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TKR Both Knees Replaced and Back to Basketball!

raucher

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Although I didn't post during my recovery from my two knee replacements in 2010 and 2013, I have spent a lot of time reading about recoveries on BoneSmart since 2010. Back at the beginning of my knee journey I was concerned that I had lost my ability to play basketball forever. Through the information I gained here on the forum, extensive pre-surgery strengthening and a structured post-op exercise program, I was able to return to playing full court competitive basketball three times a week for 3 hours each session. Now at age 67 I decided I wanted to tell my recovery story and let people know that it is possible to return to an active lifestyle after knee replacement surgery!

While I understand that not everyone wants to be as physically active as I am, I think for those of us who live this lifestyle, it is important to know there is hope that we can get a life back that includes physically demanding sports. My story of a return to full court competitive basketball was recently featured in a BoneSmart Spotlight article and I'm creating this thread to talk with anyone interested in my recovery details. I'm happy to share them with you and hopefully help others to a successful recovery.

If you are reading this thread and haven't checked out my Spotlight story, I suggest you do that first. You'll find plenty of details there about how I did it.

And then I'm ready to answer any questions my fellow BoneSmarties may have!
 

Jockette

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Congratulations on a very successful outcome!
 

Kperform

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Wow! I am inspired. I am 56 years old and played my last basketball game two years ago. I had my knee replaced 4 weeks ago and prior to my knee replacement I had a total of 12 knee surgeries between both knees. All stemming from my refusal to give up basketball. I love the sport and it has always been a big part of my life. My surgeon told me it would be possible to play basketball again but I have never met anyone who returned to basketball after a knee replacement until now. I am very interested in hearing more about what specifically you did to overcome the odds and return to the hardwood.

Thank you!
 

dmichael21

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My plans are to continue doing my sport as well, I’ll tip toe back into it around the end of April if I’m confident and not till my leg muscles are fully developed. Congrats and I’ll check out your deal.
 

DEL2019Aug-6

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Super inspiring! I had a partial on my left knee last year and a total on my right almost a month ago. I compete in dog agility (with my dog lol). I had an easy and fast recovery from the partial last year and even though I ran out of right knee we had some really lovely wins. Im looking forward to getting back to it with 2 speedier knees. Stories like yours are really helpful to my mental game.
 

highdesertdweller

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Amazing! I was a BBaller in my younger days and didn't think it was possible to resume playing again. I'm still in shape to play but I'm fearful of the cutting and jumping stress on my implant. Where's your story?
 

DEL2019Aug-6

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@highdesertdweller I dont play basketball but I do compete in a sport at a national level that requires lots of sprinting with sudden stops and direction changes. For what its worth my surgeon told me that the biggest risk factor he see's for replacements isn't impact on the replacement surfaces, but loosening and damage of the entire implant caused by soft bones. I got both knees done a little young so I am likely to need to have a revision at some point, but thats most likely to involve the plastic parts wearing out. Im not planning on running marathons, but I wasn't doing that before. Barring any complications I am planning on going back to competing in my sport this year. And my surgeon and pt team are all on board and supportive of my goals. Granted that everyone is different, everyone heals differently and its not a casual procedure that you just jump back up from. My goal right now is to continue resting, moving, pushing my criteria a little more everyday and building strong muscles that will hug my bones extra tight for me. Oh and more resting. :)
 

highdesertdweller

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Thatildo,
Thanks for the insights! I appreciate your detailed explanations and I too am an athlete. I just returned from the gym which is my primary exercise outlet. I focus on weight training and cardio. When I'm not on the tread I walking 4 miles per outing. My concern for competitive sports is twisting and sharp stops and lateral cuts so I jog without making such movements. I'm about 2 years out from surgery and feeling great! The knee always has a feeling of tightness but there's never any swelling. It's my new normal which is much preferable to the previous arthritis and bone spurs. Thanks for your reply and I wish you the best!
 

Jamie

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Amazing! I was a BBaller in my younger days and didn't think it was possible to resume playing again. I'm still in shape to play but I'm fearful of the cutting and jumping stress on my implant. Where's your story?
@highdesertdweller .... Craig's story is available in our BoneSmart Spotlight series. Here is the link to his story. You might also want to read about other Spotlight BoneSmarties - Miss Muffet and Scott Keenan - located on our Spotlight home page.
 

Atlas_aus

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Wow. 10 days out from BTKR and I love reading these types of stories...

Of it is human nature to only talk about the bad things not celebrating the success stories.

Thanks for sharing.
 

Jamie

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Here is an update to Craig's story. He's still going strong on the basketball court!

Still crushing it on the basketball court
ten years after both knees are replaced


1608696480294.png


A couple of years ago, Craig Raucher was featured in our BoneSmart Spotlight with a glowing account of his successful knee replacements. You can read that inspiring story here (https://bonesmart.org/joints/december-spotlight-craucher/) and see that after his knees were replaced, Craig was able to return to playing full court competitive basketball, frequently with much younger guys.

As we close 2020, Craig is back with an update on how he’s doing now that his knees are 7 and 10 years old. The short story is at 69 years old he’s still going strong and enjoying his favorite sport! He continues to be an avid proponent for knee replacement surgery and the benefits it can bring mentally, physically, and emotionally to a person’s life. Craig credits the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and his surgeon, Dr. David Mayman, for his continued success.

Craig is the founder and Commissioner of one of the oldest basketball groups in New York City. The organization will mark its 41st year in 2021. During its history, the Staten Island Basketball League (website: www.sibl.us) has seen over 350 players walk through the doors of the historic school building where they play.

1608696813696.png


Playing on this beautiful court transports you back to a different time and offers a bit of a Fountain of Youth for those who compete here. The players are from all walks of life, different religions and nationalities, all with the same desire to win and stay on the court. They are rocket scientists, detectives, grad students, businessmen, fire department lieutenants, teachers, physician’s assistants, construction workers, politicians, lawyers and more - glued together for the love of the game.

Up until the Corona virus hit in March and the league was forced to close down, Craig played full court competitive basketball 3 time a week, with each session spanning several hours.

1608696896267.png


Craig stresses that the surgery alone is only one component of his success. Equally important is the pre-op work he put in to get himself in the best possible condition followed by a structured post-op exercise program to regain strength and flexibility. This was key to him getting back to where he wanted to be – on the basketball court with full range of motion in his knees.

Like many people facing the decision of having total knee replacement surgery, Craig concedes it can be scary and overwhelming. However, he stresses that if you do your research into a great surgeon and hospital and understand the huge benefits to the quality of your life, it is a decision that will have a profound positive effect on your quality of life. This philosophy fits whether a person enjoys 3 hours of competitive basketball multiple times a week or just wants to enjoy simple day-to-day activities without feeling miserable.

1608697461314.png

To watch Craig and other members of the Staten Island Basketball League in action, check out this YouTube video:

and this one showing Craig (in the gray t-shirt) taking some great shots during a game of horse. Notice how smoothly those knees are working!
 

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Jamie

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Hi, Craig! Lookin' good in those videos. Please post and let me know you received your alert for this comment.
 

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