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Old 04-05-2019, 09:58   #16
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Knee replacement

I had both of my knees done at the same time. You will need to find a Doctor who will do both at the same time. Most won't . Do the after operation exercise diligently and you should be ready to go in 6 weeks
Not much pain or discomfort evolved
I did not take the Oxycontin pain pills they gave me. To much danger of addiction. Just Aleve etc. Go for it after 35 years of pain and limited motion its great. You will need to get good knee pads no kneeling on the new knees ever. I'm 79 and had my replacement 9 years ago.
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Originally Posted by Dave_S View Post
Plan is to take off this time next year for 6 months +.

My knees weren't great but workable. I tore the cartilage in my knee recently and have one old snapped ACL and mid range arthritis in both knees and knee caps. They used to get a bit sore but workable. Since the tear they (for some reason both) have been getting worse and now if I step around obstacles occasionally my knee just gives way.

My thinking is to get both knee replacements done in one go.

For those old farts (meant in the nicest possible way :-) ) with experience how long until you can manage a sail boat full time after replacement surgery. I like to think I'm pretty hardy, so what is an optomistic time frame ?

Secondary question, the tear has created a large bakers cyst behind my knee, the knee guy didn't think draining it would help but it feels like part of the problem to me (based on my extensive lack of knowledge). Anyone tried draining one and how did it go ?
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:58   #17
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

Trust me, if you have knee surgery, demand the ice box with the little water pump and the knee brace with plastic water tube in it. Ask for the battery powered one.
This is a home use thing, or if on the boat, better have a huge supply of ice available, cause you will be amazed how much ice you will use. Id guess if you had to use bags of ice, it would be several a day
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:08   #18
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

I had my left knee replaced in early April. I used a walker for about 3 weeks, then used a cane for another three. I also pushed hard in physical therapy. By then, I was far from 100%, but I could get around without a cane.

I then moved the boat from Long Beach (southern Calif.) to Richmond (San Francisco Bay) in late June and we moved aboard (at a marina) in July. We left for a 2 year cruise the first of September. The knee wasn't a problem.

I'm not sure I would do both knees at the same time as I think it would drag out the convalescence and recovery (I am fortunate in that my right knee is fine) as it was quite awhile before the strength in my left leg was really there and things like stairs or ladders would have presented a real challenge if I couldn't have gone up/done them leading with my right leg.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:12   #19
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

Great advice given here by previous respondents.

When in my mid-seventies, I had both knees replaced with the surgeries scheduled a year apart. In each case, I was back on the boat and racing within three months.

As has previously been suggested: Get in shape before your surgeries and follow up with a disciplined PT routine after your surgeries.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:30   #20
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

Very good question. I have lived aboard for 19 years, I had left total knee replacement last October, we moved off boat for 5 weeks to recover, it is a major surgery no mistake about that. My wife was my caregiver and believe me you will need someone to do basic things for you. My wife was worn out and said we must wait one year to have the next one done. Three months went by and I started feeling pretty good so we scheduled the right knee to be replaced, right knee was done four months apart, this time we moved back on the boat after three weeks.
The main thing to remember is leave yourself plenty of time to heal, this is not something you can rush.
I am 68 and things just take longer to heal. I am five weeks post op and still not driving a car yet.
Hoped this helped.


Good luck to you

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Old 04-05-2019, 10:38   #21
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

A good friend of mine had both knees done at the same time. For him, it was the right move. He needed both done and he said that he wasn't going to go through this twice. He also made an interesting comment about the cost. He said that if they do the operation alone they were able to charge $100K per operation. If they did both at the same time, they could only charge $100K total. He said his out of pocket costs were a lot less doing both at the same time. Granted, this is one person's experience and your actual mileage may vary. He also said that the money should not be a consideration but if you decide to do both at the same time, you will likely realize some savings.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:48   #22
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

There is also the option of skipping or delaying knee replacements with autologous stem cell injections. I am an avid big mountain skier who took the risk and had this done 7 years ago after being told that I needed one knee replaced within 1-2 years and the second one in 5 years. My bad left knee had it all: a partially torn MCL, torn menisci, bone on bone, baker's cyst, water under the patella, etc. I was 66 at the time and could thus expect to have to do a second set of knee replacements; which, as someone has indicated, is much more problematic than the first. After researching all the options I settled on Regenexx and had the process done in early 2012 when it was still purely experimental. I am now 74 and still average 50 days skiing the big mountains each winter; mostly in expert terrain. The last 3 seasons are the only seasons that I have skied without pain and/or knee braces in over 40 years. Since there is no surgery; there is no real recovery period. Conversely, cartilage (including meniscus) is very strong and thus takes a long time to wear out; but it also takes a long time (months/years) to regrow. It doesn't work for everyone; however, the success rates are now essentially as good as knee replacements. Thus this procedure is now covered by a number of medical insurance plans.

There is no guarantee of success; but you may want to check it out on Regenexx.com.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:12   #23
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_S View Post
Plan is to take off this time next year for 6 months +.

