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Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:28 pm

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Junior Masters Athlete
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Anyone know of anyone who has had a knee replaced and been able to run fast?



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Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:43 pm

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Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:28 am
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Wondering the same thing. Although, in my case, it'd probably help if I could first run fast before surgery. Got a 67 year old friend who's recently had partial knee replacement. He says he can run fast, nothing structurally holding him back, but has yet to prove it and is trying to get back in shape.
So what have you already tried first? An MRI shows I've got osteoarthritis, bone on bone, loss of cartilage and a torn meniscus. A couple of docs say I need surgery. I'm thinking of trying Synvisc or a synovian fluid replacement first even though they've said it probably won't work in my case. Have heard of others being told the same thing and having it work for them. So I still think it's worth a try.



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Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:22 am

 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:20 pm
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The last 8 years have been a rollercoaster of starts and stops in my training and racing; each one progressively harder. I've had two microfracture surgeries, one OATS, and one menisectomy. All from articular and meniscus cartilage damage.

Since I shreaded (and they removed) my meniscus in January; I have only been able to run short and fast on the track (2 or 3 times per week). I'm sure it has to do with mechanics. No distance running (yet). I supplement with biking and swimming.

In addition to the 400m and 800m at nationals; I attempted a 1500m, but it was a disaster. When I get tired; I lose my form and my knee jabs or wants to buckel. Also; the lack of running miles hurts when attempting a longer race.

During my OATS procedure; they transplanted 3 plugs of bone/cartiage. It was a long recovery; but I was making good progress until the meniscus injury last January. Until January; I was sort of becoming my orthopedic surgeon's poster child.

I love running and racing so I haven't been willing to give them up. I just wish that I could keep running fast longer! :) Also wish I had a dollar for every orthopedic surgeon who has told me stop running and buy a bike. I did buy the bike, but it's still not the same as running fast around a track. Finding a good doctor to work with you to find new solutions can be a challenge.

I have read about Ken Stone and also made contact with Regenex in Denver (they "grow" cartilage from your own stem cells). I'm hoping for technology to offer improved solutions... soon! Biological or mechanical. I'm also curious to hear from others who may also be facing knee challenges.



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Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:23 pm

 
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Master Masters Athlete
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:11 am
Posts: 73
Location: Maine

My husband had a similar surgery using a Genzyme process. They remove your own cartilage cells, "grow" them for a while, and then implant them back in your knee. The recovery is very long and difficult. He was on a CPM (constant passive motion or something) machine for up to six hours a day.

In his case, the arthritis was already too advanced and after all that ordeal it really didn't make any difference. It was a lot of pain and expense for not much gain.

BUT I know one other runner here in portland maine who did have this "chondrocyte replacement" surgery and it worked well for him. He can run and hike without difficulty.

I think the key is to do it now if you're going to before you get too much arthritis or damage in the knee.

Just my two cents.



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Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:43 pm

 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:58 am
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Location: California

Here's my 2 cents:

1. Synvisc (made from dead roosters) did not work for me because if your knee swells (as it did for me on two backpacking trips), it escapes the knee cavity and runs down your leg to your ankle. It's also very expensive and not covered by many medical insurances. It's purported to last only a year under ideal conditions before it is absorbed by your body.

2. Full Knee replacement: I've talked to only one T&F athlete in his late 80s who is happy with this operation, and a few who are not, including one whom it crippled. I don't think it is appropriate if your event involves significant twisting or lateral movement. My surgeon (and 2nd opinion surgeon) advised not having this operation until I'm at least 70 because the plastic wearing part lasts "about 10 years", a second operation to replace the wearing part is very difficult, more expensive, with much reduced success rate, and surgeons hate to do it. My insurance company won't do it for me because they know me too well and believe that I will continue to abuse my knees. My surgeon yelled at me and told me I'm insane for asking if I could sprint, long jump, squat, or play singles tennis after having this surgery. I suspect that for a serious hard-training t&f athlete, the life expectancy is more like about 2 years. After that you will probably be in a wheel chair. I believe this operation to be suitable (if at all) for only a sedentary person.

3. Arthroscopic surgery. I know of one t&f athlete who has had 10 of them. I have had 3 and I'm looking into getting my 4th. As you lose cartilage, there are diminishing returns with this operation except it's a good way to get rid of the bone spurs. I have degenerative knees.

4. Knee braces. I like the patellar compression braces during training and competition. However, not even this is good enough this year, so I have switched to a high end knee brace (similar to one worn by Carson Palmer). It shifts loading from the inside part of the knee (where most of my cartilage wear has occured) to the outside. It certainly gives more support and reduces swelling, but it does slow me down. It was a nice try, but I've given up running and jumping. The pain, swelling, stiffness, and mediocre performances are no longer worth it. I'll use it for backpacking and walking.



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