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Old 13-09-2016, 09:13   #16
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

A good friend and crewmate of mine, in his mid-60's, had both his knees replaced about 1-1/2 years ago, and he had a better-than-textbook recovery. He was enthusiastic and diligent about his post-op physical therapy, and he was in otherwise good physical shape before the surgery. He now sails regularly and just in the last two months completed two sailboat deliveries from Hawaii to the mainland.
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Old 13-09-2016, 09:19   #17
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

What a thread! I am 65, when I was 50 I had a orthopedic surgeon remove miniscus from both my knees. Worked for a while, but now the pain is back. I am putting off replacements as long as possible. What I am trying to say is that maybe your knee pain can be stopped by a surgical procedure and buy you more time before going with replacements.

The longer you postpone the replacements, the better the materials and techniques become.
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Old 13-09-2016, 09:19   #18
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

100% agreement on the PT. TFM
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Old 13-09-2016, 09:22   #19
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

I am 62, a serious ocean sailor, and loving my new knee replacement ( the other one has minimal OA). Kneeling on it doesn't feel great but I find ways to minimize doing that. More importantly, I am now able to walk, stand, sleep, bicycle, hike, and especially sail, without pain. Admittedly, I had a great result (not everyone does). I have no doubt that this was the right decision for me.
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Old 13-09-2016, 09:52   #20
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Thumbs up Re: Sailing with replacement knees

I had bilateral knee surgery at age 80 two years ago.(both knees at the same time). Six months later I was back sailing on our annual cruise from Florida to the Bahamas and then again 18 months later. I am planning on another this fall. In between I do local cruising and club racing. Think positive and things will work out. Other than difficulty in knelling (I use pads with no problem) things are good. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 13-09-2016, 10:13   #21
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

My right knee was replaced in 2005; the left in 2007 at age 76. That said, singlehanded sailing has not been a problem. Kneeling without a pad is somewhat uncomfortable but it is tolerable. Repeating some of the earlier posts, continuing physical therapy is essential. My recommendation is to go for the surgery but satisfy yourself that the surgeon is fully competent with his focus being knee surgery.
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Old 13-09-2016, 10:30   #22
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

Long story short - after growing pain especially after sailing, declined shots & went to replacement x 2 mainly because I wanted to get back to long distance cycling.
If You definitely need & want, waiting too long (getting much much older) increases risks (other possible health matters, clots, infections plus PT is even more taxing especially when doing 2 knees (wait 3 months minimal before 2nd)
Get in best possible shape before operation, search YouTube (it's all there for the looking including patient stories) and definitely pick a Surgeon with experience & high ratings
here's a link that helps identify better Surgeons & hospitals - not all but many
https://projects.propublica.org/surgeons/

Oh yeah, it does feel weird to knee.......so any padding or pillows help
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Old 13-09-2016, 10:31   #23
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

Ketchkalimbo, for the night pain issue have you tried sleeping with a pillow between your knees? This has worked wonders for my night comfort. My left knee is the issue with a history of torn miniscus and this year a torn MCL. The former fixed by orthroscopic surgery the latter is / was a vertical tear and has healed slowly on its own.

I'm avoiding surgery for as long as possible and am rehabbing the knee on my recumbent bike now.

The pillow works for comfortable sleeping and I know when I have forgotten it.
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Old 13-09-2016, 12:30   #24
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

I have had both knees replaced.
After I had a left total knee, it took me almost two years before I could kneel on it. Now I use knee pads.
I just had a partial right knee, It has only been three weeks, and I can kneel on it in an air bed.
I expect that it will not be long that I can use it again.
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Old 13-09-2016, 12:47   #25
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Sailing with replacement knees

We had the fine pleasure of cruising across the Indian Ocean last year that included various stops with SV Pelagie, a Dutch couple on their L380 one of which, Nils, about your age has two replacement knees. He was very active; hiking, scuba, boat tasks, etc. They've been circumnavigating for some 5-6 year if memory serve me correctly. Nils is an open and likeable guy and Im sure if you drop him a line he'd share his medical knowhow with you.

http://hannekenils.blogspot.com

Go forth young man ... It can be done!
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:45   #26
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

ketchkalimbo,

Sorry the knees are troubling you. It isn't much fun. The problem with putting it off, is that most people become less active, you lose muscle tone, get weak, quit walking because it hurts too much. My own path led from youthful injury, middle aged injury, a couple of arthroscopies, to bilateral arthroscopy, to bilateral total knee replacement, and later, to a revision of the original replacement, also bilateral. Once you're bone on bone, when the cortisone injections quit helping (they reduce inflammation), then you're to the hard place. My reasons for doing both knees at once were: less anaesthesia incidents, less time off sailing, and fear that if I did them separately, I'd quit after the first one because of being afraid of the pain again so soon.

Before the revision, I asked my physiotherapist for help to condition myself so that the recovery would be easier, and that really worked well for me. I was in excellent shape, for a wrinklie--I was 71 when I had the tkr, in 2011, and 2013 when I had the revision. I am still sailing. Mostly coastal now, only the occasional offshore trip.

Mostly, I do not kneel [climb out of the cockpit and stand, one foot on the seat, the other on the side deck, for trimming] and I use a 6" bed foam pad under them when I am forced to. Even with the pad (which I came to after trying knee pads, which were too hard), the most time I have is 3 or 4 min. Sometimes, sailing, i just let them scream and do what I have to, but mostly, I spend a lot of effort avoiding having to kneel.

I completely agree with the physical therapist (same-o as physiotherapist) who wrote in that it is important to commit to a program afterwords, and follow it as if your life depended on it, because, the quality of life does.

