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Discussion: Partial knee replacement

Posted Discussion
March 26
Senior24

1 posts
I am 63 years old and have been diagnosed with needing a partial knee replacement. I liked to get some opinions on this surgery. Has anyone had this surgery and were you able come back and play without any limitations. My Dr says that I can come back and play, but I want to hear from senior softball players. Thanks for your comments
March 26
Eazy
Men's 50
8 posts
I didn't have a partial, I had both knees fully replaced at the same time in December of 2018 and I was back out playing in March of 2019. With a partial you should be able to play without any major issues. I just played this weekend in Utah and I play short stop. I can run and play without pain now. The mobility is a little different, but remember I had full replacement.
March 27
Darjlov

8 posts
I was 49 when I had my first knee surgery to remove my meniscus and clean out arthritis then at 55 when I had a full knee replacement. I been pretty fortunate because I had my knee replaced in October 2021 and was back to playing in March 2022. Granted it was limited for the first few tournaments but still playing. Hitting was no issue, but running took a little more time. I'm no speed demon but I can leg a double out when I need to. Similar to you, my doctor told I could play however he also stated to ensure longevity in the replacement I should have a runner when reaching a base. I may be different with a partial.

I play third so I think the horizontal movement has taken the longest. Even after a year removed from surgery it's still not what I am accustomed, but I am still improving. Just a reminder and as the doctor probably told you surgery alone will not correct the problem. Make sure you do the recommended physical therapy. Recouping your flexibility and strength is key.
March 27
Rich99
Men's 65
3 posts
I had a partial knee replacement 11 years ago when I was 58. the operation was November 1 and I was playing in the Spring Worlds in March. My recovery was pretty easy. it still feels good, and I do anything I want to including skiing.
March 28
Robo
Men's 65
13 posts
I had partial knee replacement (PKR) in both knees in August 2012. With having both knees done at the same time, it took about 5 or 6 months to come back. I've had no problems at all since then and have put lots of mileage on the knees. PKR surgery allows you to keep your ACL so mobility is still very good. I run well, referee soccer and ski with no pain.
March 29
TooOldToFight
Men's 60
24 posts
Senior24, I haven't had a knee replacement, so to me the people who already responded are the experts. However, I know 10 individuals who had one or both knees replaced and 8 of them were religious about doing the physical therapy longterm and to the person they're very active and they say they're really glad they had the surgery. The two individuals who gave up early on the PT don't run well and say their leg always feels stiff. At least one of the other responders emphasized the importance of doing the PT and I strongly agree.
March 29
DieselDan
Men's 75
606 posts
TOTOF is spot on with his comments. In most surgeries, post surgery can be the key to returning to whatever you enjoy doing. Warm ups and stretching before practice and games never ends. Look at your teammates who may never have had surgery or work/sports injures that cannot run well. Their legs have tightened up over the years from lack of warming the muscles up and stretching. After doing the stretching drills following a tricep issues years ago, I still did them and noticed my velocity improved. Good luck S24.
March 29
IDon'tKnow 3rdBase
Men's 65
28 posts
Senior24, I had total knee replacements, right knee 6 months to the day and the left 7 weeks to the day. I am 70 and plan to play at the Southwest Championships in Las Vegas in three weeks. I'm close to a gym rat and did all the PT. it helps to do the PT exercises before the surgery for several weeks. It makes the recovery go faster. Total knee replacement takes at least twice the time to rehab than a partial. My knees were to far gone to do a partial. Guys that I know who had partials were back playing tournaments in 2-3 months and are very happy with the results. Talking to my doctor, he told me the full replacement will last 20-30 years or more but the partials are too knew and not known how long they will last. One doctor told me I was a 50/50 candidate for a partial in the left knee and if it didn't work out he would just go in and do a full replacement. No thanks!
March 29
MurrayW
Men's 65
221 posts
I had a partial knee replacement on my right knee 11 years ago. It lasted seven years, and I had to have a total replacement four years ago. Two years ago, I had a total knee replacement on my left knee.

With each knee replacement, I knew more about what to do to recover. The biggest thing I learned was how to manage and reduce the swelling and regain my range of motion. With each one, the time it took to get back to playing was shorter: five, four, and two months. I still limped a little and didn't do much other than hit for a couple of months after I started playing again in each case. It took almost a year until I felt I could run without any limping and back to full speed.

When I got my right knee redone, my surgeon told me that he tells his patients that a partial knee replacement is their first and a total knee replacement is their last. I disagree with an earlier poster who said that the recovery time for a partial is 1/2 the time as a full. My recovery was just as long (and actually longer) for the partial as it was for my two total replacements.
April 6
T-mon
Men's 70
15 posts
I had a total knee replacement March 20th. I started PT om March 22. Used a walker for 4 days and a cane for 5 days. Used Oxycodone only once on March 22nd right before I went to PT because the nerve block wore off that morning. Have been taking Tylenol for pain, seems to work fine. I can walk pain free for the last couple of days without any aides. I chatted with Murray before my surgery and am doing what he recommended, by reducing the swelling with Berg ice machine which is a great investment, elevating the knee above my heart and working hard in PT to get my ROM (range of motion) back. the hardest part is getting your knee straight, bending is painful but I get more ROM each PT visit which I do twice a week. Try and walk as much as you can, I get my stitches taken out tomorrow and my PT therapist says I am doing amazingly well. Good luck and be diligent with your PT.
April 11
NYTX
Men's 65
55 posts
Senior24 - I had a partial on December 16th of 2021. I felt I was ready to play by the following May 1st. You may feel better sooner, but it is not advisable to get out there too soon just because it feels okay. In fact, my doctor suggested I wait 9 months. I waited 5.
As others have stated, the most important thing to focus on right after the surgery is range of motion. My advice is don't worry about strength - that will come in due time. Range of motion and having full flexibility will give you the best chance in the long run. They claim the range of motion must be established in the first 2-3 months, after that it gets more difficult.

Anyway, best of luck to you.
April 13
Obad2019

19 posts
I appreciate all this information. I am getting gel shots right now. They better than cortisone injections but they are not a miracle cure. You have to get 1 shot every week for 4 weeks. If you are putting off the surgery for a couple of months to limp around the field for one more season, I suggest you ask for these gel shots. It allowed me to run a little with the addition of pain pills. Just a suggestion while you are waiting for the surgery. Good luck everyone.
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