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Those of you with total knee replacements who still ride

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  • Those of you with total knee replacements who still ride

    Did you change the way you mount/dismount? I've been using my three step mounting block for my 14.1 hand fjord for a number of years now to mount up but I do dismount without it. However I've always stuck with mounting on the left side even though my left knee was the one which was frucked up, all I had to do was climb the steps and put my foot in the stirrup and throw my right leg over. Now that I've had the left knee replaced I'm wondering if I should mount/dismount from the right side to avoid that bit of twist to the knee? Does it matter? I'm about three months out now but am already trying to be mindful of keeping that "new" knee in good working order for as many years as possible as I'm 43 and a revision or two will be necessary in my lifetime

    Its raining for the next ten days here so looks like I'll have to put off my test ride for a bit longer which is probably good to give me a bit more time to figure out what and how best to do things.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Grace67 View Post
    However I've always stuck with mounting on the left side even though my left knee was the one which was frucked up, all I had to do was climb the steps and put my foot in the stirrup and throw my right leg over. Now that I've had the left knee replaced I'm wondering if I should mount/dismount from the right side to avoid that bit of twist to the knee? Does it matter?
    I can't answer as to the twisting that occurs when mounting, but DH is a farrier and had both his knees replaced at the same time. He still gets under a horse just fine - sort of in a half-squat with the thighs & knees together and his toes just about touching, heels apart (if you can imagine that). That position does twist the knee and he hasn't had any issues.

    He was back to work, part time in 8 weeks and full time in 12 weeks. His surgery was 12/2010.

    I'd ask your surgeon, but I think you'd be just fine.

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    • #3
      I had me left knee replaced and still mount using my left leg with no problem at all as long as I use a mounting block. Occasionally I have to mount without one if Im out on a trail ride and its definately harder than it use to be......but I find it impossible to mount from the off side......guess my legs are not ambitexterous...if there is such a thing

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      • #4
        John Lyons (the trainer) had both of his knees replaced several years ago. At the last Equine Affaire in Mass. he mounted from the ground. I was impressed, as he was using a mounting block the last time he was there with his original crooked knees. I expect that most people had no clue he was on replaced knees. He did make one crack about being an inch or 2 taller.

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        • #5
          My friend has had both knees replaced...and the right one twice (thanks to a car wreck). She mounts and dismounts using the mounting block. She has nicely trained her horse to stand by it regardless of which direction she is going. Her mare is a 16.1 draft cross so pretty substantial and they have no problems.

          Susan

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          • #6
            A friend of mine just had bilateral knee replacements about 2 months ago. She has already been on one of her horses just walking around. She used her three step block to mount and dismount.

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            • #7
              I have bilateral replaced hips and knees. I use a mounting block in the arena and if I have to remount out on the trail, try to dismount close to a suitable stump or log so I can get back on. I dismount by sliding off on my belly - so far, the joints haven't objected.

              I do suggest you practice off-side mounts because you never know when it may be the only way you can remount. If you haven't begun to ride yet, post-replacement, the best advice I can give you is to work like the dickens on your physical therapy, getting as much flexibility back before scar tissue hardens.
              Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. (John Wayne)

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                well I rode for the first time yesterday and the mounting/dismounting was no problem. I was relaxed and my gelding was a peach packing me around. However I do notice a "clicking" sound or maybe its more of a sensation especially at the walk as my legs swing in the stirrups, not as noticeable at the trot, more noticeable when my leg is relaxed and swinging. It doesn't hurt but its a sensation and I just want to be sure that's normal, don't want to cause undue wear and tear on this new joint as I'd like it to last as long as possible before we have to do a revision.

                Still on the fence a bit on whether I'll continue riding or take up driving instead. I can see pros/cons to each at this point, hard decision.

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                • #9
                  My surgeon was a horse person, and he encouraged me to ride at 6 weeks after my second round of rehab due to excess scar tissue. I think he was sorta hoping I would rip more loose. Left knee, no problem mounting, but then I had trained my mare to be the perfect old lady horse and she refused to budge from the mounting block until she got her treat.

                  Yup, it clunks a bit from time to time when jiggled. He said that was normal. There has to be some free space in there.
                  Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

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                  • #10
                    No knee replacement here, but knee damage due to repairs to both legs after tib/fib fractures requiring surgical (metal) repairs to both.

                    I try to practice mounting from both sides when possible and my gelding is good about standing at the block no matter which side and whether it is for mounting or dismounting (he needed very little training for this by me - was trained by his previous owners very well, though he does need an occasional reminder to not go for grass if there's some particularly good green stuff nearby ...). I usually just dismount without a mounting block and make sure to swing my legs over, laying my stomach on the saddle then sliding down. Someone on here suggested to me to make sure not to lock the legs/knees on landing, but to let them give and it really does help make the landing more comfortable on knees and ankles. I never thought about it, but sometimes when I would "hop off" I probably was keeping my legs fairly straight and I'm sure that was putting pressure on my knees. Making sure I allow my legs to bend when I drop down helps SO much.

                    There are boarders at my barn who DO ride with knee replacements - one with a double knee replacement - and they do fine. I believe the one with a double replacement uses a mounting block for mounting and dismounting, but she does lovely dressage work with her gelding.

                    If you have any concerns, you can always take it to your surgeon or PT. My surgeon was not as helpful as my PT was. Neither really understood how my legs worked or were needed to be used for riding but my PT was great about TRYING to get it and gave me great exercises and ideas to help strengthen the leg. Again, mine isn't the exact same situation, but there is still damage to my knees and will probably be permanent so I felt like it was somewhat related. Hope it helps!

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                    • #11
                      As you say that you left knee was replaced and normally a horse rider throw the right leg over. But you can put the right leg in stirrup and the left leg over, this is gives you advantage for your knee and the knee in good condition for long time. Knee replacement
                      Resurfacing of Hip is a complex procedure

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                      • #12
                        I had my left knee replaced two years ago, and will need my right knee replaced soon. My right ankle is also pretty flarked up.

                        I mount from what I fondly call the fat, middle aged, crippled lady's mounting block; it's something DH made for me and it's taller than a normal block, but also with three steps.

                        I can mount the smaller of my two horses standing flat footed on the block and just throwing my right leg over, the taller I do have to step in the left stirrup to swing over. I minimize the twisting as much as possible.

                        If I absolutely have to, I can mount from the ground, but I save that for truly emergency situations. I also dismount on to the mounting block, dropping down out of the saddle would be pretty painful otherwise.

                        I have had some issues with my replaced knee being unstable, so I am very careful with it.

                        I plan to keep riding as long as I can, maybe even getting a gaited pleasure horse at some point. I like to drive, and have a pony that's broken to harness, but driving doesn't entirely replace the joy of riding for me.
                        Last edited by McGurk; Jun. 8, 2012, 04:14 AM.
                        The plural of anecdote is not data.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          thanks to all

                          I've actually ridden a few times since I posted this topic and have done okay, knee doesn't seem any more sore or painful than it still is anyway in the healing process. What I have found is though that my passion and enthusiasm for riding has waned quite a bit and I've recently purchased a very nice, small and experienced driving pony and will be taking lessons and working with him this summer. This may be the time for me to take a different path, sooner than I expected but when life gives you lemons you make lemonade

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