Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847

    Knee replacement at two years...

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Thought I'd do an update, here are the two original threads:
    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=54544
    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=55776


    Saw the doc for my two year knee replacement checkup last week and got good and bad news.

    The good is that the implant is solid and doing exactly what it's supposed to do. It is growing into the bones perfectly and shows no signs of distress.

    The bad news is since my knee is so full of scar tissue from the five previous surgeries, my mobility is permanently compromised (you can still gain some increased range of motion in the first 18 months). I'm at 104 degrees of flexion and 5 degrees of extension; what that means is at 5 degrees extension I have a slightly impaired gait (I limp often since I can't straighten my leg all the way), and bike riding requires about 117 degrees of flexion so when I attempt it I end up tearing scar tissue loose. All in all it's better than before the surgery, but I sure wish I'd had a better result.

    Thanks to you gals who were so encouraging as I walked this new path, much appreciated.

    Electra Townie 7D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,932
    Pax - so sorry to read there is permanent impairment but that there is good news as well. It's been very encouraging reading of your journey along the way. I think it's helpful for all of us, especially with broken bits, to be aware of and cheer for each other in our journeys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Thanks, Catrin. And I agree, we're all getting older, and seeing what others paths look like may in turn help someone else. It's been a huge help having the support of my online friends as I sat at home month after month, cut off from all my daily norms.

    Electra Townie 7D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,560
    Well, I sure am sorry you didn't have "perfect" results, Pax. Riding a bike sounds icky, when you put it that way!

    I know my step-father had a close-to-perfect result in the first knee but a much less good in the second, so you truly never know. A lot of it has to do with your particular anatomy, of course. When my step-dad came back after his second knee surgery, he said that the surgeon called it "interesting". Not something you really want to hear wrt your surgery!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    Well, I sure am sorry you didn't have "perfect" results, Pax. Riding a bike sounds icky, when you put it that way!

    I know my step-father had a close-to-perfect result in the first knee but a much less good in the second, so you truly never know. A lot of it has to do with your particular anatomy, of course. When my step-dad came back after his second knee surgery, he said that the surgeon called it "interesting". Not something you really want to hear wrt your surgery!
    Emily, I was sitting a the bar area in a local pub back in FL and the guy sitting next to me saw my scar, then showed me his. He was one with a perfect result, loved it and wished he'd done it ten years sooner.

    I've had people ask me "should I have it done" and I always reply I am NOT the person you want to be asking because I will scare the hell out of you.

    Electra Townie 7D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post

    The bad news is since my knee is so full of scar tissue from the five previous surgeries, my mobility is permanently compromised (you can still gain some increased range of motion in the first 18 months). I'm at 104 degrees of flexion and 5 degrees of extension; what that means is at 5 degrees extension I have a slightly impaired gait (I limp often since I can't straighten my leg all the way), and bike riding requires about 117 degrees of flexion so when I attempt it I end up tearing scar tissue loose. All in all it's better than before the surgery, but I sure wish I'd had a better result.
    I have no idea if this would help or not, but would shorter crank arms help? And by shorter cranks, I don't mean going from 170mm to 165mm but maybe down to 152mm or 145s or shorter.
    I ride with 145mm cranks and a very setback seatpost like this one. I had Mark Stonich at BikeSmith design shorten a pair of crank arms for me a while back and he did a great job!!

    Or maybe a pendulum crank
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-03-2017 at 11:57 PM.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
    Terry Trixie
    Gary Fisher beater bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post

    ...snip

    The bad news is since my knee is so full of scar tissue from the five previous surgeries, my mobility is permanently compromised (you can still gain some increased range of motion in the first 18 months). I'm at 104 degrees of flexion and 5 degrees of extension; what that means is at 5 degrees extension I have a slightly impaired gait (I limp often since I can't straighten my leg all the way), and bike riding requires about 117 degrees of flexion so when I attempt it I end up tearing scar tissue loose. All in all it's better than before the surgery, but I sure wish I'd had a better result.

    Pax, based on my experience you might recover your range of motion:

    I injured my knee playing racquetball. After major surgery on the knee my knee froze in a bent position, probably due to inflammation. I underwent two manipulations under anesthesia to break the resulting scar tissue free. Despite several months of physical therapy, I was never able to regain full range of motion. After a year, I had more knee surgery in an attempt to fix the problem, but it did not help.

    For many years I could not fully straighten my leg, I walked with a limp, and I needed to wear a knee brace. Then I discovered biking. After one particularly arduous ride into very strong wind my knee was extremely painful and I could barely walk. But to my amazement, the next day my knee felt great, I could fully and easily straighten it, and I didnít need the knee brace.

    Bottom Line: I have found over the years that biking is the only thing that keeps my knee free from pain and fully flexible - BUT, I have to set up my bikes for spinning (knee slightly ahead of pedal, easy gear and ~90 RPM) as opposed torquing (knee behind pedal, hard gear and low RPM) or else I end up hurting the knee.

    Hope you too find a way to regain full knee mobility!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I have no idea if this would help or not, but would shorter crank arms help? And by shorter cranks, I don't mean going from 170mm to 165mm but maybe down to 152mm or 145s or shorter.
    I ride with 145mm cranks and a very setback seatpost like this one. I had Mark Stonich at BikeSmith design shorten a pair of crank arms for me a while back and he did a great job!!

