Has anyone had a knee replaced, and still backpacks?

Pringles

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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
 
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