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PKR Returning to Sport?

CentreHalf

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I had a partial knee replacement just over three years ago. I was 47 and the op was to fix a problem caused by a football (soccer) injury. I had very strong leg muscles from years of playing football and cycling and am quite big of build.

It would be fair to say that, with hindsight, my post-op physio was not great as it wasn't tailored as it should have been and although the knee itself has been very healthy since the op, I have had issues with my quad as this has been very tight since.

Doing some research, it appears that the old wisdom of not taking part of physical sports (even singles tennis) is now being seen as possibly outdated with younger people having these operations and also with the new joints being more robust.

I'm really missing my team sports activities. I use a static bike to maintain a level of fitness but have absolutely no interest in swimming (boring) which seems to be the main thing they tell you to do to keep fit after a KR.

Has anybody gone back to playing team sports and if so, how has it been? I'm not planning to go back to hard tackling defender but even to go back to goalkeeping to minimise the running impact would be great. I did look at walking football but this seems to be more for pensioners and I'm too young to join many clubs!
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart!

Not being the least bit athletic, unless you call mediocre bowling a sport (and I don’t really) I can’t advise you.

I do know we’ve had members who got back to being athletic. I’m sure they will reply when they see your post.

I’ll tag our expert @Josephine
our forum administrator and nurse director to address your question. She has many years of experience working with joint replacement.
 

maryo52

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Welcome to Bonesmart. We're glad you've come to us with your question.

My mom had a partial in the 1980s and she played tennis until she was 82. I've made a conscious decision not to play but just had a crummy knee replacement revised to a much better outcome, so who knows.

One thing I'd like to say about your PT. Their job is to have you get back to the activities of daily living. If you are looking for fitness appropriate to athletics, then that different.

@skigirl might have some wisdom to impart about your goals.
 

skigirl

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I am a ski instructor and skied a 100 days a year five months after both my knee replacements. I have skied on them since 2009 and 2010 and have not had any problems. I bike about 100 miles a week in the summer and this winter, I began to skate ski (cross country) with a team. I really don't think of my knees while living my life.

The tight quad muscle is a stretchable problem---a PT could help you with the right exercises or you could go to the university of You tube, which I seem to turn to more and more these days. Any stiff, problematic muscle needs attention, especially if you are considering running sports.

I played soccer and coached for many years, but have not tried to do so since my knee replacements---partially because I was 65 when i got the replacements. But, I am just not sure that i would opt for soccer which seems to be a knee eater in many circumstances. It depends on how and where you play, I think. With a group of 30 year olds who are pretty rough? maybe not. with a group of similarly aged people who just want to play and don't have attitude about it? I would certainly consider that---but a full field running game is probably more than i would do--but, then I was 65 when I got my replacements.

Here is what I have done---played non-checking hockey, biked 20-30 miles with a club twice a week. Hiked 15 -20 miles with a hiking club, skied 100 days as a ski instructor, although I take it easy on moguls. biked often in the summer---about 100-150 miles per week. I now live in Minneapolis which has extensive bike trails. It is easier to bike downtown than to drive!! Also, the buses also have bike racks, so i can take a bus some of the way if I want to do so. In the winter, i skate ski three times a week with a racing team although I am not really fast. I also alpine ski once or twice a week here although it is hardly skiing---no mountains, just hills. I walk the dogs a couple of miles a day and sometimes a kind of run/walk them. I am now 74, so have slowed my pace a little, but not because of my knees. I walk the two miles to work and back most of the time.

My knees? I just took a bad spill in my icy driveway and my left knee is black and blue from the fall. Other than that, I don't really think of my knees or have knee pain.
 
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CentreHalf

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Thanks for those who have replied and for the link to the amazing recoveries thread.

I'm now seriously considering going back to playing - you only get one life. If I do, it will be for fun and I'll stick to goalkeeping so won't be running around to minimise the wear and tear. I might even go with knee pads to reduce any impact. Will need some sports massage first I think to loosen up the muscles but if I do go back playing then I will report back here - either with a success story or to tell you about my next operation:heehee:
 

Celle

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Hello @CentreHalf - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement and which knee it is, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

I think you've given your knee long enough to recovery by now, so if you want to start playing again, go ahead - but try to start in gently and see how it goes.
 

NavyGunns

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@CentreHalf, I think it’s a great idea to get back involved with a sport you love. Just take it easy and pay attention to how your knee feels / responds.
 
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CentreHalf

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Hello @CentreHalf - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement and which knee it is, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

I think you've given your knee long enough to recovery by now, so if you want to start playing again, go ahead - but try to start in gently and see how it goes.
I had a right knee PKR on 10th September 2015
 
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CentreHalf

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Not been back for a while but having done my research and with the encouragement of those on here, I was confident that having an uncemented joint reduced the risk of impacting the PKR as the main issue of bone cement degradation from old style replacements is not an issue.

