Questions For Riders With Knee Replacements

Do you get any swelling or pain after you are totally healed? How about a year later? Does any of this limit your riding? Do you have pain while riding?

I'm not sure what's normal and what isn't. I still have to go see an orthopedic surgeon because I think I irritated a tendon in the lower inside of my right knee. I doesn't hurt when I pedal but kills me while walking like in the grocery store. I really want to start walking along with riding but all progress has been halted. This pain is scary.

Comments

  • Have had 5 hip replacements, last in Dec '16, and my rt knee done last October. Just started triking (after 34 years cycling), I have no trouble with anything other than my Left knee; (it needs replaced). But that's just me. I am able to walk well with my rt knee BUT my whole rt leg is very weak due to my femur being removed and replaced with a Ti rod. Best wishes. I do thank my Creator I still can ride my RAT Trike.
  • Have had 5 hip replacements, last in Dec '16, and my rt knee done last October. Just started triking (after 34 years cycling), I have no trouble with anything other than my Left knee; (it needs replaced). But that's just me. I am able to walk well with my rt knee BUT my whole rt leg is very weak due to my femur being removed and replaced with a Ti rod. Best wishes. I do thank my Creator I still can ride my RAT Trike.

    Wow, I admire you for your strength and will power.
  • Spin, don't mash! When attacking a hill, spin those pedals! Think of it this way... When riding an upright bike, it is impossible to put more pressure on the pedal than your body weight. On a recumbent, it is like doing a seated leg press. 100, 500, 1000 pounds? Your quads will probably be able to dish out much more than you knees can take. I am still getting used to spinning, buy my knees thank me and ultimately, my heart and lungs should benefit from the aerobic work.
  • I used to ride on a very flat surface and now I'm riding on small hills, many of them, and have lots of stop signs. On the flats, I waited too long to shift gears. Now I do it almost constantly. And, I don't push with my legs. I downshift and let the gears do the work.

    One more question! How are your feet positioned on the pedals? When my knees were really bad, even with shorter cranks, I had to straighten my ankle and point my toes when the pedal was to the front to be able to keep my foot on the pedal. On the back stroke, I would turn my toes upward and bend the ankle because my knee would not bend far enough.

    Now, I've noticed I keep my feet at about 45 degrees above flat. I no longer have to change the foot angle as I ride because the knees bend now, even with longer cranks. This might be the reason why my feet don't fall off the cranks.

    How are your feet positioned through the entire stroke and is there any position that will damage the knees?
  • I had both knees replaced earlier this summer. The right knee on May 18th, and the left knee on June 22nd. Got through all the rehab, and told my surgeon I wanted to purchase a recumbent trike. He told me to take it easy the first two weeks of riding, and pay attention to what my knees were telling me. Since June 25th (the day I purchased the trike (a TT Traveler); I have put 289 miles on it. Our trail is level for the most part, but I have tackled the short but steep fire station hill, and the long put steadily steeper golf course hill. No swelling or soreness of any kind.

    I am not an orthopedic expert by any means, but I have noticed among acquaintances who also had knees replaced that the ones who were diligent about their rehab versus the ones who were not-the ones who were not are still healing. And some had there replacements done months before I had mine.

    I would call my feet position and knee bend normal. I had the cleats on my shoes positioned by the expert at the bike shop. I set the seat position and boom length so my heel lightly touches the pedal when my leg is straight.

    This morning I rode 13.62-miles in 1-hour, 19-minutes. Other than sweating (its high 80's here today), and being pleasantly tired; I felt very good.
  • RonIA wrote: »
    I set the seat position and boom length so my heel lightly touches the pedal when my leg is straight.

    .

    That is the most important thing in setting up any bike or trike. I always adjusted mine that way, and after hundreds of thousands of miles biking and triking, I have never had one bit of knee problems.

  • TCEd wrote: »
    Have had 5 hip replacements, last in Dec '16, and my rt knee done last October. Just started triking (after 34 years cycling), I have no trouble with anything other than my Left knee; (it needs replaced). But that's just me. I am able to walk well with my rt knee BUT my whole rt leg is very weak due to my femur being removed and replaced with a Ti rod. Best wishes. I do thank my Creator I still can ride my RAT Trike.

    Wow, I admire you for your strength and will power.

