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Walking after knee replacements

Rossco

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
 

Juana In España

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Frances from StJPdP
2018 Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia-Santiago
2019 Ingles
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
 

Quijote141

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2017) and April (2018)
April (2019)
Have walked the Camino Frances the last 3 years with a full knee replacement on my right knee and a partial replacement on the left. The only issue I’ve had is sore muscles and ligaments some times at the end of the a hard day. I just anti-inflammatory cream (Voltarén or Radio salil) bought any any farmacia. I found hiking poles help enormously. I use Pacer Poles from England. They are great. I also found wearing Altra Lone Peak mid-rise worked best for me. No blisters. Also wore Wrightsock Escape model.
Good luck.
 

Juana In España

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Frances from StJPdP
2018 Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia-Santiago
2019 Ingles
A few months after walking Camino Frances from StJPdP, I had a full knee replacement in November. The following April, I walked Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia-Santiago with no knee problems. A few months after that, my replacement knee was removed for 10 weeks due to an infection from an injury (unrelated to Camino). Final surgery for new knee was early January. I walked Camino Ingles in September. I had no problems with my knee. My surgeon had told me that walking is the best exercise you can do for your knees.
 

Quijote141

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2017) and April (2018)
April (2019)
Wow, Jame that was a tough situation and glad they will be able to correct it. My doctor had told me tha if I have any kind or surgery I need to tell the doctor about the surgery and they will give you anti-biotic also before surgery. I guess replacement knee are prone to get infections.
Good luck.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CFx2, CPx1
While not knees, I have both hips replaced over a period of 25 years. One hip has been replaced twice, after 'wearing out', this practice, in medical parlance, being known as a 'Revision'. Surgeons advise the other will surely follow.
I'm not one to push myself, but to take the time to enjoy the walking,
Consequently I have been forced to progressively decrease my daily target distance from 25ks+ to 20ks+ to 15ks+, although I now note that with some regularity I now do not achieve 15ks.
I don't really give a stuff.
It's about the journey, not about targets involved in its "achievement".

Along the Way, a discussion with an 87 year old German peregrina led to our extracting the following as perceived wisdom.
"Each day, let the yellow arrows show you the way....and your body tell you how far".

Regards and good travelling,
Gerard
 
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TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
@Rossco -

What did your surgeon tell you?
How has your recovery been from the knee operations?
When was the last surgery? You only mentioned "recently".
You have had just partial knee replacements, not TKRs?
What is your overall fitness level?

I wish you good luck with your recovery from the surgeries and hope that you are able to resume your Cahors - Le Puy hike. But your inquiry, imo, is best answered by your surgeon.
 

JamesVT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Great news about your knee replacements. I finished the Camino (SJPP to Santiago) a few months ago with a replaced right hip and two knees that were replaced less than a year before starting my trek. I am 75 and also have pulmonary problems. But my new knees (and hip) were reliable partners for my pilgrimage. I was probably one of the slowest peregrinos on the Camino, but I gave myself permission to walk as much or as little as I wanted each day, taking rest breaks as needed, and using Pacer Poles, which turned out to provide excellent support and balance. I took ibuprofen and acetaminophen each morning, prophylactically, and had no pain or discomfort along the way. Pay attention to the good advice on the Forum about shoes and socks, limit your pack weight, and you will have a good Camino that will surpass all your reasonable expectations. Your knee replacements are a gift that will make your Camino possible and carry you all the way to Santiago. Good luck!
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
Rossco, I would certainly defer to what your doctor says. However, I met a lovely Italian lady on the Portugues, who had had dual knee replacements. I kept running into her along the way and had dinner with her a couple of times. She did just fine. Praying for the best for you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
My friend Patricia Moak (I think she's on this forum) walked with knee replacements. She did fine I think.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
Hi Rossco. My walking partner had total bilateral knee replacements in Oct 2016 ( both together), three months after walking the CF, then walked the full del Norte mid 2018 followed by the VDLP early 2019 and can't wait to head off again next year.
I can't keep up with him.....and there's nothing wrong with my knees!
Walking is the best exercise....best wishes for finishing your walk
 

ritaj

Active Member
I think it's always important to remember that everyone is different and there are different levels of recovery from knee replacement surgeries. Those of us who did well are the ones walking the Caminos (5 Caminos so far for me after both knees were replaced and one revised 9 years later 'cause my walking wore out the plastic piece between the two metal parts). Those who have had more trouble recovering don't post here. The main piece of advice I have is DO YOUR EXERCISES LIKE A NEW RELIGION after the surgery. If you want to walk another Camino, work at those exercises daily.
 

Paintboy2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP-Coastal Route(2016), CdN (2017) CP-Senda Litoral (2018), Way of St. Francis (2019), CPVS (2020)
Total knee replacemet of both knees in Jan. and April 2018 and I still did Porto to SdC in Sept.
I did the Way of St. Francis (300 miles) from Florence to Rome three months ago.
Do your excercises post surgery and you'll be fine.
BTW, I'm still way overweight and 64. You'll be fine.
 

manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Primitivo - 2013, 2018
Sanabrés - 2016
Portugués Coastal - 2019
Via Francigena - 2020
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.

