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Thread: knee surgery and hunting

  1. #1
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default knee surgery and hunting

    Found out last week that I have to have the meniscus cleaned up on my left knee. Surgery scheduled for July 6th. My surgeon is a serious sheep hunter and thinks with proper PT I can be ready for my August 18th sheep hunt.

    Anybody have a similar experience with a quick recovery period. My sheep hunt isn't a bad one as far a sheep hunts go. Fly in, not a long walk to sheep country. I'm in decent shape now, but won't have much time after recovery to knock off all the rust.
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    Member Carlak2fl's Avatar
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    my stepdad had some work done on a knee in late May. he went cautiously into the mountains for the opener on the 10th. that was probably 15 years ago. i'm sure technology has improved alot since then and i have no doubt you are in better shape than he was at the time. Good luck!
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  3. #3

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    Well it wasn't sheep hunting but I tore my ACL at work while assisting ski patrol with a stuck snowmachine (go figure eh). Prior to surgery I had already booked a trip to Panama to go surfing. I wasn't about to pass on the trip. My doctor said it was risky to surf with a torn ACL but I decided to go anyway. It was painful while popping up to catch a wave and I definitely couldn't push as hard on turns but it held and I had a great time. I decided to use my hamstring for the donor ligament and was mowing my lawn (1/4 acre push mower) on day two after surgery while still in a brace. My physical therapist lived in the same neighborhood and saw me while mowing. She said to go ahead and get after it as long as I managed the swelling and could tolerate the pain. I was mountain biking fairly technical singletrack by week 3 and skiing solidly 6 months after. I'm definitely not a doctor and it sounds like yours is quite understanding of your need to push the process. I don't think everyone's results will be similar but if you're already in good shape and make sure to be honest with yourself about your recovery and the risk associated with pushing it you'll know if you're good and ready. The better shape you're in going in the better you'll be coming out. A lot of folks I know who have had surgery put on weight while in recovery so eating good foods that don't promote inflammation is key. My wife is a food nut and made sure that during my recovery (and well, pretty much all the time) I/we eat high quality organic foods that don't contain a bunch of factory farm nastyness. If you eat suffering you'll suffer. Her mantra is, "it's better to pay your grocer, than to pay your doctor". Good luck with both the surgery and the hunt. Hope you heal up swift and strong.

  4. #4

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    I had what you will have, for me it took about 12 months for the discomfort to go away but much much better than before the surgery which was painful 24/7,. The problem I had was I went through rehab very easily, but caused arthritis on the opposite knee because I was gimping on the repair knee for fear of re injuring it. Now the repair knee still shows a response to a twist of the foot caused by bumping into things but it is tolerable. I I have had xrays of the other knee and I was resigned to having that one cleaned up but the doctors are not willing to do the surgery at this time. I did a brown bear hunt about a year and half after surgery, due to the sideways weakness I ended falling down 4 times while wading in the rivers, but I still took a nice bear. Mountain climbing is another story but gauge your ability since taking a tumble down the side of a cliff would not be as easy to recover from. For myself and I am in my 60's mountain stuff is out of the picture


    Quote Originally Posted by bigskyguy View Post
    Well it wasn't sheep hunting but I tore my ACL at work while assisting ski patrol with a stuck snowmachine (go figure eh). Prior to surgery I had already booked a trip to Panama to go surfing. I wasn't about to pass on the trip. My doctor said it was risky to surf with a torn ACL but I decided to go anyway. It was painful while popping up to catch a wave and I definitely couldn't push as hard on turns but it held and I had a great time. I decided to use my hamstring for the donor ligament and was mowing my lawn (1/4 acre push mower) on day two after surgery while still in a brace. My physical therapist lived in the same neighborhood and saw me while mowing. She said to go ahead and get after it as long as I managed the swelling and could tolerate the pain. I was mountain biking fairly technical singletrack by week 3 and skiing solidly 6 months after. I'm definitely not a doctor and it sounds like yours is quite understanding of your need to push the process. I don't think everyone's results will be similar but if you're already in good shape and make sure to be honest with yourself about your recovery and the risk associated with pushing it you'll know if you're good and ready. The better shape you're in going in the better you'll be coming out. A lot of folks I know who have had surgery put on weight while in recovery so eating good foods that don't promote inflammation is key. My wife is a food nut and made sure that during my recovery (and well, pretty much all the time) I/we eat high quality organic foods that don't contain a bunch of factory farm nastyness. If you eat suffering you'll suffer. Her mantra is, "it's better to pay your grocer, than to pay your doctor". Good luck with both the surgery and the hunt. Hope you heal up swift and strong.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    Found out last week that I have to have the meniscus cleaned up on my left knee. Surgery scheduled for July 6th. My surgeon is a serious sheep hunter and thinks with proper PT I can be ready for my August 18th sheep hunt.

