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  1. #1
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    Knee surgery soon :(

    I guess this is as good a place as any to post this....I dunno.

    Looks like knee surgery is in my not too distant future. Tore the piss out of my right knee playing football in high school and it's never quite been the same. Tore a ligament I think but I don't really remember what they said it was....been too long ago. It just keeps getting worse as I get older. Last fall I stepped in a hole in a McDonalds parking lot and fell and tweaked it again. It's been bothering me something fierce ever since. It is ok for a month or two and then one day it will pop and the pain starts. Sometimes it's VERY painful and other times it just feels "tight"....like there's something in the joint moving around or something.

    It's weird that riding my bike actually makes it feel better.....if I don't hammer the pedals up any big hills and spin nice and easy. If I just sit around the house and do nothing, it takes much longer for it to stop hurting. Have no idea what the riding does but it really helps.

    Anyway, I have an appointment with a orthopedic guy in a couple of weeks and I'm guessing he will want to operate on it. Has anyone gone thru modern arthoscopic(sp?) surgery?? It took months to recover from the surgery when I was a teen but I assume the new procedures will let me get back on my feet and on my bike a lot sooner. Just wondering what I'm getting myself in for if he does operate.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jarhead#42's Avatar
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    Yea
    I tore up my knee is a tractor trailor accident . I also had an occult fracture bone in the knee area , torn acl , torn meniscus and cartalage . Youll be down for about a week or two and should have no problems riding at all . BUt if you jog , or do martial arts or any other high impact stuff on the knee , you may have problems . Biking is in no way a problem what so ever and you can get your cardio that way , or even compete .
    Good luck
    jar

  3. #3
    Senior Member jarhead#42's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that My acl wasnt repaired , My knee was just cleaned up . cartalage remoeved with the scope . I walked the next day . Im sorry I wasnt clear on that .
    Peace .
    also My scope was done after my broken bone healed so dont worry at all . I just hated getting sedated . Thats the worse part .

  4. #4
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Modern medicine generally states don't have that arthroscopy surgery - opt for physical therapy (with a good therapist) instead.

    Perhaps you have been through this route, but a whole lot of arthroscopies are unnecessary. There have been several recent studies showing this.

    My wife had an arthroscopy several years back, and has had nothing but trouble. She finally went to a physiatrist "rehab doctor" and a great PT, and things are much better.

    Our current doc laughed when she was told by my wife that she had had an arthroscopy - and said it likely was not necessary.

    Again , your situation will likely be different. Just keep in mind that surgeons get paid to do surgery.

    And biking is great knee therapy.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hornbiker's Avatar
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    Depends upon what's wrong with it. My Father-in-law had arthroscopic knee surgery and was walking on it the next day (!). My husband tore his ACL, had surgery after four months of PT, and is now finishing up 9 months of additional PT. Good news is that biking was part of the therapy.

    Doesn't sound like yours is an ACL from your description, though. This is good!

  6. #6
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    As has been stated it depends on the problem.

    I had torn cartilidge in my knee. The Doc cleaned it up, put a bevel on it.

    After a couple of hours in post-op I walked out. I had crutches but didn't need them.

  7. #7
    Junior Member groundloop's Avatar
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    I had my knee scoped in '91 for an injury (ruptured ACL) in '75. They couldn'yt repair the ACL, but I had a "bucket handle" tear in the meniscus. They removed the entire meniscus at that time, relegating me to low impact activities indefinately (I went on to play semi-pro indoor soccer for 3 years, as a goaltender... so much for low impact!). The symptoms are very similar to what you described, and I went thru PT for 2 mos. w/ no success whatsoever (torn cartilage does NOT regererate and heal itself).
    The surgery was not very complicated, I was off crutches in 2 days, and "jogging" in 4....
    If I had been a rider back then, it was suggested as excellent PT. I recovered exceptionally quickly in the MD's opinion, and he even prescribed a knee brace for me to ski with becausee of it!

    Granted, I was only 35 at the time of surgery, but I have had no problems or complications or even recurrences, apart from the arthritis that was already present at the time.

    My suggestion is to find out EXACTLY what the problem is- MRI's are very good for this- and then make your decision based on the findings. Soft tissue recovery in my opinion is MUCH faster than bone work!

    Good luck, and keep riding anyway!

    -48 1/2 YO youngster

  8. #8
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    My doctor, who is a runner, told me to stop running due to moderate arthritis in both knees. But he said cycling is good for your knees, so I have cycled regularly over the past few years. With every stroke, the cartilege is compressed. This flushes out the liquid and then it comes back in again. Inactive older people don't get this action, and their cartilege becomes brittle and breaks off. I am 66, and I try to get in 50 miles a week. I have two old road bikes: a 1980 Univega and a 1985 Ross that weighs 38 pounds ready to go. Some day, I hope to buy a new lightweight road bike, but right now I have a kid in college and this is where all my bucks are going.

  9. #9
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    While racing motocross in the late 70's, I tore cartilage in the left knee. Later, arthroscopic surgery removed most of it, but left me with a small crescent-shaped pad. As an earlier poster said, cartilage does not regenerate, so the doc tried to leave as much as possible. This was very early in the usage of arthroscopic surgery. Every 5 or 6 years or so, I had to have the knee 'scoped again to remove the accumulation of chips. I knew when I heard the "Rice Krispies" in the knee, time was drawing close for a clean-out! The 3rd surgery required opening the knee up (thankfully, a relatively modest incision) to remove some bone fragments that were too big to withdraw through the 10 mm 'scope tube.

