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Babywolf

Riding a dirt bike after knee replacement

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Does anyone here still actively ride trails or off-road after full knee replacement? I know what doctor will say, but not sure what others have done. Ridding now with bad knee hurts but is doable, but after knee replacement not sure what my future holds. Love my bikes, but....

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1 hour ago, Babywolf said:

 

Does anyone here still actively ride trails or off-road after full knee replacement? I know what doctor will say, but not sure what others have done. Ridding now with bad knee hurts but is doable, but after knee replacement not sure what my future holds. Love my bikes, but....

 

I had a full replacement of the right knee.  My doctor told me I could continue to ride but to wait 6 months.  I waited 5-1/2 months before I threw a leg over my KTM and it was on a back road adventure ride.  I have been riding trails since and it's now been two years since my knee replacement.  Riding hasn't been a problem whatsoever.  It's way better than my original knee was in it's worn out state.  

Keep the bike and keep riding!

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Just saw a video on YouTube of a guy riding 6 weeks after total knee replacement. Its Its whenever you feel comfortable. Just remember if you damage something no surgery for a year after initial surgery.

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I still ride, both knees done. But I am careful, I am too old to be a wheelchair bound man. Your Dr. should of explained you have a joint that now bends but does not heal. You bust it, you own it. No more impacts on my knees. TKR's have a limited lifespan. I hope mine last as long as I remain alive.

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Rode and raced in 4 months. Have you had your knee replaced already? My doc said go ahead don't do monster jumps, try not to fall on it. He said he could fix it if he needed to. I wear knee braces now, didn't before but never had a knee injury from riding and I'm 61. 

The most important thing is to complete your PT and be fully healed. I was healed form surgery at 4 months and had 134 degrees of flex and 0 of extension at 8 weeks. My leg was just very weak from favoring it for 3-4 years of pain.

Edited by SMarquez
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There are quite a few threads on this forum similar to this, albeit a few are getting a bit long in tooth.

I stopped riding in my teens because of my knees (thanks MX and youthful lack of self preservation) - was actually diagnosed with post traumatic OA in my left knee at the wee age of 19.  At 53, I had a mid-life crisis (or post-divorce rebirth?) and started riding again despite three decades of knee pain and only being able to ride a bicycle (I haven't been able to actually run since my teens).  It didn't take too long for the knees to raise hell with that.  It wasn't so much pain when I was riding as my legs would be stiff as boards for a few weeks after (severe OA in both knees now -- and I've gotten pretty knock knee'd over the years).

Hyaluronic acid shots did absolutely nothing.  A cortico-steroid shot helped, but only lasted a whopping 3 1/2 weeks.  I now have a set of Donjoy OA Defiance Unloading Braces (legs are crooked enough OTS braces don't fit).  Those, staying in shape, and ice packs on the knees right after I take off the braces after riding, is making it survivable...but every month they do seem to be getting worse.  Not only on the moto, but everything else (biking and just everyday life).  The clock is running down...

Doc says dual TKR whenever I say "go".   We both wish I could make it a little farther down the line age-wise, life makes surgery/recovery tough until mid-next year, but like @BabywolfI've also been concerned with riding afterwards.  

It is a pretty frustrating place to be.  If you spend time reading forums, such as this, and googling about it'll run the gamut from "yeah it's fine" to "horrific things can happen".  When I poke the doc on it, I get things like "I know of no guidance, studies, or otherwise that indicate you couldn't".   That doesn't help as to me that amounts to nothing more than "I don't know, man".  It is hard to understand the risk of riding with TKR to make an informed decision whether or not to do it.

@DrMark

Here in 2018, in the context of current state of the art methods and plastic/metal, would it be possible to enumerate what you currently see as the key risks of riding with TKR are?  Is there anything out there now that might help quantify those risks?  

@Babywolf Sorry to inject a slight diversion to your thread, but I can tell you I've been reading threads like this for most of this year and I can't say they have helped me get comfortable with riding post-TKR.

Edited by Fogerson
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You seem to be the type that will make the most of your rehab Fogerson. Get to where your doc/PT says they can't do anymore for you and then decide. I went to a facility that is a hard core sports rehab place so I worked my ass off. After you are as good as YOU can get then you will have to make your decision. FWIW I know of quite a few people that race after having both knees replaced. As good as I feel I don't see a reason not to ride. I am not super fast but I am not a hard crasher. I broke my first bone in 2008 after 30 years of riding and racing. I really don't know what I would do if I didn't have a bike and get out and ride at least once a month.