    Anybody have a similar experience with a quick recovery period. My sheep hunt isn't a bad one as far a sheep hunts go. Fly in, not a long walk to sheep country. I'm in decent shape now, but won't have much time after recovery to knock off all the rust.
    You should be fine unless something unexpected comes up. I have a feeling I know who your doc is and he is a good one. He has worked on my right knee 3 times so far, once for an ACL and twice to repair a torn meniscus. A meniscus repair is a very quick and easy recovery compared to other things. They aren't doing anything structural, just cleaning up bits and pieces that are not holding where they should be. The biggest issue is the trauma from poking the hole through the knee to get there with the scope and moving around in there. I was back on a bike riding snow/ice trails 7 days out from surgery and jogging on it at 3-4 weeks. Just do the PT and work in gradually and you should be fine. Like they say, pain will be your guide. If it starts hurting, back off.

    I would plan to do a lot of exercise between now and the surgery so you are in as good of shape as possible going in. That way, you won't lose much during the brief recovery and will be at a better starting point when you are able to get back on it. I do a lot of racing (cycling, running, triathlons, etc...) and I essentially worked the surgery and recovery into my training plan. I trained really hard right up to the day before surgery, then took the recovery week as my "rest" week, then was back at it the following week. I ended up not losing much in the overall fitness side of things by doing it that way.

  6. #6
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    I only know orthopod in town who is a big sheep hunter so you should be in good hands. From what you describe you should be back in action in no time - something like weeks or less. I know a sheep hunter who had both knees replaced at the same time and he was hunting ibex 6 months later! Good Luck.
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    If it is a simple debridement of the meniscus- you will likely be fine as long as you don't push too hard too soon. Be careful the following day as the lidocaine/marcaine irrigation can make it seem that you have less pain than is actually there. I walked on mine without crutches the following day simply because it felt fine and paid for it the days after. Follow the instructions and listen to PT!!! Good luck with surgery and with the sheep.

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    A few years ago I had a complete ACL reconstruction with a partial menisectomy on my right knee in May. I was hiking by August (no heavy loads) and was able to hunt goats in late September without issue. I think with the advice given you should be good to go. Good luck with the procedure and the hunt.
    Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes. ~Wilde

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    Is there any way to move the surgery date up? 5-6 weeks is right on the edge to return to something as strenuous as sheep hunting, gives very little wiggle room for any problems. I would do everything I could to get it moved up as soon as possible, so that you could rehab and still have a few weeks to do some strenuous training.

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    I think I'm in the market for a cleanup myself, but I'm not even going to see the doctor until after hunting season!

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    Every injory is different so nobody can say for sure, but I would bet money you'll be just fine. I've had 3 Acl's and several minscus repairs. Every one has been different. One of my meniscus repairs I had to walk on it that day do to the oppesit knee having an ACL reconstruct. One of my surgeons had his meniscus repaired and ran a marathon the next day. Like I said every one is different.

  12. #12
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    If it were your ACL I would say no. But just a clean up I think you will be ready to go. Ive had six surgeries on my knees five clean ups like your having which weren't that big of a deal as long as you do the PT. The last surgery was major and took three months to come back.
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