View Full Version : Old achy knees....

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Mark Mueller
06-12-2008, 06:28 AM
I have recently started doing aikido regularly again after a significant layoff (10 years). In the interim I have had a knee rebuilt (Replaced ACL, trimmed meniscus, and some work done to the lateral ligaments).

At the present time I cannot sit in seiza for any amount of time comfortably. I agonize through it for opening and closing of class but I shift to cross legged as soon as we transition to seated warm-ups. I have also decided to sit out of any suwari-waza or do the exercise standing.

I remember that there was a really good knee thread a few years back......My question for people who have gone through significant knee surgery...Is it worth it to try and work to "re-stretch" the knee joints and ligaments to able to sit in seiza and participate in suwari-waza?

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-12-2008, 06:58 AM
Consult a rehab specialist and develop a plan with him. It's better to be "safe than sorry" (just a thought...I'm not really an expert on this)

Have a nice time training.


Janet Rosen
06-12-2008, 08:46 AM
Hi and welcome. I probably was a major contributor to the previous thread. I'm a RN, have done some research on knee stuff, and have had my own acl/meniscus injury/surgery/rehab.
FWIW, I recommend NOT going into seiza or doing any suwariwaza. Sometimes you meet a young fit person who has 100% recovery from the above knee surgery. Most folks, however, have the beginnings of osteoarthritis following these procedures, and it progresses based on further wear and tear. Seiza/suwariwaza place incredible amounts of stress on the internal structures of the knee, which increase the risk of further meniscus tears and of loosening the graft, as well as create more opportunities for the arthritis to progress faster.
I think it is prudent to save one's knees for the long-term and keep training - and enjoying non-aikido life, too - by chosing to train in more knee friendly ways.

06-12-2008, 07:32 PM
Be aware and vigilant of your physical limitations, and do not feel pressure to do things that you cannot or should not do. Just step aside while the risky activity is going on, and rejoin when it's done. Your instructor and your training partners should be accepting of this. If not, look for new ones. And listen to the doctors.

Gareth Hinds
06-15-2008, 11:42 AM
I second what Enrique said. A good PT can give you exercises to stretch and strengthen the correct muscles around the knee to stabilize it (and yes, they will probably tell you to lay off the suwariwaza).

My Orthopedist also recommended "CosaminDS" Glucosamine supplements.

Mark Uttech
06-15-2008, 11:59 AM
Onegaishimasu. I have had knee problems from time to time, and I noticed at summer camp two years ago, that when I sat crosslegged, it made the knee problems worse, so now when I cannot sit in seiza, I only sit crosslegged for the shortest time. Otherwise, I stand. And if I cannot be standing, I get off the mat.

In gassho,


06-16-2008, 04:56 AM
Rehab exercises and patience/wisdom has allowed me to continue to train and avoid surgery.

Claude Geeroms
06-17-2008, 08:51 AM
I thought I would chime in with an idea. I've had some pain, but mostly hip/back area. I had cortisone injection last fall which helped, but then discovered something called Rossiter workouts earlier this year. It's basically doing an intense stretch of surrounding connective tissues while the Rossiter "coach" puts his/her foot in a stratetic leg location (usually the back of the calf). (no DIRECT work on the knee for the most part) I've had it done for myself and the effect is usually immediate!