Hi Rossco, I completely understand your pain and concerns! In May last year I, too had partial knee replacement on both my knees due to osteoarthritis. After years of cortisone, hyalgan and later Orthovisc injections -the last 3 years I had no substantial benefit from them and Ibuprofen was my go-to pain reliever in high doses. When nothing worked I was incredibly fortunate that the surgeon who did my hip replacement in 2012 and repeatedly told me (at annual checkup) that doing a complete knee replacement was not in my immediate future because I would not be happy with the results and he could not justify doing the surgery.

However, seeing me distraught and extremely frustrated, he asked me if he could share my knee images with a colleague who did partial knee replacements -which I had never heard of, to see if I was a candidate, and of course I said yes. One month later I had both knees done and this year in March-April I walked the Caminho Portugués da Costa without any problem at all. I did change my normal 15-18 mile days to around 9-10 miles instead and it was quite enjoyable. I do have to note that my pack was 12 pounds, so not heavy at all:)

I have been able to hike 4-5 miles a day about 5 times a week pain free, I had forgotten what that feeling was and am so very thankful for the opportunity to continue doing what I love - more Caminos, definitely!

You should be able to get back into your walking routine and be prepared to undertake the Camino again - without the horrific pain!!

Ultreïa!

Mary

PS No more Ibuprofen! - or any other medication:)
 
Last edited:

tomjane40

Jane S
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2017
Camino Frances Sept 2020
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
I had a full right knee replacement October 2016. I had an amazing physical therapist who worked with me to get back full flexion and strength. I spent April through August training for my Camino Frances, Sept 2017. I wore a compression sleeve on my knee everyday just to be safe. I did take full advantage of the ‘camino Candy’, 800mg Ibuprofen and Ibuprofen gel sold in the farmacias. Other than that...I did not have any issues at all. I will tell you - after I got home there was definitely some recovery. I think the Adrenalin of the day to day walking, exciting of the journey definitely kept me going. Once you get home, aren’t walking every day, and life is quieter....the gravity of what you did just settles in. I made sure I kept up my exercise routine and icing certainly helped. Definitely do not let a knee replacement keep you from your pilgrimage. Listen to your body as you go, and adjust your days as you need to. Been Camino
 

Jetrues

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
 

Jetrues

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I had my right knee replaced in Feb 2018. I just completed the Camino with no knee pain at all. I started in St. Jean. Just be sure you train
 

Rossco

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
Hi Rossco, I completely understand your pain and concerns! In May last year I, too had partial knee replacement on both my knees due to osteoarthritis. After years of cortisone, hyalgan and later Orthovisc injections -the last 3 years I had no substantial benefit from them and Ibuprofen was my go-to pain reliever in high doses. When nothing worked I was incredibly fortunate that the surgeon who did my hip replacement in 2012 and repeatedly told me (at annual checkup) that doing a complete knee replacement was not in my immediate future because I would not be happy with the results and he could not justify doing the surgery.

However, seeing me distraught and extremely frustrated, he asked me if he could share my knee images with a colleague who did partial knee replacements -which I had never heard of, to see if I was a candidate, and of course I said yes. One month later I had both knees done and this year in March-April I walked the Caminho Portugués da Costa without any problem at all. I did change my normal 15-18 mile days to around 9-10 miles instead and it was quite enjoyable. I do have to note that my pack was 12 pounds, so not heavy at all:)

I have been able to hike 4-5 miles a day about 5 times a week pain free, I had forgotten what that feeling was and am so very thankful for the opportunity to continue doing what I love - more Caminos, definitely!

You should be able to get back into your walking routine and be prepared to undertake the Camino again - without the horrific pain!!

Ultreïa!

Mary

PS No more Ibuprofen! - or any other medication:)
Thanks Mary.
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9, 2011 , 2012/13/14. C.F 2015
Camino Portugues 2017,2018,2019
volunteering
On the subject of knee replacements, my tupence halfpenny is ' Go to a pre-op physio class as soon as the decision to operate is made and do the physio twice daily. To have strengthened the muscles makes a huge difference to your rate of recovery.
 

obi wan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
San Salvador (2016) Primitivo (2016) Norte (2017)
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
I had a knee replacement some years ago and had no problems. I have walked the French, Norte, Primtivo, San Salvador, English and just finished part of the la plata. All on my new knee. So I say go for it....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
In 2015 I walked from SJPDP to Santiago, in 2017 I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre and in April this year I started in Le Puy with the intention of finishing in Pamplona. I made it as far as Cahors where I had to abandon because of severe pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. I was devastated. I have recently had partial joint replacements in both knees and was wondering if anyone has undertaken any Caminos after knee replacements. Is it possible at all? I am really hoping to eventually go back to Cahors and continue on.
No problem. I dif the Norte esdilt after a knee replacement. The key is to religiously do all therspy and home exercises as long ss needed, usually months, and the take as muvh time as necessary to get into shape. I’d give it at lesdt a year or morr
 

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