    Or maybe a pendulum crank
    Wow, thank you so much!! I asked at my lbs about shorter cranks and got a "well, I don't think that will help". Sure wish shops would consider hiring an older person who has experienced difficulties with mobility, there's a HUGE market of us out there. I'm going to take your links in with me and show the guy, see if they can be fitted to my bike. Thank you!!

    Electra Townie 7D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean_TZ View Post
    Pax, based on my experience you might recover your range of motion:

    I injured my knee playing racquetball. After major surgery on the knee my knee froze in a bent position, probably due to inflammation. I underwent two manipulations under anesthesia to break the resulting scar tissue free. Despite several months of physical therapy, I was never able to regain full range of motion. After a year, I had more knee surgery in an attempt to fix the problem, but it did not help.

    For many years I could not fully straighten my leg, I walked with a limp, and I needed to wear a knee brace. Then I discovered biking. After one particularly arduous ride into very strong wind my knee was extremely painful and I could barely walk. But to my amazement, the next day my knee felt great, I could fully and easily straighten it, and I didn’t need the knee brace.

    Bottom Line: I have found over the years that biking is the only thing that keeps my knee free from pain and fully flexible - BUT, I have to set up my bikes for spinning (knee slightly ahead of pedal, easy gear and ~90 RPM) as opposed torquing (knee behind pedal, hard gear and low RPM) or else I end up hurting the knee.

    Hope you too find a way to regain full knee mobility!
    I had some scar tissue tear loose on the 'bent at the gym, it felt glorious after it stopped throbbing. I am starting to think my very conservative doc is wrong about not riding, my knee felt more fluid whenever I tried. They are concerned about me tearing scar tissue and it reforming, impairing my gait even more... but at this point I can't imagine it could get a whole lot worse, I can't even put on socks without laying my leg on the bed.

    Electra Townie 7D

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Wow, thank you so much!! I asked at my lbs about shorter cranks and got a "well, I don't think that will help". Sure wish shops would consider hiring an older person who has experienced difficulties with mobility, there's a HUGE market of us out there. I'm going to take your links in with me and show the guy, see if they can be fitted to my bike. Thank you!!

    Yeah, I don't think bike shops will typically know much about this , I spent a lot of time researching this just to get this dialed in for myself. So I'm glad if I can help someone else as well.

    In your signature, it says you ride an Electra Townie 7D, so I googled it but couldn't tell what type of cranks it used, although it appeared to be a single chain ring.
    Typically cranks come in a 130 BCD(road) or 110 BCD(mountain bike or BMX). The shortest road cranks, that I know of come in 145mm length (which is the size I ride). These are the Origin8 145mm that I have on one of my bikes. Cobb cycling also sells a 145mm crankset. In addition there are a number of BMX cranks that come in sizes all the way down to 90mm. They typically take a single chainring, but some can be modified to take a double.

    Another possibility would be crankshorteners, you could try those out to perhaps get a feel for what size cranks you might need. Scroll down 2/3rds of the way down on this page and you can see the Tandem East shorteners. Another type of crankshortener would be these Ride2 shorteners. If you go with crank shorteners, be sure to get ones that will fit the width of your cranks.

    It would definitely be worth talking with Mark Stonich at BikeSmith design. Many of the smaller cranks and shorteners are designed for kids, so they will probably be designed with their weight and strength levels in mind. He would better be able tell you if these would be appropriate for your application. I wouldn't want to steer you towards a solution that might be a safety issue.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-05-2017 at 12:55 PM.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
    Terry Trixie
    Gary Fisher beater bike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Thankfully a friends husband is the lead trek mechanic at another lbs, I'll see him at their home where he's not pushed to sell their brands and see what he can do with this.

    Really appreciate all the links and info, Slyvia.

    Electra Townie 7D

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Sylvia, I emailed Tandem East yesterday and they got right back to me. The shorteners will work for adults, no problem! Very excited, thanks so much (again), this gives me hope.
    Last edited by Pax; 02-06-2017 at 04:32 AM.

    Electra Townie 7D

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    I had some scar tissue tear loose on the 'bent at the gym, it felt glorious after it stopped throbbing. I am starting to think my very conservative doc is wrong about not riding, my knee felt more fluid whenever I tried. They are concerned about me tearing scar tissue and it reforming, impairing my gait even more... but at this point I can't imagine it could get a whole lot worse, I can't even put on socks without laying my leg on the bed.
    The key thing for me when biking was (and is) to use a comfortably fast cadence with low force. To minimize scar tissue reforming, take anti-inflammatory med (like Advil, etc) after a work-out.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    I still ice and take two advil every morning, I think if I can start to ride again, I'll just shift that regimen on those days to after I ride.

    I've been going back and forth with a very nice fella in the UK about those pendulum pedals, they seem like a great choice as they accommodate the bad leg so nicely...and are designed with disability in mind. They are spendy at $210 for the one plus $24 shipping, but if it can get me mobile it would be worth it.

    Electra Townie 7D

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    15
    Shorter cranks would help you cope with your reduced ROM. But I don't see that they will help you regain full ROM since they won't facilitate stretching of the scar tissue and muscles. (Note: I have no medical training, only experience with the same problem you are having. Maybe a search for "range of motion" and "scar tissue" might lead to some insight as to possible approaches to fixing the problem.)

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •