Knee Replacement?

So, I may be facing a knee replacement in the near future. In SE PA. Are there any good doctors who understand what we equestrians need to do? Any experiences with this? From what I understand, the replacement must be placed appropriately to enable correct riding and comfort. I’ve had the series of gel injections without great success. Torn meniscus, o cartilage in spots, bone bruising and chondromylacia. Thanks in advance!

A knee is a knee is a knee. The best advice I have is to go into the surgery as strong in your legs as you can muster. Very strong legs make for quicker recovery. Bicycles are your best ally.


I used a Sports Therapist for after surgery. She had high expectations of me! Something she highly recommends is doing pre-surgery therapy! Nothing I had heard of before my first knee replacement. She says it gets things stretched and strengthened beforehand, so recovery time goes faster and easier. Similar to the above advice about getting strong but knee specific.

I am being "threatened " with a second knee replacement surgery in the next 18 months as I finish wearing out the cartlidge. I DEFINITELY will be doing the pre-surgery therapy!!

The Sports Therapists here are so much more positive thinking that you WILL recover well, be better than before, with no concern that you are older. Local hospital therapists were much too willing to “settle” for “Well you ARE older so that will be as good as you get!” NOT acceptable, giving up on you or letting you quit trying!! You do have a limited time to get your ranges of motion going or the might need to intervene surgically. Have to say that threat WAS INSPIRATIONAL to me!! Worked even harder to get things stretched and avoid more surgery. Therapist said if I had done some pre-surgery therapy things would have recovered easier and faster. I had been “saving the knée pain” by not bending my leg enough, tendons and ligaments shortened with less use.

I have not heard of special settings of the joint for riding. My Orthopedic Doc/good friend, does lots of equestrians, is one herself. She totally understands how hard we are on ourselves. Has never mentioned doing riding knees, they are all done the same.

Best of luck with the new knee and a great recovery! No pain so wonderful!!


@goodhors Please share your pre-surgery exercises.
You rang a bell with me re: “saving the pain” as my current walk is more Walter Brennan than it should be : {
I have had 2 rounds of the single-injection HA (after 2 of the steroids) & the Majick has not happened for me.
I am bone-on-bone on the right & not far from that on the left.
Surgery is in my future & I’d like to do as much as possible to speed recovery.

I am not an exerciser, unless 3X daily treks the 250’ to my barn & back + barn chores counts.
Better than nuthin’, right?

@2DogsFarm --really hoping you make it to the Mounted Archery tournament Saturday or Sunday --not only will you see ME shoot, (two knee replacements done at the same time) BUT my shooting partner is a PA specialist in knee replacement! If want to talk specifics with her (she is very nice) upload your xrays to your phone —she works out of Ft. Wayne but knows all the area Orthopedic surgeons --like everyone else, she thought the guy who did my knees was super surgeon (he’s in Nappanee/SB/and Elkhart) but that he was personally a very unpleasant man (condescending) to women. I went to him cuz DD was on his surgery team and was hugely impressed (she could not assist with mine, of course, but the reason he’d do both at the same time was because she would be at home to make sure my legs didn’t fall off after). Main thing I’d look for after a personal recommendation is # of surgeries done at that hospital yearly. Some place doing 5 isn’t going to be as polished as one that does 1000 a year --the surgeon I went to does about 200 a year . . . hope to see you Saturday or Sunday!


Good advice :grin:
I have switched orthopods already.
The guy who did the 2 steroid injections is slavishly adored by 3 of my horsey friends - with a total of 3 replacements among them.
But they are a funny little sorority & the Head Girl probably saw him first, then the sheep followed.
I went back to the surgeon who advised me well over 10yrs ago that my torn meniscus (bucket tear) did not require immediate surgery. His words:
“When it hurts bad enough, come back”
He was right, it healed so well by itself I can’t remember which knee it was : 0

C U 2morrow!

2 Dogs, you don’t want to wait until I get my knee done! Way too long to put up with that kind of pain!

I second everything Foxglove said on getting Dr who does knees a lot. Hundreds are GOOD! Practice makes perfect!! I like lady Orthopeds because they seem better on the detail work, do nicer stitching. Smaller hands help too, getting into small body spaces. I would NOT get both done at once, coward that I am! Recovery times are getting shorter all the time. Many only 7-10 days before getting along well. Mine dragged out longer with the shortened tendons and ligaments having to be stretched a far amount.

Doing the pre-surgery therapy should help a great deal if you have movement restrictions now. Then after-surgery therapy will be so much easier heading to full use of the leg. I don’t notice it anymore, though it took some time to quit unconsciously babying it after all those years. Doc figures I wore out the good knee saving pain from the bad one. She “checks me out” at horse gatherings, says I do not favor the replacement in any way. “Looks sound” as I go around doing things! Ha ha

@goodhors @2DogsFarm --having both done at once seemed like a good idea at the time: 1/2 the anesthesia, 1/2 the hospital time, 1/2 the recovery time, better over all result because there is not a good leg to stand on. All valid reasons.

But remember I had a trained orthopedic nurse with me after surgery for two weeks --not always possible. I could not have done it without her. I would have had to be in a full-care facility since I was not exactly able to move without help --but by a week or so, I was down to one crutch, then riding at 6 weeks.

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@goodhors & @Foxglove No way, no how would I get both knees done at the same time : {
I cannot be Out of Service totally for any length of time.
Unless I can borrow your daughter @Foxglove ; )

I was interested in what type of exercises will help pre-surgery.
But I know I am favoring one leg & will concentrate on forcing more movement on that side.
@Foxglove you’ll see my problem tomorrow.

Normally, I put patient skills (ie, bedside manner) high up on what I want in a physician with the exception of surgeons. There I want ‘the best’ regardless of personality/bedside manner. I’m not gonna be seeing them for that long and if someone is going to be cutting on me, I want the best.

My 2 cents (at the time of my not knee surgery but back surgery) I lived in Colorado Springs but used a surgeon in Denver because I really liked him and his confidence. I also researched him looking for negatives and lawsuits (found only one which was a) dismissed and b) he voluntarily t told me about).

Thanks everyone for your input. I have an appointment next Friday with a knee specialist at the Rothman Institute. Credentials out the wazoo. Special skills in robotics. My MD gave me his name as he did one of her other patients. She is a runner and is back running!

Had a partial knee replacement 2 weeks ago by a knee specialist at Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, PA. Logged over 6,000 steps today. It pays to do research and get the best doc. The original doc wanted to do a total. The doc at Rothman looked at the MRI and xrays and said the one side of my knee was fine.