Like many of us, you may know people who have had their knee amputated. And then, hopefully, replaced. We’re not sure if this is the most common ailment that afflicts senior pickleball players – other candidates could be shoulder surgery and hip replacements – but of the common operations this one is the most significant. Substantial therapy is required to get through the weeks following the operation, which has a success factor of 99%. And beyond that you are mostly expecting to not have that much tournament play thereafter as Medicare is not fond of doing second or third replacements on the same knee, we’re told.
Irene has been dealing with two knees that will have to be replaced at some point. She has gone through five arthroscopic surgeries, and is now left with almost no meniscus in either knee. AJ, until recently, had not had any problems with his knees. Until recently as we said. But recently his began hurting and like Irene an MRI showed no meniscus in the afflicted knee. Unlike Irene his knee hurt significantly and was limiting what he could do. So, recently, we went through that process with him.
Not pretty. He’s known to whine at almost anything and this one allowed for a significant amount of forced invaliding. Six weeks past the operation, however, all is well and he is expected to be seen dinking on Palm Creek’s beautiful courts any day now.
So the purpose of this article is simply to say that knee operations are possible. In recovery he has found that water aerobics rocks for dealing with the after-operation exercises, allowing him to recover full range of motion much sooner and with much less hassle. Additionally, his knee no longer hurts at all. Would he do it again? Maybe, but would try the following first:
- He did these, but there are more and better every day. Look to injections as a best-case solution. They can last up to a couple of years.
- Water aerobics. This, as expressed before, works to rehab knees but also works well to strengthen interior and exterior muscles so that, possibly, knee operations can be averted entirely. Irene is going through water aerobics with AJ and is back to playing pickleball two-three times a week without too much discomfort.
- Anti-inflammatories. We’re not here to recommend medications – we aren’t doctors -but the right dose of meds before playing (In her case, an hour before playing) works wonders.
- Drink more water. Boring. Any recovery cycle from any ailment is going to include drinking more water to flush toxins. AJ is terrible about this and has to fool himself into drinking other stuff – no, not alcohol, he doesn’t drink alcohol – but iced tea, coffee, etc. There are rumors that drinking coffee is a net loss, you pee out more than you save, but recent studies say that isn’t true, that even coffee is a net add in the water department.
- Weight training. Since your knee hurts and you aren’t playing pickleball, work out more. Again, boring. But overall whatever strength you can add especially to your lower carriage and most especially to your quads can support your knees greatly. AJ is working quads religiously in a swimming pool and it’s helping.
- Time off. Cross training. Stuff that doesn’t directly work your knees. Give yourself some recovery time. Yes, you are old, and yes, you don’t have that much time left. We are there with you, being now in our 70s. But show some discipline, for God’s sake. You will be glad you finally put on your big boy pants.
The above are our ideas only. We’d be interested in hearing yours, as always.
Overall Site Map
Original materials copyright Pickleball.biz. Bend, Oregon 2015. Permission to use for non-commercial purposes is granted. All other uses prohibited. All rights reserved.