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Walking with a knee brace?

billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
I came back from the Camino Frances with bad knee pain so I had an X-ray, went to an orthopaedic surgeon and he told me I had to wear a knee brace - an expensive contraption called a Donjoy OA Offloader.

Seems I'm bone on bone, and now having got the brace ($650 later!) it does definitely help.

I'll be leading a tour in April next year from Porto to SdC, and most probably I'll need to wear the brace - but I was wondering if anyone else has walked the Camino with a brace like this. It's large, and metallic, and weighs close to 1kg.

If so, were there any issues traveling with it on a plane?

Bill
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I saw a guy with metal pins and all sticking out of one knee and a brace somewhat like yours on the other. He was moving slowly, and took very small steps. I took my hat off to him figuratively speaking.
 

jstorybook

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
October-November 2013
The doctor should be able to give you a note regarding the brace. My wife had a hip implant that sets off the airport alarms and carries a special medical card showing that she has an implant.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
Hi Bill

My wife and I came upon a Dutch couple while walking the Via de la Plata this past spring. She was wearing a similar brace as you have described. He had one knee operation to replace one knee and was buying time taking pain killers before he knew he would have to get the other knee operated on. Both walked the entire distance from Seville to Santiago.

At the time my wife was struggling with her own knee issues but these proved to be muscle spasms due to some leg work she had done prior to our own walk.

They both had worked as hospitaleros a number of times and told me pilgrims with knee braces are more common than most people expect.

So you will be in good company when you walk the Portuguese route next spring.
 

billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
I saw a guy with metal pins and all sticking out of one knee and a brace somewhat like yours on the other. He was moving slowly, and took very small steps. I took my hat off to him figuratively speaking.
People are amazing, aren't they Rachael? I am constantly amazed at the courage and determination of some people walking the Camino.
 
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billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
The doctor should be able to give you a note regarding the brace. My wife had a hip implant that sets off the airport alarms and carries a special medical card showing that she has an implant.
Good idea - I find it a nuisance having to empty out my pockets for coins etc when I go through the scanners. I know it's necessary, but... so if I take the brace on the Camino, I'll have to drop my daks and take the brace off!!
 

billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
Hi Bill

My wife and I came upon a Dutch couple while walking the Via de la Plata this past spring. She was wearing a similar brace as you have described. He had one knee operation to replace one knee and was buying time taking pain killers before he knew he would have to get the other knee operated on. Both walked the entire distance from Seville to Santiago.

At the time my wife was struggling with her own knee issues but these proved to be muscle spasms due to some leg work she had done prior to our own walk.

They both had worked as hospitaleros a number of times and told me pilgrims with knee braces are more common than most people expect.

So you will be in good company when you walk the Portuguese route next spring.
Thank you for this info - That's a long way, from Seville. So it's somewhat comforting to know that it can be done!

Bill
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Good idea - I find it a nuisance having to empty out my pockets for coins etc when I go through the scanners. I know it's necessary, but... so if I take the brace on the Camino, I'll have to drop my daks and take the brace off!!
Hi Bill - I've solved your daks problem at the airport scanning point ... just wear your favourite Swannies shorts and all will be fine! It's definitely 'The Way' to go!
Cheers - Jenny
 

billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
Hi Bill - I've solved your daks problem at the airport scanning point ... just wear your favourite Swannies shorts and all will be fine! It's definitely 'The Way' to go!
Cheers - Jenny
I think there are laws against entering countries with shorts that skimpy Jenny!
:D
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Bill, how many KM have you been able to walk these past few days, now you're getting used to your bionics ?
 
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billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
Bill, how many KM have you been able to walk these past few days, now you're getting used to your bionics ?
Hi Julian - I'm doing about 5kms a day. I'm just about to go out now in fact!

