Knee Replacement

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3/3/2018 5:57 AM

Anyone riding with a total knee replacement? I'm going for a consultation on Tuesday. If you are how does it feel riding and do you wear a knee brace? Did your doctor say it was OK or did you just decide to go for it? I would hate to give up riding but my knee has a pretty negative affect on a lot of other aspects on my life.


The older I get, the faster I was.

3/3/2018 7:14 AM

Two ortho's said the same thing, no mx after your knee replacement.
Yes you can ride, however the pounding it takes will shorten it's life span and in the event you re-injure it in a crash, the damage can be severe.


3/3/2018 7:42 AM

I had a full knee replacement two years ago,feels great. I do vintage MX now and modern Trials.The big jumps just kill my back and neck (arthritis) for next week anyway. So low and slow for me. I also do quite a bit of trail/single track stuff.
Doc told me to give up riding but I just can't not ride.I have a couple of buddies that still race with Artificial knees.


3/3/2018 7:49 AM

I'm very interested in this as well since mine are pretty much both toast. My last knee Doc visit 2 years ago I believe he told me I could still moto. Going back later this month as the right knee is substantially worse due to more recent hard riding lately. One of my concerns is wearing out the new ones, but I suppose the ortho wouldn't mind the job security!


3/3/2018 7:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/3/2018 7:54 AM

How extensive of a knee replacement?

I had a bad crash at Pala in July 2016 and tore my ACL completely as well as my medial and lateral meniscus. My ortho is the ortho for the San Diego Padres. He opted to do a hamstring graft to use as my replacement ACL. He was able to salvage both sides of the meniscus by cleaning it up and stitching it up.

I was off the bike for 11 months. I never even felt pain from the ACL injury (aside from my hamstring being very sore for about 2 weeks after surgery), rather the meniscus recovery was a very long and slow process and the most painful. For the first 3-5 months post-op i was doing PT 3 days a week. The first couple weeks of PT was excruciating; you really have to fight through immense pain to regain your range of motion. Then it tapered off to 1-2 days a week for the next month or 2, and then i was slowly getting back into activity (no impact motions like running, just light cycling and light leg exercises at the gym).

Fast forward to today. For the most part the knee feels great, however i do feel hot sensations or some minute localized pain in the meniscus area from time to time. Its nothing that prevents me from riding or doing any activity for that matter, but just figured i'd mention it. The knee certainly doesn't feel 100% like my other one, but its definitely really solid. I always ride with my knee braces and have dabbed my repaired leg many times without issue. I don't have problems with the knee swelling up after a ride, either.

One thing i'm still battling today is that my leg with the repaired knee is overall weaker (muscle) than my other leg, so i find myself using more of the strong leg while on the bike. I've been working hard on and off the bike to try to correct that.


3/3/2018 8:04 AM

In my case it will be total replacement(s). The last thing my ortho did was the Synvisc (sp?) shots, and I was told that if that didn't work total replacement was the next option. I was a roofing contractor - steep roofs every day - for over 30 years, and moto'd the whole time. I believe mine are both bone on bone. My Doc did get me an off-load brace which helps a lot, but it is not a permanent fix. I wear Pod braces when I ride.

I still want to be able to ride as much as possible and jump the big stuff. Nothing else clears my head as much.


3/3/2018 9:42 AM

I have had both of my knees replaced. The left one was done October of 2013 and the right one was done last May. I have already stopped riding MX so I wasn't worried about riding. I like to run and the doctors will tell you to never run again after knee replacement. I still run a little over 50 miles a month. Since the surgery, I have run the LA Marathon 4 times on my left knee and in 2 weeks it will be the first time on my new right knee. My doctor would be unhappy to hear about my running.
So as far as riding that is your choice. I am sure MX riding would be a bit rough on the knee but maybe it's worth it to you. I know my running is worth it to me. I would be a bit worried about twisting it though. Good luck with whatever you do.


3/3/2018 10:33 AM

Have you looked into the possibility of an Osteotomy? I have one scheduled for this fall as I've destroyed most of the cartilage in my right knee from a combination of snowboarding and moto (ACL repair, tibial plateau fracture, general smashing). I am 43, so I'm a long way off of getting a full knee replacement but my surgeon says that it should get me through the next 15 years of riding until I slow down enough to make a full knee replacement worthwhile.


3/3/2018 10:44 AM

I had both knees done in 2011. I never asked the ortho l just resumed riding. I don't race but l try to ride at least once a week although l'm currently down with a torn tricep, torn rotator and shattered pinkie from a crash at Milestone in Jan.

