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Tom123
08-29-2010, 12:03 PM
Hi
Got to see the knee consultant in a couple of days about having an operation for torn cartilage: knee arthroscopy (not aikido related). Obviously every situation is different, but I'd be interested to hear from anybody who's had this op with regard to how it affected their aiki training (especially how long they had to stop training on the mat post op).

Thanks in anticipation

Mikemac
08-29-2010, 01:32 PM
First question is ........how did it develop?

Michael Hackett
08-29-2010, 04:00 PM
I had my knee 'scoped on May 18th and am back on the mat without any problems. I still can't get all the way down into seiza, but can shikko and do suwari waza. Mine were torn menesci, so that is pretty benign by comparison.

I have three pieces of advice if you have the surgery:

1. You will come out of surgery and feel great for several hours and THEN the pain comes on when the analgesic they "squirt" into the joint wears off. Don't be a tough guy! Start taking the pain meds they give you before the pain sets in and it will be very manageable. If you don't, the pain will be impressive and the pain meds will be playing catch-up.

2. Do the physical therapy, do the physical therapy, do the physical therapy, and then do it some more. It will help you bounce back faster and it will give you something to focus on.

3. Talk to your PT doc about aikido and the movements you want to recover. Most have no idea what a tenkan is. Once they have an understanding of aikido movement, they can plan a regimen for your recovery. Also, be aware of your own body structure. I walk like a darned duck and the PT doc tried to get me restructured and that just didn't work very well. Perhaps if I were six or sixteen, they could have altered my natural stance and gait. Once we figured out that just wasn't working, the PT started to have real results.

Obviously each situation is different, but I think the tips I gave are fairly universal. Good luck on the surgery and hope you have a quick and uneventful recovery.

Tom123
08-30-2010, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Michael McNam - strange as it might sound, my knee first went about 14 years ago when I sat down awkwardly from standing - suddently it wouldn't support any weight at all. From then on it would suddently 'go' from time to time. They sent me for an X-ray and nothing showed up. The doctor never suggested a Plan B (bizarre in retrospect) and as over time it only 'went' infrequently, I learned to live with it.

About 3 months ago it started to get much worse (I started running in the gym at this time). 1 month ago it deteriorated further and has swollen up.

Amazingly, aikido (I've been training for two years) never aggravated it at all (seiza, shikko and all), though obviously I've had to put it on hold now, until I'm sorted out.

Michael H - thanks, that's really useful stuff, though watching my peers from off the mat for at least several weeks will be frustrating. Useful point about telling the doc - the physiotherapist I was initially referred to had never heard of aikido! Thankfully, there is much to engage oneself with regarding studying aikido off the mat- even with injuries

Mark Gibbons
08-30-2010, 01:51 PM
Hi
Got to see the knee consultant in a couple of days about having an operation for torn cartilage: knee arthroscopy (not aikido related). Obviously every situation is different, but I'd be interested to hear from anybody who's had this op with regard to how it affected their aiki training (especially how long they had to stop training on the mat post op).

Thanks in anticipation

I had a torn meniscus cleaned up. My surgeon said 8 weeks so I stayed off for 8 weeks. I trusted him enough to cut holes in me, I figured I should follow his advice. Two of my friends got back on the mat the day after surgery, I thought they were nuts. I felt good enough to play after about 3 weeks.

PT before and after surgery seemed to help.

Mark

Michael Hackett
08-30-2010, 04:19 PM
Martin,
I attended virtually every class after my surgery and it did suck to sit on the sidelines, but I watched closely and learned a lot. I took a notebook with me and jotted notes down as Sensei taught various things. For example I didn't know kumi jo (and still don't for that matter), but I have the movements written down so I can practice both sides on my own now and that will probably be helpful in time. Again, good luck!

Neal Earhart
08-30-2010, 05:07 PM
I've had four (4) knee arthroscopies. Three on the left knee and one on the right. My latest was the left knee on August 10, 2010. I'm in the process of physical therapy and just finished have the 3-shot treatment of OrthoVisc fluid. I do have severe arthritis in the left knee.