Do you speak Portuguese?
 

billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
Not when you're entering Bali, Bill - then you'd be overdressed in those shorts! Cheers, Jenny
haha - yes, I guess so Jenny. I'd have to do some "twerking" to justify it!! :)
 

billbennettoz

Veteran Poster
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portuguese 2014
Via di Francesco 2015
PS if you go with the SmartCrutches they may be less expensive through Amazon but I'd check the site first. Amazing poles to take the weight off during recovery. Just like trekking poles.
Thanks Saramago - I'll check them out. This Donjoy brace though is pretty swish. And it cost me a decent whack too, so it better damn well work! :)
 
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Ab Aberson

New Member
Three weeks I walked with a man with two artificial hips and during all those weeks I met and spoke a man with a complete artificial titanium ankle. They were both going strong and positive pleasant company.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I did my last 80-day walk in two ankle braces designed for soccer ankle injuries, so they provided lateral support with good flexibility for forward motion. I was worried how they would fit with my boots, but they were fine. Your knee brace probably fits fine in pants (or shorts)!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I am going to give the Smartcrutch a try. I am a big advocate of the Pacer Poles, but as my Parkinson's Disease progresses, my balance becomes progressively worse. I am interested in finding out if the Smarcrutches can be used like Pacer Poles. I am sure they are designed to relieve stress on one leg, but they may work to add stability when used alternately. If they are no better than Pacer Poles, expect to see them on eBay!!! After a good test, I will report back.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I would love to find out more about SmartCrutches, but my defender blocks the site as a malware site.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Certainly posture becomes an issue with Parkinson's
That is another reason that I am a fan of Pacer Poles. They encourage an upright, heads-up posture! That works well for everyone with a tendency to curl into a backpacker's crouch. The Aarn pack with front pockets also aids a vertical posture because the balance pockets keep one from feeling the need to lean into the pack straps. On some early caminos I had some real neck aches from drifting into bad posture as the day progressed and I became fatigued. I think the end of the day is when many are most prone to injury. I believe that the last hour causes more wear and tear than the first four hours. I have taken to stopping after about six hours, though I realize that is a limit for me, not for everyone. Six hours will cover a very decent twelve miles (20 km), get me a bed (apologies to all who find I have taken their bed), leave me time to do laundry and sightseeing, allow a siesta, and keep me in shape to walk the next day.
 
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plainlost

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
Hey Falcon!

If you do decide to trade in the Pacers for the Smartcrutch options don't put them on Ebay sell them to us!

Blessings!

Ruth
 

DesertRain

Member
I walked from Lorgoño to Santiago with a knee brace (after a serious accident there 18 months before that required three knee operations); see my previous post: http://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/health-insurance.6068/#post-82968. Even though I have no ligaments at all in my left knee, I had no real problems. At one point my knee was the only part of my body that DIDN'T hurt....

My biggest suggestion involves what to wear UNDER the brace. I found that a sleeve like Pearl Izumi Sun Sleeves (http://shop.pearlizumi.com/product.php?mode=view&pc_id=125&product_id=1794903) or bicycle knee warmers (depending on the season) helped keep chafing to a minimum and control sweat. If the brace is directly against the skin it can really create a lot of irritation. Also, bring along some Body Glide if there are areas where chafing might occur.

PACER POLES are also a lifesaver -- errr.... Knee Saver. IF you use them correctly. They made it possible for my knee to make it to Santiago. Also, really listen to the advice about keeping you pack light. Feel free to send me a message if you want to chat further about the Camino with bad knees.
 

plainlost

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
Th

The SmartCrutch is designed to help you get through injuries, not replace hiking poles. For instance, they have helped me from an 8/20 injury as mentioned above , still recovering and in PT still, next a rays Dec 3. Three months already and working hard at recovery. Traditional crutches too tippy. Not designed to replace hiking poles but to get you through recovery when you can put pressure on a lower limb but need to have mobility. They will be saved afterwards for who knows what will come in the future, making the expense worthwhile . I'm two months on in the spring.

I actually knew this :) Falcon was musing about pacers going on ebay is all!

Blessings~
Ruth
 
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