    Research has also shown that cartilage removal tends to have a high correlation with onset of osteoarthritis later on, as it did with me. And, despite lots of PT and recommended exercise, glucosamine etc over the years, I eventually had the knee replaced two years ago. After replacement, the doc told me to go out and do whatever I wanted. He did advise against running: though not harmful in other ways, running will simply wear the knee out sooner.

    What a difference! After the pain of the initial rehab, I really got into the physical training and am now back to doing stuff that was just too totally painful and uncomfortable for many years.

    Bottom line: now, at age 61, I'm down almost 50 lbs and riding the bike is better than in many years!

    Remember, there are some knee problems that can be dealt with via physical therapy. Unfortunately, many knee problems/injuries are/cause structural damage that can only be dealt with via surgery. Be sure and get sufficient medical opinions/advice so that you are confident that the advice you are getting is correct for your situation. Absolutely, positively, get more than one opinion for any knee problem.

  10. #10
    Old AND Slow Bill Shanks's Avatar
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    I had a total knee replacement as well. Too much damage and arthritis for arthroscopic surgery. After a year, I am pain-free (mostly) for the first time in years. I can charge up and down stairs that I dreaded before the surgery. It is imperative to get in shape before the surgery - bicycle, Pilates - and do the exercises and physical therapy after the surgery. The after-surgery rehab is tough for a while because they took a saw to your bones, and they HURT. If you do the work, however, the results are just great. It also helps to have a good caregiver for the first couple of weeks after the surgery. You will be too loaded on pain meds to think very clearly.

    I'm 65, still working, and commute on the bike 14 miles round trip when the temperature is above 15 degrees.

  11. #11
    tsl
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    Whatever you do, don't see *an* orthopedist, see two or three, preferably associated with different hospitals or clinics, and grads of different med schools. Never tell them "what the other guy said". Get references too. Don't worry about if the guy is likable or not. You're not looking for a friend, you're looking for a craftsman.

    My dad and my two younger brothers all went to the same guy, had the same work done, and have never walked right since. My dad, the hardhead, went back for so many more endoscopies, that there was nothing left in the knee and it had to be replaced. Went to the same guy, again (well he's a real nice guy), took over two years after a total knee replacement before he could walk without a cane. Still limps.

    Bottom line: There are orthopedists out there who would be fired from butcher shops for poor performance. You can't know who they are unless you shop around.

    EDIT: Aw crap. This is a resurrected, 3½ year old thread. Why do people do schitt like that?
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragracer View Post
    I guess this is as good a place as any to post this....I dunno.

    Looks like knee surgery is in my not too distant future. Tore the piss out of my right knee playing football in high school and it's never quite been the same. Tore a ligament I think but I don't really remember what they said it was....been too long ago. It just keeps getting worse as I get older. Last fall I stepped in a hole in a McDonalds parking lot and fell and tweaked it again. It's been bothering me something fierce ever since. It is ok for a month or two and then one day it will pop and the pain starts. Sometimes it's VERY painful and other times it just feels "tight"....like there's something in the joint moving around or something.

    It's weird that riding my bike actually makes it feel better.....if I don't hammer the pedals up any big hills and spin nice and easy. If I just sit around the house and do nothing, it takes much longer for it to stop hurting. Have no idea what the riding does but it really helps.

    Anyway, I have an appointment with a orthopedic guy in a couple of weeks and I'm guessing he will want to operate on it. Has anyone gone thru modern arthoscopic(sp?) surgery?? It took months to recover from the surgery when I was a teen but I assume the new procedures will let me get back on my feet and on my bike a lot sooner. Just wondering what I'm getting myself in for if he does operate.
    My story is very similar to yours.
    I used to play a lot of rugby in college. I damaged ligaments in my right knee when a teammate took me down after a practice when I wasn't looking or expecting it. At that time ('79-'80) I could handle the pain and continued to play several more years with bandage and a pain soothing cream.
    Things got better after my playing years but the pain came back in my late 30s, early 40s to the point that, at 45, I couldn't run anymore. Pain was almost constant even at night in bed.
    I read too many bad stories about knee surgery so I tried to avoid it if possible. An x-ray revealed I had no cartilage damage, just ligaments getting old and bruised. A friend surgeon (general) advised non impact exercises. I tried a rowing machine and could feel improvements. I quickly switched to cycling as I prefer being outdoors.
    My life changed, the pain dissipated without 3 months. I learn the high cadence technique using a triple chainring for the hill (I now use a compact double). Today, after 4 years of cycling, my knees are pain free.

  13. #13
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    Do a forum search on "ACL replacement". There are several stories out there covering all types of knee work.

  14. #14
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post

    EDIT: Aw crap. This is a resurrected, 3½ year old thread. Why do people do schitt like that?
    They kneed to stir things up?
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    EDIT: Aw crap. This is a resurrected, 3½ year old thread. Why do people do schitt like that?
    For a few minutes I thought, A) Denver Fox was back, and B) he was posting in black again. Imagine my surprise when I realized the awful truth.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 01-17-08 at 06:44 PM.

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