I did a search on the forum and came up empty on TKR. After years of fighting to keep on snow with a very (very, very, very) bad left knee I'm having a TKR this March. Has anyone else on the site gone through this? I have talked to another skier who has used the same doctor and same Zimmer implant system. Are there comments or thoughts from the group in general?
Total Knee Replacment
@Bob Peters has a thread about it back over on EpicSki.
Just (today) got the OK from Phil to submit an article about my experience with my knee replacement relative to skiing. Until then, I can tell you that it has been life changing for me. If you ski with knee pain long enough, it changes how you ski - in my case, for the worse. To ski without pain is turning this 66 yo into a 30 yo skier. I can not believe how well I'm skiing. I got on my boards almost six months to the day after my surgery. I worked my ass off during those six months - one month in physical therapy and five in the gym. My legs are really strong now. This, and a good surgeon, are the keys to extending your ski life. I was tentative at first but gradually I got more aggressive. I'm almost at 20 days on slope. It's all good. Let me know if you have any questions about my experience.
Tricia - I requested from Phil that the following be posted in one of the forums. I don't believe that it ever was. Maybe it sucks In any event, it tells my knee placement story and I hope that it gives you hope.
Is There Life For Skiers After a Total Knee Replacement
I stood at the top of Snowmass after a morning of skiing. My left knee hurt like hell, but I've skied with knee pain for many years. No cartilage, bone on bone - the typical story.
So I pushed off and all of a sudden this expert skier could not make a turn. I was in full panic mode as if someone was holding a gun to my head. "My life (ski life) is over". I couldn't go straight because the vibration was too much. Should I call the ski patrol? No way. You don't do that unless bones are sticking out of your skin. The answer - slide on one ski. So I slid all the way to the bottom which took about an hour. I collapsed when I got there.
Ten years ago, I was told that I needed a knee replacement. My only problem was that the I was too young for the procedure since the replacement would last max fifteen years and doing it again (at that time) was next to impossible.
So after that Aspen Snowmass incident, I decided that it was time to rethink the knee replacement route. I saw six different surgeons. One question that I always had - "What about skiing?". I'm lucky that I live in Colorado because these surgeons were, for the most part, skiers themselves and understood how important it was to me. Nevertheless, I never heard what I desperately wanted to hear - "Sure. Give it a few months and you'll be ripping in no time."
So, a little over six months ago, I had the surgery. I stayed in the hospital for only 24 hours. My surgeon told me that she didn't want to see me for at least six weeks. I can now see why. I probably would have ripped her head off because she didn't tell me it was going to hurt this much. I could not tolerate the Oxy so I endured more pain than I normally would have had to.
Physical therapy started right away. Time passed. Things got much better. I quit the PT after a month and hit the gym. I worked 2-3 three hours a day, 5 days a week, mostly on my legs. I was maniacal about doing whatever it took to get back on the slopes.
December rolled around. I was pain-free. My legs were strong. Time to go for it. I headed up to Copper and, much to my surprise and delight, I skied like I know how to ski but my body, up until this day, had not allowed me to do.
Since then, I have close to twenty days under my belt. It's been an amazing year snow wise, so I've been able to ski in every condition. I was able to do everything from deep pow to leaning into rock hard groomers. No pain at any time even when I took a long, sliding spill on one of Copper's steeps.
My life has changed. The happiness that I feel can only be understood by other skiers - the type that frequent this blog. There is no secret. Get through the first month. Work on strengthening your legs. Then work harder. The harder you work, the better it will be for you. Be tentative at first on the slopes. Your body will tell you when you can step on the accelerator.
And last, but not least, don't ever wipe that smile off your face.
Disclaimer: I hate to have to write this, but I've been around the block too many times not to. I am NOT a doctor. I'm not even close to being a doctor. This is NOT medical advice.This is my experience and mine alone. Your experience and outcome will probably be different than mine. I am NOT telling you to jump on your skis unless you have clearance from your
Well everyone I've gone and dun-it! My surgery was March 22nd and things have gone quite well. The new game became the flex-extension (0 to 130 degrees) and I have to tell you I wasn't fun, but I'm winning. Scotty your report fills me with hope if not expectation of finally getting back to the sport I love so much. I'm hoping to start with my new trainer down here at the Littleton Buck Rec Center next week (did the required 4 PT wanted by my surgeon), I'm hoping to get on SnoBahn's
https://www.facebook.com/SNOBAHN ski deck by August and on real snow by Christmas. I'm attaching a copy of my new low mileage knee (cool technology).
Scotty I. likes this.
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