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Has anyone been able to run again after new knees?

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by GMoose, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. GMoose

    GMoose new member
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    Hello all.
    I found this site today and have been reading some very long threads started by RunA42k (a member of this site) and her journey from being an avid marathon runner, finding her knees were shot, going through surgery and then out the other side to recovery.

    Due to the length of the threads I've been unable to find a moment in her recovery where running became possible again (in terms of how long it took her to get to that point). I'd love to be able to get in touch with her but if that's not possible I'm sure many people will be able to help from their own experiences instead as I'm sure her story is far from unique.

    I'm told I'm quite young for new knees (46) and am not absolutely desperate for them yet. I can still walk with only on and off pain but have a feeling that my knees are a little like 'loose hinges'. I certainly cannot run anymore because that really does hurt. Even more so the next day.

    I had an MRI on my knees a few years ago after terrible knee pain after my weekly football matches and was told the cartilage on the inner part of both knees had virtually gone. The outer were fine. I should also say that my mum had new knees too so I guess I've inherited her rubbish knees genes.

    Apart from my knees I'm pretty fit and not overweight. I swim, work my upper body in the gym and cycle regularly although cycling has started to hurt lately. I've been described as being like a Ferrari with wooden cart wheels! I used to do a lot more though, playing regular football, competing at Karate and of course regularly running. I've done one marathon and have no real wish to do another but would really love to run a regular 3 miles or so again.

    My question is, will this be possible? Will I be able to go out 2 or 3 times a week and run a good 3 miles after surgery without ruining my new knees and meaning I'll be stuffed later in life? How many times can you have new knees?

    I know many people will say 'Why bother trying to run when you can swim or cycle instead?' I get that argument but running is SO MUCH MORE convenient. All a runner has to do is pop on some running shoes and off they go. If I cycle there's a load of kit to get on, especially in the winter, and that's before digging out my bike, sorting lights, drinks etc. etc.

    And swimming is no quicker. OK all I have to do is squeeze into a pair of Speedos but I also have to drive 40 mins to the pool.

    I also miss running. My wife runs, my friends run. I feel like a Leper sometimes being the only non-runner and I'd love to be able to do it again.

    So any real experiences of people having had new knees and then recovering to a point of running again would be brilliant.

    Thanks guys.

    Steve (in the pretty UK countryside)
     
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  2. PolarBear60

    PolarBear60 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi, Steve. Some people do run again. Your OS will discourage it, largely because it puts an unbelievable strain on your spacer, so it will wear our more quickly (I'm not certain what that translates to in time, which makes it difficult to provide you useful data for making an informed decision). If the spacer wears out more quickly, you're a candidate for a revision that much more quickly. Getting a TKR at your age, you're already likely to need a revision during your lifespan (but I wouldn't worry about that -- I decided I wanted my 20-30 good years now, and I'd worry about a revision when it came up; you may feel similarly).

    I can tell you I was trying to catch up with my parents who didn't know I was chasing them down in a large warehouse store a couple weeks ago, and I managed to trot quite comfortably. It was a pleasant surprise. (I used to be a runner, and I've completed 5 marathons.)
     
  3. alexthecat

    alexthecat MODERATOR Administrator

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    @RunA42K still visits the forum on occasion. I've tagged her and if she has email alerts turned on maybe she'll give us a visit.

    I had THR at 42 and I have returned to running. My mileage is much less than when I was younger, but I find that my speed has improved now that my training volume is less. I haven't had TKR, so I can't speak to that, but I do want to offer my support as someone who is close to your age.
     
  4. Clipless

    Clipless post-grad

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    Hi, I do a little (very little) trail running and it feels fine. I mostly hike, though. I will run more when I lose 20#. A funny thing happened when I first attempted to "run" after TKR- I couldn't. My feet would not cooperate with my brain. So I practiced hopping from foot to foot for a while and finally threw in the forward acceleration. It worked!

    My personal inspiration for TKR is the cross country girls' coach at our local high school. She runs 6-10 miles/day on a RTKR, and has been doing so for 15 years, no problem.
     
  5. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Actually, it's not that young. 45-55 is now the usual age for joint replacement.
    Not at all. Arthritis is not inherited any more than a broken leg is!
    Of course you will BUT you might find it beneficial to look into the Barefoot Runners Society where forefoot strike is recommended as opposed to heel strike. Heel strike sends the impact up the bones so it can cause wear in the plastic insert of the TKR. On the other had, forefoot strike send the impact up the muscles and ligaments!

    One of the members has this in his signature which I think is very neat!

