 2011
goforit
97 posts
Maddog,

I'm waiting until after Vegas (probably 12/6/11), need to have fun one more time.

Thanks everyone for your comments, it sounds like there are some success stories out there and i appreciate hearing them. My doctor told me NO the first time when he found out that i still wanted to play softball, then he said yes the second time i talked to him. I think he was concerned that the joint would wear out to fast if i played softball.

Comeback Kid -- you mentioned that i should get the correct joint -- how many different kinds are there? I know of one or two but i thought they were all pretty standard.

John
Nov. 7, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
good luck john and go out with a bang in vegas.like the others have said,do the rehab and get the flexibility( if possible) before the surgery.hope to see ya next year.......
Nov. 7, 2011
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
goforit,
I know you asked Comeback Kid, but I'll throw my 2 cents in here. Finding someone who does many of these (100's per year and 1,000's total) is important. You want someone who has seen it all and knows how to custom it for your knee and your problems working on you rather than someone who is just learning how to do it. Also, find someone who specializes in knees...you don't want someone who mainly does hips or shoulders to work on your knee.

There are several different manufacturers of the joints. Generally, a surgeon will have his preferred one and that is the one that he has built up all the experience with. I would not want a surgeon who has 1,000's of surgeries using a particular joint to try out a new one that he has no experience with on me.

Many doctors have waiting periods that are months long, so if you want it done after Vegas, you probably needed to schedule it a few months ago. That's what I did last year. I had mine done 12/7/2010 which was as close to playing the Vegas tournament as I could get. I also wanted it done as close to Vegas as he could do it so I could start playing in 2011 as soon as possible.

For a lot of good information about the surgery and recovery, I recommend this site: http://bonesmart.org/public_forum/knee-replacement-recovery-area-f39.html

Good luck,
Murray
Nov. 7, 2011
garyheifner
367 posts
We have a teammate from the Quad cities area Illinois. Had both knees done-runs like a deer. Another friend, had one done in the spring. New technique. Walked the same day. Play in the Elgin Park District league about 3 weeks later. Played at the 60AA level all summer and fall on the SSWC tour. I believe the new technique does not cut the ligaments/tendons and reattach. I think he said they moved them over, put in the new parts and moved them back in place. If my knees go, won't hesitate looking into the procedure.
Nov. 8, 2011
goforit
97 posts
Thanks everyone for your comments and insight.

MurrayW -- my date is set for 12/6/11 unless they can get me in on 11/29/11. I'm having the surgery done through the Orthopedic center at the University of Utah (they do all the work for the U of U athletic department), the doctor i have does just knee replacements so i believe he meets the qualifications you mentioned. I have a meeting with him on Wednesday to go over everything. I wish i knew more about that "New Technique" that Garyheifner is talking about.

If any of you are in Vegas and you see Master Collision playing or just standing around, please come up and say hi. I would like to thank everyone personally if possible.

Take care
John Giesler
Master Collision
Nov. 9, 2011
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
He may be talking about makoplasty which is what I had done. During normal knee replacement they remove the ACL. They don't do theat with makoplasty. It's robot assisted surgery where they don't have to cut or grind away as much bone to put in the device. Not everyone will qualify for makoplasty...it depends on the condition of your knee. My outer part was still OK and only the center and inner part needed replacment, so I was a candidate for makoplasty.

I felt that my recovery for the first 2 months was faster than most who have full knee replacement but from the 2 month point going forward the rapid recovery slowed down and from what I have read, my recovery was pretty much in line with those that had a full knee replacement. Like everything in life, there are exceptions and some people do recover very quickly, but don't go into this thinking that just because someone was back playing softball n a matter of months that it will necessarily happen to you

Check out the bonesmart site I linked a few posts ago and it will answer many more questions than we can in this thread. Our team is not going to Vegas or otherwise I would show you my scar! Good luck in Vegas and with your surgery.
Murray
Nov. 9, 2011
the wood
1087 posts
John, find knee repl specialist w/ 2nd opinion. Then look objectively at choices.
I looked @ ALL options and just had 2nd hip repl. I had no other options. I'm confident that this is correctr path for me.
Good luck to you.
Bob Woodroof
Nov. 9, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I am guessing/hoping all of you had this talk with your doctors, but look closely at your weight. I was talked to quite a bit by my ortho at the Cleveland Clinic about the possibility of new knees down the road, but then wound up on a "cancer diet plan" and lost 40 pounds. Have put it all back on since then, but much better quality weight than I took off, and have not had any knee problems in almost 3 years now.

I don't recommend the diet I wound up on, but think hard about weight loss and leg strengthening before jumping into surgery of this nature.
Nov. 9, 2011
goforit
97 posts
Thanks again everyone,

Bob good to hear from you again, hope your doing well.

Met with the doctor today for the last time before surgery. He will not be cutting any of the tendons or the ligaments that will be remaining. I am going to lose the ACL but i've so little of it left now i'm ok with that. I'm surprised after looking at the MRI that it haden't already snapped. The doctor i'm using does about 500 replacements a year and he is very understanding that i want to continue playing softball next year. From the people i've talked to he is very respected in this field. He has told me that he will get with the PT people after the surgery so they know the direction i want to go. I'm not going to rush the recovery, i understand how important it is to do the rehab correctly.

Again thanks everyone, your insight helped me ask questions today that i would not have thought about.

Look forward to seeing some of you in Vegas next week.

John Giesler
Nov. 9, 2011
the wood
1087 posts
John, I haven't had a left acl since the johnson years (lyndon). You will adapt. BW
Nov. 9, 2011
goforit
97 posts
Last note should have said 500 replacements over the last two years not 500 this year.
John
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