08-12-2018, 07:55 PM
  • chazt
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  • Queens, NY
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(08-12-2018, 11:50 AM)akbkr23 Wrote: Charlie,
I've read your posts on this topic, off and on, for several months. I have a personal interest in your 'challenge' because over 10 years ago I was told by an Orthopedic Surgeon (after an MRI and subsequent arthroscopic surgery) that I had NO cartilage left in my left knee and my 'next step' would be knee replacement. I did a LOT of running in a harsh Alaska environment, starting in 1978 and I am sure that that contributed to my condition. I gave up on running and then concentrated on cycling, as your weight is supported and is much easier on your knees. I've put in thousands of miles, but as I turn 70, my knees are even in much worse condition and even cycling is getting more difficult and I have to remain seated most of the time. I still climb a lot, and some of the 'new technology' incorporated in some of the newer models (like gravel bikes) have very low gearing, and that allows me to continue. However, at SOME point I will have to have knee replacement. Several consultations with various Orthopedic Surgeons all seem to have the same advice: IF you want to continue to exercise AT THE SAME LEVELS, knee replacement is NOT a good option for YOU.

More pertinent to YOUR latest situation is that I took a HUGE 'slam dunk' into a rocky creek bed in January of 2017 (I had knee, elbow, and shin guards on, or else it would have resulted in worse injuries). I took it easy for the next few months, did the 'recliner with heat pads routine'. It was the worst thing I could of done! I got back into exercising and by the fall of 2017, I was doing much better. I incorporated gym routines, cycling, yoga, and more into my exercise routine. I even bought an Inversion table, which I still use daily, as most of my 'discomfort' was in my lower back.

As mentioned by GARB, if you want to loose weight, get more fit, heal from an injury or operation/surgery, feel better in general FOR THE LONG TERM, you need a LIFE-STYLE Change! That means changes in your life-style .. for LIFE, for the long-term. It also includes a multitude of changes, including diet changes.

... Keep it up!

Jay, thank you for sharing. I’m always interested in hearing about others’ experiences. You're obviously a life long athlete. That’s always impressive to me. I’m sure you are frustrated with your options. How will you make a decision about your course of action? Do you know other athletes who’ve experienced similar situations?

I watched my father-in-law workout, swim and hike until he hit 82/83ish. At that point age, conditions and surgeries caught up with him. It irked him greatly that his body couldn’t cooperate with his desire for his last couple of years. And yes, his back and other surgeries certainly were a factor in his reduced physical abilities.

You mentioned taking a tumble. The thought of falling and landing on my knees is frightening!

One of your comments reminded me of what my first orthopedic surgeon [I’ve had three] told me as he set a broken ankle when I was 44. Basically he said if I was a 20-something athlete he’d recommend setting the ankle with pins, but at my age (and 10 years removed from weekend warrior softball and basketball status) why bother? He did my first arthroscopy a few years later, but moved on to surgeon #2 for arthroscopies two and three. Surgeon 3 did my TKRs. Hey, maybe I’ll change my avatar to an x-ray of my new parts! 

Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate your enthusiasm and voice of experience. I turn 60 in January and am planning on feeling at least as good as when I was 35! I have fitness and weight loss goals. Barring injury I’m good to go!

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 08-13-2018, 10:30 AM
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Hey Charlie,

My 'worn-out parts' (especially my knees) are becoming a bigger factor as I grow older. I also have some other health issues that I have had most of my life, but I will not go into those as they only complicate not only my situation, but the explanation of said situation.
To put it simply: I continue to 'adjust' to my ever changing circumstances. Example: In January of 2017 I did not just 'take a tumble' but it was a very HARD 'slam dunk'. Hard enough that my first thought was: "I may have fractured my pelvis'. Which brings me to my basic 'mentality' (which keeps getting harder to maintain). It was only about 1/4 mile into my ride, I got up, cleared some rocks, then realized that I would be too 'stove-up' to ride for a couple of days, and had a mileage goal I needed to meet. I rode another 14 miles to meet this goal (It was easier to ride, then walk). AFTER the ride, in the ensuing next few days, I realized that it was going to take a while to heal. Also, most of my injuries involved cycling: Hit a dog at 20mph (Broken Clavicle/collar bone), fell over (fractured elbow) ... the list goes on. As my MAIN goal at this time was to see IF I could still 'DO mountain biking', ANSWER: NOT really, the inevitable crashes associated with MTB riding are just to difficult to recover from at my age, and they HURT too much!

SO, I built up a Moots Titanium Routt 45 'gravel bike'. It allows me to do some milder trail riding, as well as continue to ride ride on the chip seal roads in my area, and the lower gearing and larger tires (along with other factors) allows me to continue to climb fairly steep hills (up to about 19%, steeper IF they are rather short) since I can remain mostly seated. Standing for long periods is too hard on my knees, although I was able to do so 2-3 years ago. I am also building up a Fat-Tire bike. It is more stable and therefore, easier to keep my balance (Balance is another factor that deteriorates as you get older).
I also kayak, paddling BOTH up stream and down stream on the White River (I'm on the river) which helps with my Rotator-Cuff (something most people have issues with as they get older).
I also have been doing morning exercises for it since 2009, when my shoulder started to have issues.

Bottom Line: It is a CONTINUING adjustment that will never end! I will do WHAT I can, as LONG as I can. It is difficult to determine when I will no longer be able to continue my activities, BUT it will eventually happen. Unfortunately, my options also continue to diminish. I have other examples, but I hope the above gives you (and others) some idea of my 'process'.

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 08-13-2018, 10:48 AM
  • chazt
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  • Queens, NY
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Soldier on, Jay!!

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 08-23-2018, 01:36 PM
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My mother has had both knees replaced.  She regretted not doing it sooner.  She is very happy and can get around now.

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 08-23-2018, 04:52 PM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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(08-23-2018, 01:36 PM)petropn Wrote: My mother has had both knees replaced.  She regretted not doing it sooner.  She is very happy and can get around now.

Glad to hear your Mom found relief! Tell her to stick with her exercises.

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