Skiing/sports after TKR?

Posted by babette @babette, Aug 27, 2018

I’m interested in hearing from people who have skied or played other sports after TKR. How long post-op did it take for you to feel secure? This is my goal and my motivation for rehab, etc. Thanks everyone!

Liked by jas2504

I am a 69 year old male. I had double knee replacement in 2017 and started skiing 35 weeks after the second surgery. (March of 2018) I was very consistent doing my therapy and also not too aggressive with the therapy. I know some people who have had setbacks because they went too hard with their therapy. My off season therapy includes hiking, swimming and trail bike riding. This year I have skied 13 days with no pain in the knees. I try to stay on groomed trails. I am more comfortable doing blues but will do an ocassional back diamond run. Check out realskiers.com for some advice on skis that are easier on the legs and knees. (silver skier selection) Good luck!

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I have had both knees replaced. I was skiing in January after the second replacement surgery in July. I was excited to realize that the muscle memory is incredible. The joint did not learn how to ski, your muscles did. I began skiing at three years old and would have missed it terribly. This is my second season back after the new knees and I couldn't be more grateful. I have made a concerted effort to follow the exercises the my PT suggested to ready myself each season.

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@skiing54

I have had both knees replaced. I was skiing in January after the second replacement surgery in July. I was excited to realize that the muscle memory is incredible. The joint did not learn how to ski, your muscles did. I began skiing at three years old and would have missed it terribly. This is my second season back after the new knees and I couldn't be more grateful. I have made a concerted effort to follow the exercises the my PT suggested to ready myself each season.

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@skiing54 – Wow! Welcome to Connect. So happy to hear such an amazingly uplifting report. I'm sure you have inspired many people on this site. Personally, I had my second TKR in January of this year – so I'm just 5 weeks into the recovery process. I'm curious whether you did any special PT to help you bounce back so well? Any tips appreciated for those of us still recuperating!

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@mikec

I am a 69 year old male. I had double knee replacement in 2017 and started skiing 35 weeks after the second surgery. (March of 2018) I was very consistent doing my therapy and also not too aggressive with the therapy. I know some people who have had setbacks because they went too hard with their therapy. My off season therapy includes hiking, swimming and trail bike riding. This year I have skied 13 days with no pain in the knees. I try to stay on groomed trails. I am more comfortable doing blues but will do an ocassional back diamond run. Check out realskiers.com for some advice on skis that are easier on the legs and knees. (silver skier selection) Good luck!

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Boy Mike…You are a breath of fresh air!! I am 56 and had my first TKR 12 weeks ago. Still struggling with scare tissue but trucking forward! I have been skiing since i was 11 years old and a sport that is so dear to my heart…was afraid that I would never be able to ski again. Looking forward to checking out the realskiers.com site for advice on ski selection. Good Luck!

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@skiing54

I have had both knees replaced. I was skiing in January after the second replacement surgery in July. I was excited to realize that the muscle memory is incredible. The joint did not learn how to ski, your muscles did. I began skiing at three years old and would have missed it terribly. This is my second season back after the new knees and I couldn't be more grateful. I have made a concerted effort to follow the exercises the my PT suggested to ready myself each season.

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@skiing54 Congratulations on returning to skiing! I know it is possible but since my husband is not enthused about it I have not. My ortho said it would be OK but that I should not go on overly challenging slopes and risk a fall on my knees. My son is an avid skier so for now I just enjoy it vicariously.
JK

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Hello I had a knee replacement four months ago and I'm thinking of hitting the slopes. I've been skiing for 35 years and it's simply what I love to do. How can I tell if I'm ready to ski. I have been hiking and working out as much as possible but I'm wondering if i should wait another month. I'm 69 years young but have no intention of giving up skiing. My doc said I could probably ski after 4 months. I just can't tell if I'm ready Ideas Thanks

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@ehlerhardie

Hello I had a knee replacement four months ago and I'm thinking of hitting the slopes. I've been skiing for 35 years and it's simply what I love to do. How can I tell if I'm ready to ski. I have been hiking and working out as much as possible but I'm wondering if i should wait another month. I'm 69 years young but have no intention of giving up skiing. My doc said I could probably ski after 4 months. I just can't tell if I'm ready Ideas Thanks

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I waited 8 months. I just decided that the first ski season after double TKR would be dedicated to rehab and I would get myself ready for the next ski season. I did ski one day in that first season post TKR. I waited for a good conditions day and skied 5 runs. I looked at it as a process and that day gave me the relief that I could ski again. The first two runs were on beginner trails and the last three runs on intermediate trails. The day after that first day my legs felt like I had been skiing for a week straight. I think that there are muscles that you think are in shape but skiing adds another level of muscle rehab. I have skied about 20 days this season and can ski everywhere on the mountain in variable conditions. I do prefer intermediate terrain more now that before the knee replacements. I am just more comfortable on that type of terrain. Go slow and good luck.

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@ehlerhardie

Hello I had a knee replacement four months ago and I'm thinking of hitting the slopes. I've been skiing for 35 years and it's simply what I love to do. How can I tell if I'm ready to ski. I have been hiking and working out as much as possible but I'm wondering if i should wait another month. I'm 69 years young but have no intention of giving up skiing. My doc said I could probably ski after 4 months. I just can't tell if I'm ready Ideas Thanks

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Hi @ehlerhardie – Welcome to Connect! And congratulations on your TKR recovery. I'm curious where you are in terms of ROM and balance? Personally, I'm just 6 weeks out from a left TKR so I'm still in physical therapy and still working on the baby steps like climbing steps one after the other! Balance has definitely been my most difficult part of PT. For what its worth, one day I was trying to figure out if I could walk to a particular landmark – which would mean a full mile walk. My therapist told me that if I really had to question whether I was ready, I shouldn't do it. He said once your body is ready, you'll know it and you won't question yourself. I'm not sure that works, LOL, but I thought I'd pass it along. Best of luck and I hope you get to ski soon!