I just continued to wear my CTI braces and honestly never really thought about not riding again. And it's been awesome to be able to walk after riding now too because it would take a day or so for the swelling and pain to subside before replacement.

I'm a 54 year old carpenter/contractor who's been on my feet my entire life and l blame construction more than riding for the overall deterioration of my knees. But l just do shit like that.


3/3/2018 11:41 AM

I will chime in here. At 42 I had a high tibial osteotomy, like BA661 is talking about. That bought me ten years before replacement. Well, really should have replaced a couple years earlier. My knee got so bad, even though my pain tolerance is high, it started affecting other parts of my body's systems. So I finally got it replaced. My doctor went pretty conservative on my replacement, but everything was going great after. Then I dislocated it during PT. Somehow, my therapist got it back into position. Three days later at home, it dislocated again. I had a revision done with a different femur component. Surgery went great and I was back riding moto 4 months later feeling better than i had in MANY years. I tested it the second or third day of riding with a nasty getoff and all was well. Then a few months later was out testing suspension settings one day and went down in a low speed turn, just a tipover. My knee was dislocated again. This time, because of the design of the femur component (which supposedly made it harder to dislocate), I had to be knocked out for 4 doctors to manipulate it back into place. Needless to say, I am now retired.

Now, my story is not the norm. Both of my lateral ligaments (which are kept during replacement) are seriously compromised from previous injuries. I tend to blame that. Also, I am tall, 6'4:, with 36" inseam. THat is a lot of extra leverage put on the knees. Oh yeah, I have been wearing CTi2 knee braces for over 25 years. Before any knee injury and after replacement.

My advice would be to get the replacement. It really is life changing in a good way. Not having pain every day is a good thing. My doc supported me going back to riding. After the latest thing though,I did some sole searching, and decided it was time to walk away from the sport I love so much.
Get it done, rehab hard, and get back to moto!


3/3/2018 11:53 AM

theycallmeebryan wrote:

How extensive of a knee replacement?

I had a bad crash at Pala in July 2016 and tore my ACL completely as well as my medial ...more

Sounds familiar. I tore ACL PCL meniscus and MCL. my LCL was still good though. My surgeon worked with the Olympic ski team. Mine is doing pretty good lately but I’m warned I will need replacement down the road someday. Same here with my ACL. I had a cadaver ligament for replacement. After my first surgery where they fixed everything except the ACL I had surgery on a Thursday and was back working on my feet all day Monday.


3/3/2018 4:46 PM

OP - have you tried the Orthovisc/Synvisc yet? It might help some and buy you some time. If you can put it off for a couple of years, there are some VERY encouraging treatments coming down the pipeline. I'm talking about growning new cartilage in a lab on a mesh scaffolding and implanting in to the knee, several companies are working on artificial cartilage replacements as well. These things should be available in as little as 1-2 years.

If you are already bone-on-bone, and in extreme pain, then ask your Ortho about the osteotomy first - it still preserves your knee ligaments.

If that's not an option, ask about a unilateral replacement, if you have mostly one-sided degeneration (usually the inside). The unilateral replacement will preserve your cruciate ligaments which is HUGE thing - without those you really don't have knee stability.

Last case scenario would be the full replacement. There is no going back from that. It can obviously be WAY better than spending the rest of your life in pain, but athletic activities are a roll of the dice afterwards. Some of the guys here are very lucky to me riding and doing moto, but they will eventually have to "pay the piper". The joints themselves may not wear out, but what will happen is where the anchors attach into the bone will wear and get sloppy, and the joint will have to be replaced again. But hey, if we know that going in, and we realize that it'll cause us problems in the future, BUT it allows us to do what we love - OK!

Both my knees have issues from years of running, wearing load bearing and ballistic vests, carrying rifle and ammo, etc. I've had multiple meniscus surgeries on both knees, and a micro-fracture surgery on my left knee in an attempt to grow more cartilage. I've barely been able to walk up and down stairs the past year. Just had my 2nd shot of Orthovisc today (they do a total of 3 shots in 3 weeks), and I'm happily optimistic - no pain going up and down stairs for the first time in several years.


3/4/2018 6:00 AM

46 years old with both knees replaced, still riding moto but avoiding the supercross style jumps. Biggest fear would be a big get-off which could rip the replacement out of the bone.

Running or jogging is the kind of activity that will get you a much sooner revision. The metal eventually works itself loose. With moto you at least have suspension to soak up the big bumps.

I find snow skiing to be tougher on the body than mx, but keeping speed and jump heights reasonable on the bike is the key.

In my case the wear and tear from having both ACLs done in my younger years took its toll.