Running on a Knee Replacement

  • Creator
  • #30977

    I read about Scott Johnston’s experience and success after knee replacement. I have a torn medial meniscus that is not repairable and has rendered the meniscus to be non functional. I am a 61 year old ultrarunner with moderate osteoarthritis. What pre surgery conditioning might be helpful so I might run ultras again after replacement? Without replacement I can still run, but not without some pain during the run, and I have intense pain from bone irritation at night.

    Thank you for any suggestions.

Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Participant
    Stuart on #30986

    Going into any surgery it is always beneficial to have full range of motion and being as strong as possible. It will be much easier to regain strength and range of motion if it is there prior to surgery.

    Do you have a surgery date set? Perhaps ask your physician if they would prescribe physical therapy as pre-hab prior to surgery? Box squats, step ups, single leg balance, stiff legged deadlifts, glute raises, lateral mini band walks etc. are all good exercises to be doing. The depth of the box squats can be tailored based off your pain level to avoid aggravating your knee.

    Good luck with your surgery and recovery!

    Anonymous on #31016


    I’m no doc or PT and I can only tell you what I did before my total knee replacement. I did any and all leg strengthening exercises I could think of: Squats, deadlift, single leg step downs, box step ups, hamstring curls. Get the idea? I had a lot of pain associated with this program but I figured that I was going to get a new knee so and damage I did was unimportant in the long term. I did this for a good 6 months leading into the surgery and my recover was short and very successful. Six years out I am still running in the mountains, although not ultra distances.

    Good luck,

    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #31037

    Going into surgery, it’s important not to have an inflamed knee, as this contributes to post surgery motion restrictions. The mobility you take into the surgery, is very indicative of how much you will attain post surgery. I emphasize this as it’s not just about the strength you have going into surgery. Full knee extension is key as without this, walking/running at a high level is difficult.
    Strength training pre surgery is about working around your limitations. Hip hinges load the knee without requiring as much flexion as squats. You may be able to handle more load with subsequent increased benefit with these movements. Post surgery there are a lot of tricks to progress strength at an optimal rate. This is important as your muscles act as the shock absorber for the joint. The stronger you are , the more the joint can handle. Proper strength activities also stimulate the endocrine system giving us improved healing, recovery, and fatigue tolerance.
    Best of luck!

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