My knees weren't great but workable. I tore the cartilage in my knee recently and have one old snapped ACL and mid range arthritis in both knees and knee caps. They used to get a bit sore but workable. Since the tear they (for some reason both) have been getting worse and now if I step around obstacles occasionally my knee just gives way.

My thinking is to get both knee replacements done in one go.

For those old farts (meant in the nicest possible way :-) ) with experience how long until you can manage a sail boat full time after replacement surgery. I like to think I'm pretty hardy, so what is an optomistic time frame ?

Secondary question, the tear has created a large bakers cyst behind my knee, the knee guy didn't think draining it would help but it feels like part of the problem to me (based on my extensive lack of knowledge). Anyone tried draining one and how did it go ?
Had one knee done beginning of December, went back to down hill skiing one year later. Five year check last fall skied 80 days last winter. Almost all other aches went away. 68 years old. Hit the rehab hard.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:31   #24
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

Im 72 had my Right knee replaces 9 years ago . I climbed phone poles for a living !
That metal knee is the strongest thing in my body. Im a sailing instructor nothing stops me . The sooner you get the knee done and the sooner you do the physical therapy as much as you need. I blew thru my Verizon insurance fast than I had to pay cash each session.
I wanted to walk again and Put on my own pants and shoes.
None of there OXY Pain killers did me any good got me dizzy and never stopped any pain.
So since im 2 blocks from the beach, walking on sand beach helped but In the salt water I felt no pain. Did the exercises in the water with no pain.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:36   #25
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Trust me, if you have knee surgery, demand the ice box with the little water pump and the knee brace with plastic water tube in it. Ask for the battery powered one.
This is a home use thing, or if on the boat, better have a huge supply of ice available, cause you will be amazed how much ice you will use. Id guess if you had to use bags of ice, it would be several a day




My Admiral had a double partial knee replacement done late last winter. Less invasive than full replacements, and done after many years of restricted mobility. Her first boat trip was July, approx 4 mo after the surgery, and after religiously working at her rehab. She could not get into the dinghy or our inflatable kayak for the rest of our PNW boating season, and struggled a lot with the high freeboard of our boat.


But she wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Short hospital stay, a couple of weeks relative immobility, and 6 weeks supervised rehab. Others in the same cohort needing a double but doing it individually really struggled during the rehab because of the remaining bad knee. The ice machine was a godsend and she never took anything stronger than an over the counter anti-inflamm. Continued to do her exercises religiously for many months afterwards.



As others have noted, the recovery time for individuals will likely vary considerably.
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Old 04-05-2019, 13:46   #26
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

i had torn meniscus surgery on both knees. 10 years later, they were arthritic and hurt. Stem cells worked My own, from belly fat, not the new born baby stuff. i am 67.
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Old 04-05-2019, 14:11   #27
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

Thanks all, this sounds much more optomistic than I was led to believe. I will try the knee brace to see if reducing the cyst makes things more manageable first.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mjscottinnc View Post
I can address to the knee replacement and Baker's Cyst.

I was preparing my boat for a Bahamas winter cruise when I slipped and fell finally damaging a worn out knee beyond simple repair. I had a total knee replacement in mid-December and I was back getting the boat ready for cruising by February and left in November. If you give it 6 - 8 weeks you should be good.


The other knee, which also needs replaced but hasn't completely failed yet, developed a recurring Baker's Cyst. I found that using a elastic knee brace every other day keeps the cyst from refiling. I never had it drained, the brace alone emptied the cyst in about 2-3 days. Those cysts can be really painful if left alone.
Your knee brace, was it a simple thing like this one ?
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Old 04-05-2019, 14:24   #28
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

I know of 3 people with knee replacements, 1 US military, 55, himself a doctor & sailor, 1 nurse 60 in Europe and 1 sailor 72. All had issues, US-military, infection shortly after surgery, nurse same, third a year after surgery. He had a small cut at the lower leg from a stone or coral in the sea. the bacteries settled in the nylon lining of the joint. Ball was replaced with a concrete one soaked with antibiotics and left in place until there were no more infection traces in his blood, that took 8 months, 8 months of no way to bend that knee. Those cases just recently, a fourth one maybe 10 years ago, hip replacement, the poor guy, active soccer player for lifetime, never really recovered, died 2 years after replacement with stroke. Seems those surgeries are not yet so easygoing as some surgeons try to tell us. Walking longer on hard surface my hips hurt, kind of scared already... I would not replace both knees same time
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Old 04-05-2019, 17:04   #29
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

As part of your research go to:

bonesmart.org

forum environment with libraries about knees and hips. Very helpful for me when I had a hip replaced 10 years ago.
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Old 04-05-2019, 17:46   #30
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Re: Knee replacement surgery, time back on boat.

I had both knees replaced at the same time in 2010, and was back on the race boat after 6 weeks. worked out in the pool to force them to be as normal as possible. full, complete no pain recovery was about a year. Now 76 and still racing.
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