July 17, 2014: Thinking

Naturally I spend a lot of time thinking about the surgeon’s recommendations for activities after I recover. His initial comments were: hiking (up and down), running (especially uphill), and nordic skiing are fine, but avoid downhill running. Downhill skiing is fine, but avoid the steepest runs. The main issue is deterioration of the plastic cartilage between the metal parts. If that wears down, a surgical “revision” might be needed. XRays can indicate wear, and they will be taken from time to time (5 years? 10?). Dr. C says that at 5 years there should be little or no wear.

My view is that, among all my activities, there were some that irritated my knee and some that did not. The irritation was inflammation due to the bone on bone. So it seems logical to me that activities that did not so irritate the bone will not be putting stress on the plastic cartilage. So, yes, downhill running is to be avoided, but the definition of “downhill” is vague. Trails such as the Peaks Trail or Mesa Cortina Trail are much different than running down Quandary. I have found that alpine (and backcountry) skiing did not stress my knee at all (except for one memorable day in bad conditions on Mt. Field in B.C.). So since I do only 5-6 alpine days a year, most of which are half-days, I imagine that a change in that practice is not really necessary. The web page of a large orthopedic outfit in Aspen suggests that this sort of skiing is not a problem.

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