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Newbie with knee surgeries
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Oct 25, 2015
Hello Everyone,

My doctor advised me to quit lacrosse very soon or else he has to give me a prosthetic knee.

I've had half of my meniscus removed on both knees and extensive condropathy (level3) over a large area as a result.

As "climbing"seems like a low impact sport, is there any experience with the dangers of high altitude, cold weather climbing with with this condition?
DaveU
Joined Oct 25, 2015
0 points
Oct 25, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: 1
Wow,
the idea of travel by foot for days - not just miles of up hill- but down hill!
All while carrying weight with less than even , flat terrain
Makes it a very bad mix for a person with
Weakened knees
If you are troll
If not where are you from you come off as a fake with no info and a very bad idea
The woods of the Long trail in Vermont are a good test then some harder sections of the
Appalachian trail also might give you some idea, Mount Washington in New Hampshire
Is also a good first test in winter the weather there Kills people every few years
Your mileage may vary but weak knees and climbing are not always a good mix.
Have I been trolled ?
Michael Schneider
Joined Apr 24, 2014
489 points
Oct 25, 2015
Definitely not. thanks for the input.

it seems absurd, i know, but Im really just looking for something new to conquer, if it wont be on the field, might as well be something that really tests your physical abilities.
DaveU
Joined Oct 25, 2015
0 points
Oct 25, 2015
I think you would have an easier time on your knees if you got into sport or trad climbing. Then you could crag around, instead of multi days with a heavy pack.
Anyway, I feel for you. I've had the meniscus removed from one knee. The other knee can act up on occasion now too. BUT, so far so good. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
sarcasm
Joined May 22, 2010
448 points
Oct 25, 2015
As someone in his fifties and having had a couple minor meniscus trimmings, one in each knee, I am thinking of cutting back on multi-day backpacks. On the other hand, quasi-weekly single-day multi-pitch climbs seem very reasonable. Single-pitch would be even easier on them but does not motivate me as much.

.... realizing your knee condition is quite different.
Bill Lawry
From New Mexico
Joined Apr 16, 2006
1,718 points
Oct 25, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the end of Thank God Ledge.
Trekking poles are a great help for steep approaches. You really have to push with them though, not just walk along and tap the ground with them like you see alot of hikers doing. I put 50-80% of my weight on the poles for going down and up big steps.
I severely broke my ankles in a climbing fall and the trekking poles made it possible for me to keep climbing. I also injured my hip in the fall and I'm going in for total hip replacement in a week, but the poles kept me going for a long time with the hip pain too.
Good luck!
Jeff G.
From Fort Collins
Joined Feb 26, 2006
1,022 points
Oct 25, 2015
Jeff G. wrote:
Trekking poles are a great help for steep approaches. You really have to push with them though, not just walk along and tap the ground with them like you see alot of hikers doing. I put 50-80% of my weight on the poles for going down and up big steps. I severely broke my ankles in a climbing fall and the trekking poles made it possible for me to keep climbing. I also injured my hip in the fall and I'm going in for total hip replacement in a week, but the poles kept me going for a long time with the hip pain too. Good luck!



That's really good advice.
sarcasm
Joined May 22, 2010
448 points
Oct 25, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
I had my ACL replaced at age 68 with trimming of the lateral meniscus. Four years and a fair amount of hiking, climbing and short (eg 4-5 miles) trail-running later (but no really heavy packs and no long distance hikes), my knees are holding up, although I do sometimes have a bit of pain---so far manageable with no swelling in the repaired knee---that is almost certainly a result of the missing meniscus portion. I'm also noticing, as time goes on, a small but progressive loss of flexibility in the repaired knee even though I continue with rehab stretching. I can no longer "sit" on the heel of that leg, so my high-stepping ability is slightly decreased.

I hike and run with poles. Do not leave home without them if you have any kind of knee problem. (And if you don't have knee problems, I think poles will help to stave them off.) It is true that you have to actually use them to bear some weight, and there is a period of getting used to them during which they slow you down, but I think they are indispensable for anyone with dodgy knees.

