Running & Skiing After Partial Knee Replacement - 3 months post-op


I did my first like kind of walk jog the day after 12 weeks with the, you know, the go-ahead from my PTs for sure. And yeah. And so I've done, I've run, I've run three times now, you know, in, in a walk run, kind of returning to running program. No pain. My name's Craig. I had a right knee long-term issues from a couple of surgeries that I had in the eighties, torn meniscus. An attempt at a meniscus repair and then when that didn't take some meniscus removal. And then I was healthy for a long, long time through kinda a long history of endurance sports, a lot of miles on the legs, Ironman, triathlon marathons, ultra marathons. And then just over the last since about like 20 17, 20 18, this decline in in that right knee pain in the right knee most specifically for running.

So I had to slow down my running quite a bit. 20 17, 20 18, still doing, you know, an Ironman every other year running a fair amount of ultra-marathons. And then in 2019 I did Ironman Montre Blunt, and then at about halfway through the marathon it became apparent that I really just couldn't run longer than like 13 or 14 miles anymore. And so, again, got to like halfway through the marathon and then it was just like quite a bit of walking to the finish with a little bit of running mixed in here and there. And then that was, that was kind of the realization that I really needed to seek out a solution to what was going on with my knee. Yeah, my doctors, my doctors and Ben who I think are fantastic, were like, you know, you should really make this last as long as you can before you get a total knee replacement.

Cuz I'm, you know, in my early fifties, still fairly young. And so that was basically the prognosis, like, until you can't handle it anymore, then get a total knee, total knee replacement. So that's when I started to seek out other options prior to just like the running decline of the knee, you know, pretty darn active. I live in, you know, in a city that has a lot of outdoor activities and we like to play outdoors, so swimming, biking, running snowboarding, Nordic skiing, paddleboarding, you know, all the things. And really the, the knee is good for, or, you know, prior to surgery it was good for most of those things. It was really just like volume of running that I couldn't do anymore. Like, cycling was totally fine. Most things totally fine, but running is important to me. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> it's yeah, an important part of my lifestyle and specifically trail running, which

Actually, the most difficult running on uneven surfaces was like the hardest thing on my knee. If I had like the right shoe on and I was on like a controlled paved surface for the most part for, you know, distances of up to seven, eight miles, it was totally fine. But I couldn't run on the dirt anymore. And that's really important to me. I mean, so far, my recovery has been amazing. I mean, I, I really, I'll tell anybody that wants to hear about how happy I am with the service I got here from my PTs back home. Just yeah, it's been pretty phenomenal and you know, I just returned to running last week, so my 12 weeks post-op was last Tuesday, so I'm a little over 13 weeks now. I did my first like kind of walk-jog the day after 12 weeks with the, you know, the go-ahead from my PTs for sure.

And yeah. And so I've run, I've run three times now, you know, in, in a walk run, kind of returning to running program, no pain. Yeah, just like working on getting back strength and endurance. And my return to, you know, cycling is another one of my first loves. So just meeting with Alison today for my test, told her, I was like, oh, I'm a little stiff and sore cuz I rode, you know, 20 miles on my mountain bike yesterday with 3000 feet of climbing in the mountains. And that was my hardest ride to date. But cycling is like pretty much back to what it was before with just a little bit of like getting some strength back. Totally. I was even really starting to kind of plot my 2023 schedule when I was in San Francisco post-op. So obviously I don't live here so I, I basically lived in San Francisco for two weeks for my surgery and afterwards.

And so as I'm laying in bed, you know, those days rehabbing, coming here every day for PT and then going back to the hotel and sitting around thinking about what I'm gonna do next year, like how do I return to activity and the things that I love. So I've already registered for an Iron Man, 70.3 in April. And then I will register for full Iron Man for next November in the co in the coming months, soon as it opens for registration on, and then a whole mix of the other things that I do. Mountain bike racing, cyclocross racing. And then I definitely wanna do some trail run races. Nothing like, I don't really have the desire to return to ultra-Marathon, but going out and running a trail half marathon or 30 K or something like that, those are all on the list for next year. You know, what I do where I work through run specialty, I have a really close relationship with a lot of the best PTs at home. And then, you know, I've been an endurance coach and a personal

Trainer and so I've been involved in, in, you know, in, in fitness for a long time. So, so I have pretty good awareness of, of my own body and how to rehab it. And then I really trust when I have great professionals helping me to, to rehab it as well. My cert, my care here was phenomenal. Like it was, I mean, I think you think of surgery and you kind of dread having surgery and then the pain of rehab from any kind of injury. But coming here every day afterwards was, was a joy. The PT team here is phenomenal. And then you really kind of create this close relationship with, you know, the guys that had surgery the same day as you. So I'm actually, I've become friends with one specific guy who had surgery the same day as me and we were in PT every day together.

We've already gotten together outside of, you know, physical therapy here. And then just the transition to my own physical therapist at home and good communication as far as what I should be doing from the clinic here to up there. And yeah, coming back today was really fun. I was joking with Alison, it's like a high school reunion cuz a couple of the guys that I had surgery with are here, you know, and then just seeing everybody in the clinic again it's just, it's really fun. This is an awesome place, really. Yeah, I would just say that you know, if you haven't gotten a second opinion or a third opinion or done some research as to what else is out there, don't take for granted that what one doctor says is, you know, you know, the, the end of running or the end of whatever it is that you do because of an injury or some wear and tear.

Make sure that you've exhausted all your resources to figure out if there's a, if there's a better solution, if there's an alternative to what you've been told. Cuz there probably is again, like and I've had this discussion with like, so many people already, just like the service at this clinic from, you know, start to finish and I, I'm, I'm not even really sure that there is a finish cuz you just keep checking in and continuing to make sure that everything is working. It's just, it, it's pretty unbelievable. It's just, it's an amazing place to help work done.


..the service at this clinic from start to finish, it's pretty unbelievable. It's just an amazing place to help work done.

- Kraig E.

We try to get all of our patients back to their most beloved sports. For Kraig, trail running couldn't be readily replaced and he was looking for a solution for his arthritis that would allow him to continue. 

At our Robotic Joint Center, we specialize in performing technologically advanced, athletic knee replacements that permit our patients to return to full activity—including running and skiing.

When combined with a custom-designed rehab program that addresses limitations and prepares joints for the stresses of their sport, patients like Kraig can safely return to their favorite activities without damaging their knee. 

We are delighted to see Kraig's great attitude and application to physical therapy paying off! We hope he can continue to play forever in the great outdoors. 

Here's how we help our patients to return to running after knee replacement 


Updates from Kraig E.

September 2022 (3 months post-op)
Here are a few photos of me back to activity.
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Saving My Knee Guide

Saving My Knee Guide
Learn about procedures that can help you return to sports & delay or avoid an artificial knee replacement.