I am not planning on going back to the mat until the first week in October. Taking 6 to 8 weeks or so off is not going to matter in the long-term of your aikido practice.

First of all, remember, your knee underwent a tramatic procedure. Regardless of the complexity of the procedure, your knee needs time to heal and you need to rebuild the supporting muscle. So, do your PT dilgently, but don't rush things...listen to your knee, doctor, and physical therapist.

Take an Aikido video to your orthopedic surgeon and show him exactly what you do, and get his opinion of how long you need to take off.

Once you get back on the mat, take things slowly. I've seen people get back on the mat way too soon after surgery and the results just aren't good....

Michael Hackett
08-30-2010, 05:25 PM
Taking a video in is a GREAT idea - wish I'd thought of it. My surgeon is a sandan in one of the karate forms and understood my descriptions pretty well, but the PT folks had never heard of Aikido and the old "You know, the stuff Seagal does in the movies" wasn't very effective.

Janet Rosen
08-30-2010, 05:44 PM
Taking 6 to 8 weeks or so off is not going to matter in the long-term of your aikido practice.

The nurse w/ a bum knee totally seconds this!!!!!!

Tom123
08-31-2010, 02:41 PM
Thanks folks - sounds like good advice to me.

ninjaqutie
08-31-2010, 05:47 PM
No advice to offer, but I do wish you a speedy recovery once you have your surgery!!

philipsmith
09-01-2010, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the replies.
Michael McNam - strange as it might sound, my knee first went about 14 years ago when I sat down awkwardly from standing - suddently it wouldn't support any weight at all. From then on it would suddently 'go' from time to time. They sent me for an X-ray and nothing showed up. The doctor never suggested a Plan B (bizarre in retrospect) and as over time it only 'went' infrequently, I learned to live with it.

About 3 months ago it started to get much worse (I started running in the gym at this time). 1 month ago it deteriorated further and has swollen up.

Amazingly, aikido (I've been training for two years) never aggravated it at all (seiza, shikko and all), though obviously I've had to put it on hold now, until I'm sorted out.

Michael H - thanks, that's really useful stuff, though watching my peers from off the mat for at least several weeks will be frustrating. Useful point about telling the doc - the physiotherapist I was initially referred to had never heard of aikido! Thankfully, there is much to engage oneself with regarding studying aikido off the mat- even with injuries

Sounds like a degenerative meniscus rather than a true trauma (although it was probably traumatic initially).

These can take longer to recover post-surgery so dont rush and do the physio.

One other thing I don't know you're age but as you get older recovery takes longer.

Tom123
09-01-2010, 11:35 AM
Thanks Ashley.

Philip - I''m 43 on Saturday! Saw the surgeon today and he said he was 99% sure it's torn cartilage, probably on the exterior of the joint. Op will be in 6-8 weeks time, after which I can return to training after 6 weeks.

Thanks once again for all your replies.

Martin

donburi
09-13-2010, 07:35 PM
Gratefully, our Japanese sensei declared years ago he had seen too many elderly Aikidoka stop practicing because of knee problems. He no longer requires seisa (except for brief formalities) and no longer teaches shikko and do suwari waza.
I'm so glad he's seen the light because I wrecked my knees at 20 bicyling with too much weight.

Rabih Shanshiry
09-14-2010, 10:26 AM
Gratefully, our Japanese sensei declared years ago he had seen too many elderly Aikidoka stop practicing because of knee problems. He no longer requires seisa (except for brief formalities) and no longer teaches shikko and do suwari waza.
I'm so glad he's seen the light because I wrecked my knees at 20 bicyling with too much weight.

This is very interesting to know! Who is the Japanese sensei you are referring to? It would be good to have that data point.

...rab

Michael Hackett
09-14-2010, 01:02 PM
Homma Sensei in Colorado has written a great deal about knee problems and does not teach suwari waza any longer according to his writings. I suspect that he is the "Japanese sensei" referred to.