I don't think bad knees affect cragging much, so if you want to try rock-climbing that doesn't also involve burly approaches and/or descents, I think you'll be ok. Stay away from bouldering and the jumps it requires though.
rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
544 points
Oct 25, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: 1
Jeff G
Good luck to you ! I will watch to see how your doing.
I also shattered one of my ankles, back in '94 that has been a constant source of misery.
Long days leave me in pain. I've had knee surgeries ( ACL replacement among others) long
Rehabs. . So yes poles ar a must. . .
The Op, DaveU, will tell you he is bone on bone now, and the prospect of hitting the ground from a slip off the opening moves - is something that he must avoid. I think?
Michael Schneider
Joined Apr 24, 2014
489 points
Oct 25, 2015
You need to avoid bouldering. Don't even consider it. It's bad for good knees.

Sport climbing or toprope should be fine. Just make sure to emphasize to your belayer the extra danger that things like harsh catches (on lead) and rope stretch (on TR) pose to your frail knees.

Trad will usually make for heavier packs with longer hikes. It's also likely to have some crack climbing involved. Maybe your knees won't like the foot pronation required to jam, I don't know.

Alpine sounds totally off limits for your for reasons mentioned.

Something to consider, just to consider. When I was 21 I ran the Las Vegas marathon, on the bus out to the start of the race, I talked to a grey haired gentleman about running. In the conversation I learned that he'd had his knee shot out in Vietnam and got a replacement (what year was that, like '76). It was the original replacement and it was working fine. I also learned that he expected to run a 2:45 or 2:50 that day, similar in time to the hundred or so other marathons he'd run (that time, while not world class is really really good). Given the Vietnam timeline, he had to be about 48 or 50. This was about 15 years ago.

If we can assume that surgical knees are better now than in the mid 70's, well, maybe a replacement might be the best idea for you. Talk to your doc but do you see my train of thought?

I dunno though, of my numerous problems on top of problems, my knees actually aren't one.
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion
From Colorado
Joined Oct 29, 2012
43 points
Administrator
Oct 25, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: OMG!
OH OK, i'll bite.
I have the penultimate bad knees. Rolled a race car 30 years ago, inverted both knees, popped both the patella's, etc. Did not break the legs, which would have been waymobetta. I have been diagnosed w/what amounts to no ACL, in either knee. Surgery not an option, according to multiple specialists. So...
I walk with braces, custom shoe orthos, and sticks. Descents are killer, no matter how slow i go. I climb multi trad, sport, etc. Alpine will just destroy what you have left, IMHO, don't even go there!
I have given up skiing. And my doc has made it abundantly clear. ABSOLUTELY NO RUNNING. Approaches with heavy packs (i like walls) are doable, with care. You want challenge, intensity, etc. Surprised no one has mentioned Big Walls.
my $.02.
Muscrat
Joined Oct 27, 2011
3,553 points
Dec 12, 2015
Thanks everyone for the input. I'll take this into consideration :( DaveU
Joined Oct 25, 2015
0 points
Dec 12, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: I pity the fool
DaveU

Modern medicine will find a way. Go do whatever makes you happy. I have a list the length of my broken arms that say 'keep going'.

No doubt there will come a day.. Is it really here yet?

Ray
Ray Lovestead
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 9, 2008
141 points
Dec 12, 2015
DaveU wrote:
Thanks everyone for the input. I'll take this into consideration :(


Well, you could just bite the bullet for a new knee ! They work really well
john strand
From southern colo
Joined May 22, 2008
2,392 points
Dec 12, 2015
john strand wrote:
Well, you could just bite the bullet for a new knee ! They work really well


Knee replacements generally last 15 years max, less if you're super active on them. Which is why they try to make people wait until they are in their 60's before giving them the replacement.
Hopefully we'll get better at fixing bodies soon.
sarcasm
Joined May 22, 2010
448 points
Dec 12, 2015
sarcasm wrote:
Knee replacements generally last 15 years max, less if you're super active on them. Which is why they try to make people wait until they are in their 60's before giving them the replacement. Hopefully we'll get better at fixing bodies soon.


Knees are almost as good as hips now and get better every day.
john strand
From southern colo
Joined May 22, 2008
2,392 points


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