I decided that there were a few things I needed to do before going back to playing so I started using my static bike more just to get the body moving and build up strength in my leg muscles. I also had a few sports massages to try and loosen up muscles that hadn't been used for some time.

I also had a foot assessment and found that the arch on my left foot (the good leg) has collapsed which was having an impact on my hips and back so I now have arch supports and feel much better.

Yesterday I made my comeback - a 60 minute football (soccer) match playing as goalkeeper on an old astroturf surface. It was 5 years and one week since I last played and just under four years since mye PKR.

Obviously I was somewhat rusty when it came to a lot of things and I was very immobile to start with. However, as I got into the match I started to forget about the knee and was happily throwing myself about at the end. I probably did more to break down old scar tissue in the knee in the last 30 minutes yesterday than in the previous five years. I en't beenabsolutely loved being back in that environment.

So, how are things today? A few aches in muscles that haven't been used for a long time. As for the knee, structurally it is fine and not at all sore. The one thing that was an issue is that the muscles / tendons etc on the side of the knee are still tight and I couldn't run properly last night (not a major issue for a keeper) so I will get further physio to get that sorted.

Can't wait to go back and play again next week!
 

sistersinhim

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I loved reading how you have gotten back to doing the things you love. That is exactly why we go through this surgery.
 
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CentreHalf

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So, one year on, I thought I'd give a quick update on progress.

The first few weeks back were hard and it took a while for the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the knee to start to free up. There was also the mental side. Kneeling is seen as a challenge for many with replacements as it is generally uncomfortable so throwing yourself around on a fairly unforgiving surface is a challenge.

After a couple of games, I started to 'forget' about the knee and play more normally. I reckon I did more for breaking down the scar tissue in my knee in a few games than in any physio etc. I carried on getting regular sports massage to help free up everything around the knee and was moving fairly well.

Then COVID struck, no football, working from home on unsuitable chairs. I managed to damage a disc in my back and put my pelvis out of alignment after a minor mis-step while walking the dog and ended up inactive for six weeks. On top of that, my assault bike broke so I was getting no exercise and putting on weight.

Eventually I was able to get back on the bike and last week, we were allowed back to play football for the first time in six months. I was not alone in having a slightly tighter shirt than when we last played! However, I noticed that I lost some of the mobility gained over the last year so will need to work on that again.

My PKR is now five years old and the fact that as an overweight 52 year old I can still play football is great. Like many who play team sports, it's not just the sport you miss but the banter you get with team mates.

I just wish I had been given better recovery physio after my op. If you feel your recovery physio isn't right, challenge it!
 

Peaches0000

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That is so great that you can play football ( soccer) still-Covid has done so much damage to the whole world, not just the virus itself, people not getting good medical care or needed surgeries, the isolation from children to seniors, too much junk food, etc. but looking forward, it’s nice to read how successful your PKR is. Thank you for the update.
 

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@skigirl
You are my hero!!!! Seriously, I was so excited to read your response on this thread. I lead a very active life (running, power lifting, hiking, skiing, biking - the only thing I could still do) up through my mid 40s when I tore both medial meniscus 3 years apart. I had them scoped and the tears trimmed off, but my knees went down hill after that as arthritis set in and ate away all my remaining cartilage. I became inactive, gained weight and was not very happy. Finally, the pain made it difficult to even walk, so at 54 I had bilateral TKR, and I’m losing the weight. I’m 11 weeks post op, and I’m so excited to get my active lifestyle back!!! You are an inspiration!!!!!
 

newlybionic

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:wowspring:Great report! I hope you continue to enjoy your sport team for many years to come.
 

Grobbo

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Hi Centre Half

Just came across your thread and have gained a great deal of positivity from your journey. I used to play a lot of football, cricket and rugby throughout my youth and 20's until a Spinal fusion in 1994 stopped such things.
Golf had been my game until my knees finally wore out 6 to 7 years ago. LTKR about a year ago and RTKR in Feb this year has got me back playing golf albeit in a limited fashion.
I have played 8 half rounds on mostly par 3 or short courses locally but struggle with the basics, like not being able to put the tee in the ground and placing the ball on top due to a limited ROM in both knees. Even putting my golf shoes on is quite a challenge. The playing of the the game itself has not caused me much discomfort and the walking is certainly doing me good.

I was starting to fret that the 12 months "window" was running out so joined a gym to push my range.

However, hearing that you have started playing football again, (albeit between the sticks) is amazing and if that is possible, i am sure i can get back playing a full round of golf soon. Would love to get back to playing village cricket but we will see.

Best wishes

Gary
 

Surf&ski

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Centre Half,
Thank you for the update! I just had a left knee TKR Tuesday (October 6) because all my favourite activities were taken from me. I can’t wait to get back out there and not worry about pain or weakness or limping for a week after an easy day skiing!

All the best
Gary
 

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