    Thank you TCEd! I'm just another gymp that can't bike ride anymore that didn't want to quit riding something, LOL! So am now a "Triker"!!
  • RonIA, you have so much more good things coming! One day, I suddenly realized I could get off the couch using just my legs. Before the surgeries, I used my arms and a cane. I can also get off the trike in the middle of a ride. I used to have to find a pole to pull myself off with my arms.

    These surgeries were expensive but well worth it!
  • Thanks, Florida_bound. I am already seeing those good things. Here, we play a yard game called Kubb. I can now stand at the pitch the whole game without sitting down between throws. So much more enjoyable.

    I can walk with my wife and keep up. A little story: my rehab ladies ask me during the last week with them what I would like to be able to do that I couldn't do before the surgeries. I said I wanted to walk up a fight of steps with a beer in each hand, and not spill any. I think they are still laughing about that one.

    My suggestion to you who have knee replacements; If something doesn't feel right, make an adjustment. Move things around. The right position for seat, pedals, and cleats can be found. Or, if you are thinking about knee replacement surgery, do it! It will literally change your life.
  • Absolutely! Now I need to get this tendon looked at, my hip looked at, and find out if anything can be done for my back. It caused problems during rehab and I still can't walk far. However, steps were easy even right after the surgeries.
  • You've heard it from me before Florida-bound, just like cptn_bent_pole said above- spin, spin spin. A higher cadence at any speed is kinder and more friendly to the knees.

    I have numerous total joint replacements- two shoulders, one hip, and one knee. I'm told I will eventually need a second hip replacement and a second knee replacement (motorcycle accident at age 16, then years of football and basketball did those joints in). My replaced knee took two full years before it was 100% pain free- never got there until I started riding a recumbent trike at a high cadence as my health-freak orthopedic surgeon strongly encouraged me to buy and ride. He tells me riding my trike as directed is at least 4 times better than walking or jogging.
  • You've heard it from me before Florida-bound, just like cptn_bent_pole said above- spin, spin spin. A higher cadence at any speed is kinder and more friendly to the knees.

    I have numerous total joint replacements- two shoulders, one hip, and one knee. I'm told I will eventually need a second hip replacement and a second knee replacement (motorcycle accident at age 16, then years of football and basketball did those joints in). My replaced knee took two full years before it was 100% pain free- never got there until I started riding a recumbent trike at a high cadence as my health-freak orthopedic surgeon strongly encouraged me to buy and ride. He tells me riding my trike as directed is at least 4 times better than walking or jogging.

    Yup, low cadence mashing is destructive at any age.
  • How come on the Tour de France we see riders standing and pumping very hard? Is that considered "mashing"? If so, how do their knees survive?

    I guarantee you, walking with my weight does more damage to my knees than riding the trike ever will. That's why I waited almost 20 years to have a knee replacement. I was always trying to lose weight and instead kept gaining.
  • How come on the Tour de France we see riders standing and pumping very hard? Is that considered "mashing"? If so, how do their knees survive?

    I guarantee you, walking with my weight does more damage to my knees than riding the trike ever will. That's why I waited almost 20 years to have a knee replacement. I was always trying to lose weight and instead kept gaining.

    Those racers in that situation are usually going up a significant grade and are in the lowest gear they have or are sprinting to the finish line, they are young professionals that train differently and are doing it for seriously big money.
    They're machines, we're mostly older humans.
  • Those upright riders have another thing working in favor for their knees. They can't put more force into the joint than their own weight. They are effectively "standing" on the pedal for the down stroke. They can't put more force into it as they have nothing to push against to create more force.

    With recumbents it's a different story. You are in a reclined position and able to apply a lot more force. You are pushing against your back and can put a lot more force onto the knee joints. Think weight lifters and leg presses. Some of those guys can press several times more than their own weight because they have the seat back to push against. Recumbents have the same basic design, and this design leads to a lot of force on the pedals when you're mashing. More force than should be applied to knees.
  • Elrique64 wrote: »
    Those upright riders have another thing working in favor for their knees. They can't put more force into the joint than their own weight. They are effectively "standing" on the pedal for the down stroke. They can't put more force into it as they have nothing to push against to create more force.

    With recumbents it's a different story. You are in a reclined position and able to apply a lot more force. You are pushing against your back and can put a lot more force onto the knee joints. Think weight lifters and leg presses. Some of those guys can press several times more than their own weight because they have the seat back to push against. Recumbents have the same basic design, and this design leads to a lot of force on the pedals when you're mashing. More force than should be applied to knees.

    Correct.
  • I wish I could post a video. I am not mashing!
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