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A few personal observations re. TKR. I am 71 [nearly 72] year old male. I had a [right]hip replacement 15th August 2017, Spinal laminectomy decompression 1st. June 2018 and [right]TKR 11th. September 2018 – I have just returned from a week's skiing in Austrian Alps – last day did nine descents, totalling 28,000 feet [8,604m], without any ill-effects – no pain or discomfort!
I think there are several important points to consider; firstly, it is a great help if the individual has made the long-term effort to keep fit and healthy. So, hardly a week goes by without me looking for some form of exercise or training. This is easier for me with a small private gym, but anything which pushes the body a little is good. I followed advice of physios and my excellent surgeon, before and after the operations. However, I do think that they err on the side of caution, because of possible injury through over-exertion, which could reflect on their treatment and care. You will know when it is possible to push things a little more.
The important thing is to be very aware of what your body is telling you. Most of us in the middle of considering, having and recovering from surgery, are continually monitoring how we feel, so any pain should be observed and dealt with by discussing with the professionals. What is so important in the first place, is to choose if possible, a surgeon who has a first class record and is well-spoken of.
So, any negatives? Well, I had some very painful days and weeks, especially prior to spinal surgery which relieved the awful sciatic pain. Hip op. was straightforward and not too painful for long. The TKR was definitely the most painful and long-lasting at the time, but this is now becoming a memory. I do have a residual "Drop-foot" problem after the spinal, but this comes and goes with tiredness. Cycling is still difficult since the restricted ROM makes upward stroke of knee a little painful and therefore unstable on roads.
On the whole, this last eighteen months have been the most transforming period and well worth the short term discomfort. For all skiing addicts, mountaineers, walkers and cyclists – keep at it – and push yourselves a bit, but listen to the body. That skiing really was the last big doubt to overcome, so good luck to you all.
Kind regards to all those contributing to this forum.

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@brucelane : you sound like super-poster-man for surgery/rehab success. Curious: almost 9K in 9 runs in the Austrian Alps.. any chance that was at the Krippenstein (off the Dachstein)? That run is about 10K from top to bottom. My home country, so I’m interested. And envious congratulations, of course!

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@ellerbracke

@brucelane : you sound like super-poster-man for surgery/rehab success. Curious: almost 9K in 9 runs in the Austrian Alps.. any chance that was at the Krippenstein (off the Dachstein)? That run is about 10K from top to bottom. My home country, so I’m interested. And envious congratulations, of course!

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Grus Gôt! The figures are vertical descents from top of Patscherkofel mtn. Innsbrucke to Talstation x 9! Not sure about poster-pensioner, but you can tell I’m very pleased. Good luck if you are in middle of being re-built

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@brucelane

Grus Gôt! The figures are vertical descents from top of Patscherkofel mtn. Innsbrucke to Talstation x 9! Not sure about poster-pensioner, but you can tell I’m very pleased. Good luck if you are in middle of being re-built

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Gruess Gott back… mind did not track. Was thinking of single 9K+ runs, as opposed to multiple indivdual ones. Never did Patcherkofel, When I did still ski – never that well or eager – tops were Krippenstein, Valluga, “White Ring” in Lech/Zuers. And I was pretty below-average, not relaxed ever on skis, but mostly could hold my own, those are the bragging routes and runs I did. Mostly, scared out of my mind. …………… Also: french Alps: Courchevel – there’s a best run ever starting at a little above 3000 Meters… those were the days, even if I was struggling.
I’m actually exactly 1/2 in 6 months post-op) the middle of being rebuilt, and ups and downs, but more ups. Still daily PT for knee, daily Sciatica exercises ( 5 years now), otherwise either 2 mile walk, water exercises + 1/3 mile swim, and now, really tough yard work. Servus, as they say in Tirol.

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I had a right tkr in May 2017. Skied in December 2017 with a brace. It was a tough start but ended up ok in April 2018. Leg got stronger. Tougher trails hurt with every tight turn. I skied December 2018 into March 2019. So far have 23 days in this season. Steep trails are still tough probably due to more frequent tighter turns. I went to a bigger mountain last week and accidentally ended up on icy bumps, which was not good. 5 days later I’m still in pain. Do not do bumps!!!

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@mikec

I am a 69 year old male. I had double knee replacement in 2017 and started skiing 35 weeks after the second surgery. (March of 2018) I was very consistent doing my therapy and also not too aggressive with the therapy. I know some people who have had setbacks because they went too hard with their therapy. My off season therapy includes hiking, swimming and trail bike riding. This year I have skied 13 days with no pain in the knees. I try to stay on groomed trails. I am more comfortable doing blues but will do an ocassional back diamond run. Check out realskiers.com for some advice on skis that are easier on the legs and knees. (silver skier selection) Good luck!

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Thank you! I skied 3 simple runs 4 months after surgery with no pain until 2 days later. Now it’s fairly swollen but getting better! I have hope😎

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@lmacfrd

I had a right tkr in May 2017. Skied in December 2017 with a brace. It was a tough start but ended up ok in April 2018. Leg got stronger. Tougher trails hurt with every tight turn. I skied December 2018 into March 2019. So far have 23 days in this season. Steep trails are still tough probably due to more frequent tighter turns. I went to a bigger mountain last week and accidentally ended up on icy bumps, which was not good. 5 days later I’m still in pain. Do not do bumps!!!

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Thank you so much for your reply. Your comments helped me think about what I should do. I skied 3 simple runs which didn’t hurt but two days later I was very swollen but I’m very hopeful next season will be great!

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