Has anyone had a knee replaced, and still backpacks?


Nov 23, 2015
The title covers the issue. I’m going to get a brand new knee! But I am wondering, from people who have had this done, how the replacement impacts their backpacking. My surgeon says I’ll be able to go backpacking next summer. If you’ve had a knee replaced, how has it impacted your backpacking? Thanks. Pringles
Yes! One friend who had it done runs a hiking organization. He's led multiple backpacking trips since his knee replacement. He does use poles for steeper downhill sections and doesn't do long rests as things stiffen up. Still going strong. Leading a 65 mile 6 day trip in Norway next year.

I had a knee reconstruction several years back. Operation was in early Feb. Was backpacking the Winds that Sept. Long road back from crutches. No major issues with the knee since. I use poles to reduce impact as much as possible (and because I'm clumsy).
I haven't but I met 2 backcountry rangers (married) in GTNP that each had both replaced. They were in their 60's IIRC. Still going strong.
I'm pretty sure I've met those folks. Was it Goldie and his wife? They're awesome.
One of my oldest (age and length of our friendship) hiking partners is in his 70s w/ multiple knee surgeries - no full replacement - and he's one of the strongest hikers I know. He does a lot of off-season training and prehab/rehab though - he's been a great influence on me in that regard.

Of my three mountain guides in Ecuador, one had a single knee replacement and is a semi-pro skiier along w/ being a mountain guide - another has had both knees replaced and guides big mountains in the Andes and Himalaya for a living.

Suffice to say - it can be done, but I do think you have to be diligent in your rehab.

My mother has also had both knees replaced just this year - she's not a hiker, but she's definitely a lot more mobile even less than a year out.

Best of luck on the surgery! My mom did say weeks 3-6 post-surgery were the worst for her because she thought she should be further along at that point, but it took her about 8 weeks to start really feeling like she'd made big progress.
Thank you so much for the responses. My surgeon said I should be able to hike next summer, as long as I do the physical therapy stuff, and I’m very motivated. I wonder about little things, like getting up from my tent. But I’m glad people are saying they have run into hikers are doing fine. I sort of look forward to the physical therapy, so I can get good advice on strengthening my hiking in both legs. I’ve had a bad knee for a long time, and I’m hoping to make this year awesome!
Not any worse than getting older
The title covers the issue. I’m going to get a brand new knee! But I am wondering, from people who have had this done, how the replacement impacts their backpacking. My surgeon says I’ll be able to go backpacking next summer. If you’ve had a knee replaced, how has it impacted your backpacking? Thanks. Pringles
Not the knee, but a hit and run driver smashed my dad's leg in more than a dozen places in 1966. The most esteemed reconstructive surgeon in the area was visiting the hospital that day and got sent to the emergency room. He took a special interest and my dad's tibia and fibula were put back together with patience over the course of several surgeries and still have a metal pin in them.

That rebuilt leg crossed the Grand Canyon from rim to rim this fall, more than 55 years later. We talked about how we'd have liked the surgeon to be able to know how much we still appreciate it so many years on.
Not a knee replacement but I had a hit-and-run accident with knee reconstruction when I was 18.
And then a torn patella tendon and torn quadriceps tendon in my knee in 2020. Iʻm now fully recovered from that injury and have backpacked again since 2022.
And now Iʻm a stronger hiker than ever before. I just backpacked 10.5 miles to my campsite in under 4 hours
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Parma Has Anyone Here Done Alta Via 1? Trip Planning 25
ADubs Looking for info from anyone who has done the Egypt loop and exited via 25mile wash (Escalante). Trip Planning 3
DrNed Has Anyone Used The Bivystick? Gear 11
Rockskipper Has anyone driven the Denali road to Wonder Lake in their own vehicle? General Discussion 11
Laura Anyone know if the rockfall on HWY 89 out of Page has been cleared yet? General Discussion 6
Waynee-ack Has anyone used a Hammock? Gear 12
TheMountainRabbit Report: Grizzly 399 has emerged from the den — with one cub General Discussion 2
regehr maze road has a sand dune Trip Planning 14
F It has begun - Hiking Baja's El Camino Real Backpacking 7
F Who has been here? Ruin off Hole-in-the-Rock road General Discussion 4
LarryBoy Caltopo Has a New Android App. General Discussion 11
Artemus Monsoon has Started ! Trip Planning 2
Rockskipper NASA has plan to defuse Yellowstone (for real) General Discussion 4
Perry Wow! This has me rethinking my gear choices... Trip Planning 26
Bob Which City in the USA has the most variable weather? General Discussion 0
Nick The forum has taken over General Discussion 7
J Anyone in the Thorofare in the past couple of weeks? Trip Planning 0
Rockskipper @Bob or anyone know why they closed down part of the forest near W. Yellowstone? General Discussion 6
Rockskipper Lunar eclipse shots anyone? Post 'em here. Photography 10
Rockskipper Anyone feel this? 4.2 near Silver Gate General Discussion 4
OwenM Anyone here familiar with North Cascades NP? Trip Planning 9
marquiri Anyone Submit Their Application for Glacier Yesterday? Trip Planning 3
fossana Anyone know what happened to the USGS topo map API? General Discussion 12
Chuck the Mauler Anyone know General Discussion 7
Parma Pssst, don't tell anyone but Canyonlands is opening up General Discussion 3
Perry Anyone Have any Experience with Sierra Designs Nitro 800 0-degree Sleeping Bag Gear 11
Ross Anyone want to do East Fork Fat Man's Misery-Barracks-Labyrinth Falls Oct 15 (tues) Trip Planning 0
NorthwestWanderer Anyone here accidentally stumble upon illegal grow operations? General Discussion 17
Perry Anyone Have Experience with a Gregory Optic 48? Gear 3
ScienceMom Hello from Vegas! And anyone have advice for helping reluctant-hikers enjoy backpacking more? Noobs: Introduce yourself! 25
SKLund Anyone Done Under the Rim? Trip Planning 12
kimbur96 Back again, anyone using a teardrop? General Discussion 11
Ross Anyone for Lake Powell canyons (Iceberg,Davis,Willow/Cape Solitude/Canaan Mtn Trip Planning 0
Ross Anyone know if Sleepy Hollow campground, Caineville, exists? Trip Planning 5
Darkstardirewolf Anyone hiked Moran Canyon? General Discussion 0
Perry Backpacking Rain Poncho - Anyone Use One? Gear 14
Perry MSR Trailshot - Anyone Tried One Yet? Gear 11
Kris Hehl Anyone selling their Havasu Lodge/permit/campsite 2017? General Discussion 1
balzaccom Anyone else take this in your FAK? Trip Planning 5
Dave Firewatch, anyone? General Discussion 3
Nanda Anyone going out this weekend? Trip Planning 12
uintahiker Hiawaitha Bike Trail- anyone done it? Trip Planning 0
JoshuaDyal Anyone use foot powder Gear 3
D Anyone been to Tatahatso Point, Navajo Nation Trip Planning 1
A Anyone been to Death hollow/ escalante recently? Trip Planning 2
McGimpkins The only backpack anyone should ever buy General Discussion 4
balzaccom Andes Anyone? Backpacking 8
M Anyone Been on the HITR Road lately? Any Springs flowing? Trip Planning 1
Bob Anyone a Runner? General Discussion 0
mike54704 Anyone know how the trail to Conundrum Hot Springs in CO would be the first week of March? Trip Planning 5

Similar threads