Unfortunately, I had a sepsis event shortly after the revision, and that did a lot of harm to my body, from which I have not recovered. However, that was just bad luck, and sometimes that's part of life. Keeping a positive attitude and wresting all the pleasure you can out of your life; telling your body how proud of it you are for healing swiftly and totally; and smiling and laughing when possible, all that will help you heal.

Good luck with it. The minute you find yourself slowing your walking pace because of pain or cutting down distance when you'er walking, that's when you should get serious about locating a sports medicine surgeon, and interview more than one. You want someone technically competent, involved with professional athletes, positive, a hospital with an excellent record of not having post-op infections, and to set up a positive post hospital healing environment. Every time you go to the gym to try to keep the muscles getting stronger before the surgery will be a huge benefit afterwards.

All the best,

Ann
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:53   #27
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

ketchkalimbo,

Sorry the knees are troubling you. It isn't much fun. The problem with putting it off, is that most people become less active, you lose muscle tone, get weak, quit walking because it hurts too much. My own path led from youthful injury, middle aged injury, a couple of arthroscopies, to bilateral arthroscopy, to bilateral total knee replacement, and later, to a revision of the original replacement, also bilateral. Once you're bone on bone, when the cortisone injections quit helping (they reduce inflammation), then you're to the hard place. My reasons for doing both knees at once were: less anaesthesia incidents, less time off sailing, and fear that if I did them separately, I'd quit after the first one because of being afraid of the pain again so soon.

Before the revision, I asked my physiotherapist for help to condition myself so that the recovery would be easier, and that really worked well for me. I was in excellent shape, for a wrinkly--I was 71 when I had the tkr, in 2011, and 2013 when I had the revision. I am still sailing. Mostly coastal now, only the occasional offshore trip.

Mostly, I do not kneel [climb out of the cockpit and stand, one foot on the seat, the other on the side deck, for trimming] and I use a 6" bed foam pad under them when I am forced to. Even with the pad (which I came to after trying knee pads, which were too hard), the most time I have is 3 or 4 min. Sometimes, sailing, i just let them scream and do what I have to, but mostly, I spend a lot of effort avoiding having to kneel.

I completely agree with the physical therapist (same-o as physiotherapist) who wrote in that it is important to commit to a program afterwords, and follow it as if your life depended on it, because, the quality of life does.

Unfortunately, I had a sepsis event shortly after the revision, and that did a lot of harm to my body, from which I have not recovered. However, that was just bad luck, and sometimes that's part of life. Keeping a positive attitude and wresting all the pleasure you can out of your life; telling your body how proud of it you are for healing swiftly and totally; and smiling and laughing when possible, all that will help you heal.

Good luck with it. The minute you find yourself slowing your walking pace because of pain or cutting down the distance you're walking, that's when you should get serious about locating a sports medicine surgeon, and interview more than one. You want someone technically competent, [involvement with a rugby team wouldn't hurt] positive, a hospital with an excellent record of not having post-op infections, and to set up a positive post hospital healing environment. Every time you go to the gym to try to keep the muscles getting stronger before the surgery will be a huge benefit afterwards.

All the best,

Ann, the persevering old witch
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Old 13-09-2016, 14:04   #28
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

To Ketchcalimbo,
I am no cruiser, however, I have drifted for Salmon and crabbed for Dungeness in Sitka 5 years ago. About then, I was 62, 67 now. I started out on Cortisone. It lasted only approx 3 months. My knees were pretty painful. The Dr. gave me 'Chicken shots'. It is made of the comb of roosters. Since 2011, I have had 3 injections in both knees. The last injection lasted approx 2-1/2 years. I just had my knees injected 1 month ago. This injection has been very good for me. However, this time, my left knee had a reaction. Very painful. Couldn't walk for 3 weeks normally. It is working its way through it. I am almost back to normal now. I feel that I can hang about 100 sheets of sheetrock now, which I have ordered. It is a thick fluid, it can be painful during the injection. My Dr injected it in from the sides of my knees. I have heard that injection from the front might be better. Google this alternative, it just may be an answer to temporarily relieve your knees, at least until prosthetics can be installed. Sorry, I have forgotten the name of the medicine. Good luck, Ted
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Old 13-09-2016, 15:07   #29
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

Hi. In a word get your knees replaced. I'm 76 had my replaced 6 years ago. Both at the same time. You Will have to find a surgeon who will do both at the same time. Do the therapy and them some. Should be fully mobile in 4- 5 months. Get a pair of workman knee pads and go sailing.
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Old 13-09-2016, 16:31   #30
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Re: Sailing with replacement knees

It is now two years since I had my left knee replaced. The first two or three months were pretty unpleasant but the advice I got to go all in on the physical therapy was very good. I am now back to sailing (in fact I was back on the boat about 3 months after surgery and am very happy I got the surgery.

First, I can now walk around without pain. What a great thing! Kneeling took a little time. It isnt that it hurt but it sure did feel strange. It still feels strange now but I am more used to it. I used some gel knee pads my contractor brother in law suggested for a while but I dont any more. I found that the more I kneeled on the knee the easier it got.

Two pieces of advice. Do your research with the surgeon and what model fake knee they want to put in. They arent all the same and you want to read up on yours before they do the work. Some surgeons do this operation all the time and others not so much.

Second, do the physical therapy for the first two months no matter how much it hurts. The range of motion you reach then is what you will live with forever more.

I am very happy I had it done but I didnt feel that way until a couple of months later. Go for it!!
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