    "Go! I am sending you out ...do not take sandals." ~Jesus (Luke 10:4)
    “What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize that the foot is more noble than the shoe?” ~Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
    "The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art." ~Leonardo da Vinci
    "How one runs probably is more important than what is on one’s feet, but what is on one’s feet may affect how one runs." ~Dr. Daniel Lieberman
    "Barefoot is the default." ~Bare Lee
    "Shoes do no more for the foot than a hat does for the brain." ~Dr. Mercer Rang


    There's also this "Dick Beardsley 61 and minus two knees"
     
  6. Kneed2Run

    Kneed2Run new member

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    I had BTKR February 12th, 2015. I started interval training at about 18 months postop and was running regularly soon after. I saw my doctor at 2 years postop and he said my xrays showed no unusual wear. He said to keep it up. I am now running 3 times a week, up to 10 miles at a time and 20 to 22 miles per week. This is mostly on the treadmill, though I do like to get outside when I can on fairly flat surface. I never did like hills.

    I focus on smooth stride and forward foot strike. I rarely take any ibuprofen or painkillers. I also worked with a Performance Therapy group who helped me with function leg exercises and balance. This is important before starting to run.

    I was told about reduced life of the replacements due to running, but this just seems to be speculation. There are so few runners who get TKR that try to run again. I have not been able to find statistical data to support the claim. If someone can find some, I really want to see it.
     
  7. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I'm not a runner, but I do want to offer some advice.

    If you are going to run, do make sure that you get your knee checked regularly, to make sure that the plastic spacer between the metal components is not wearing thin.
    If it is wearing thin, the operation to replace a spacer is much less serious than having a total knee revision.

    I had a partial knee replacement (PKR) that served me well for 11 years. What I didn't know - I had no warning - was that the plastic spacer was wearing thin.
    One day, while I was on holiday, I was walking really fast and that spacer broke. Part of it shot out to the front of my knee and part went to the back.

    From being able to walk well, I was suddenly lying on the floor, unable to walk at all. I came home on crutches, not weight-bearing on my artificial knee.
    I had to have the entire knee replacement revised.

    The spacer breaking was very painful and it's not something I would wish on anyone.
     
  8. Oomworthy

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    I don't know if it helps, but my physiotherapist has recently trained as a running coach and now offers a 6 week course showing people the correct way to run - he also does a proper walking technique course. It's possible that anybody trained as a running coach may be able to help based on knee surgery constraints.

    I plan to have him as my PT after my TKR (after 8 years he knows my knee better than almost anybody) and I was wondering if he could use the new skills to help me run again - not that I've ever been a 'runner' but it'd be nice to run with the dogs before they get too old.

    Also, would running on sand (or trail running as somebody else mentioned) help to reduce the impact/load? I know that it's harder on the muscles but much better at reducing impact. I live near to the beach but perhaps it's not an option for you.
     
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  9. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I think running on sand would be a bad idea. Even walking on sand is hard on a new knee, because it's hard to get a firm foot-hold. Your muscles have to do a lot to compensate for that.
    While walking on firm sand is easier, I think running on soft sand could cause problems, or even injury.
     
  10. Chillimac

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    I have a work colleague who was a regular half marathon runner who had TKR surgery 7 years ago. A year after surgery he returned to running, slowly building up until he was running the same distance as before surgery a couple of times a week but not competitively. He had no problems............for around 5 years, then he started to have problems. 2 years on he's now just had the knee re done (November 17) and had a very bad time with his recovery as against the first time around. Obviously this is just one example, everyone is different but in his own words " I should've listened when the physio told me running was a bad idea"
     
  11. NDSunshine

    NDSunshine junior member

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    My doc says no, but I run in water. Have done that in pools, and my favorite, in the ocean, or other natural bodies of water. I love the running on foot front idea. That's how I've always done it. But bottom line, I plan on taking care of my knees.

    Sent from my SM-J100VPP using Tapatalk
     
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  12. batcat

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    So I’m 18 Months post op. TKR . Was hoping/expecting to be able to jog to 1st base. I couldn’t run 10 feet if you paid me. Went to two other Doctors, this is the best I’ll be. So sad. 56 yrs old, PE teacher. I can golf and walk. But knee hurts after golf. Should have waited until I couldn’t walk at all, then anything else would be a bonus.
     
  13. ertuck

    ertuck junior member

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    I am sorry to hear that batcat I am in the same position at six months as you ,my days of leaping about playing squash jumping up and instantly running , long distance running, bounding up and down the stairs are long behind me.
    Nowadays I have to gently get up from the sitting position, tentatively test my knee out and wait for it to gradually become less painful and then I can walk about.I sincerely feel your anguish as it is /or was your means of livelihood and enjoyment.I cannot straighten my leg but I do row 5k everyday on my erg for cardio vascular exercise.The Quactors know that it can't be improved but it is better than lurching from one fence/or post to another, clutching them for support as was the case with me after walking 100 yards pre op..
    Ertuck
     

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