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You seem to be the type that will make the most of your rehab Fogerson. Get to where your doc/PT says they can't do anymore for you and then decide. I went to a facility that is a hard core sports rehab place so I worked my ass off. After you are as good as YOU can get then you will have to make your decision. FWIW I know of quite a few people that race after having both knees replaced. As good as I feel I don't see a reason not to ride. I am not super fast but I am not a hard crasher. I broke my first bone in 2008 after 30 years of riding and racing. I really don't know what I would do if I didn't have a bike and get out and ride at least once a month.

 

I am at the point where the doc/pt is at the end of the line (all I gotta do is call and they'll spin up the process).  I'm in bubble gum, bailing wire, and duct tape mode trying to put it off awhile longer.  The left knee started hurting pretty bad under power on the bicycle -- so I went to the PT and learned how to unload tape my knee (knee braces just won't work on a bicycle for me) ... doing all I can to keep from these damn knees slowing me down until TKR can and has to happen.    

 

You are right, I'll go full-ass in rehab.  Even if I wasn't "that type", the one thing you can take away from reading everybody's story about TKR is the PT/Rehab is *everything*.  Half-ass it, you will get a half-ass result.  

 

My concerns aren't so much with being able to ride -- I have no doubt with brandy new knees it will be glorious compared to what I'm experiencing now.  My concerns are when something goes wrong, what are the risks.   If the prosthetic gets damaged in a crash, what is the likelihood of something catastrophic happening?  What about fractures above or below the prosthetic? e.g. damage to the attach points/supporting structure to where the prosthetic/surrounding tissue/bone can't be repaired sufficiently to avoid "disability".     

 

Boiling it down, I guess the question I'd like to find an answer to is: In the event of injury, is the likelihood of a debilitating permanent injury with TKR significantly worse than for those without them?  

 

Alas, probably not an answer I'll ever get whether it be data-backed or an authoritative opinion.  So to your point, when I can't go any further and get the knew knees I'll just have to take a deep breath and decide whether to ride or not.   And if the answer is ride, do I screw the gas back to reduce the risk of a hard crash or not (historically I have had problems screwing the gas back).  

 

I love riding...I should've never stopped years ago as it was a huge part of who I was.  But I also want to do the best I can to keep an active lifestyle until my kids plant me.    

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I tell my patients that they could continue to ride sports motorcycles.  But ride like an old guy, not a teenager, high on T.

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Just my gut feeling here, the prosthesis is stronger than you think. The problems I hear about people having is the OCD types that think that they can't live without running. Running is the worse thing you can do after TKR. I was surprised when my doc said to go ahead and ride. Most MDs and PT's have a knee jerk reaction to dirt bikes that causes them to say no without really thinking about it. My PT only wanted me to wait another month or so. We discussed my experience after the first ride and he tweaked my workout to include a little more stretching, hammy and core strengthening. PT was a great experience for me. 

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16 days since surgery, boy what a pain in ass this is. No real problems but recovery seems to take forever and hard to know if it all works better in the end.
Recovery takes time. It wasn't until my 7th week of therapy that I could do a complete rotation of the bicycle pedals. I had issues with swelling and had to have my nee knee drained once. It's been two years now without an issue. Just hang in there and do your PT.
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Approaching end of week five, still hurts, muscles weak and sore, pain is still annoying, but can get out and go to drive or run chores. Thinking about ridding a lot but seems like that is maybe months out yet. Will join gym soon not for knee but rest of weak ass self

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The place I went to for PT also has a gym and they provided a free month after PT. I decided to keep going and work with a trainer once a week. I've been going for over a year now. Even though I'm now 66 years old I can stand on the pegs all day and am probably faster then before my knee replacement. I'm definitely stronger. I've also lost 6 inches in my waist.

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Well six weeks out and dr says all is healing correctly(per X-rays) but pain is still annoying, bones have many more weeks and muscles are weak. Can walk up stairs but don’t trust going down. I am going to ride my XR 200 for practice with sitting/standing/ shifting and balance when weather allows but this will only be around house and in yard nothing crazy. Goal is to ride for real by May, anyone else out there let me know your progress

 

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It looks like your recovery is going the same pace as mine did. I was 64 when I had mine replaced. I couldn't pedal the stationary bike a full revolution until my 7th week of rehab.

Just keep up with the rehab and you'll be good for May although not 100%.

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Eight weeks is sorta a mixed bag, pain and bruising increased for some reason and I was released from pt. But I quickly realized that my exercise routine is at a critical point and I am starting to do my own thing to speed up my progress, hope it works.

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I had both done at the same time last October, 3 months later I was on the bike. Of course I couldn't kick start it (cousin did it for me) and I had knee braces on. It hurt but I figured it was good exercise. It took another month or so before I could actually start the bike by myself.

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