How to go about running after knee surgery

How to go about running after knee surgery

Today’s question on the Ask Coach Parry Podcast is from Robyn and deals with running after knee surgery. Robyn says she has problematic knees. She has had scopes and debridements. She has also had retinacular releases on both knees. She really wants to run and is hoping you can tell her how she can go about running after knee surgery.

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Brad Brown: Today’s question on the Ask Coach Parry Podcast is from Robyn and deals with running after knee surgery. Robyn says she has problematic knees. She has had scopes and debridements. She has also had retinacular releases on both knees. She really wants to run and is hoping you can tell her how she can go about running after knee surgery.

Running after knee surgery is challenging but it is possible if you're careful. She has had a couple of knee operations. She’s had the cartilage and meniscus smoothed out so there is a lot of contact between her femur and her tibia, effectively the condyles on her femur and her tibia. From that little bit of history I’m guessing this is someone who went through a period of inactivity, or had some issues related to some sports injuries which have then, gain, led to long periods of inactivity.

This is the classic example of somebody who should be starting off a real low base with a lot of walking, with very little jogging but also get themselves into a gym with a qualified person to help them to stabilise all the structures that need to be stabilised. So there are going to be problems and it is very difficult to say what the potential problems could be; she could have some stability issues around her ankles or in her hips. Both of those would then effectively lead to a stress in the knee.

She may have a very wide Q-angle (what we call with the upper leg coming down out of the hip), which means that the knee doesn’t go in a nice straight line. But these things can be overcome.

What to do if you want start running after knee surgery

If we do the right kind of strength training, particularly focussing on the glutes, the lower abs. We need to make sure that we have nice stable ankle and hip joints, that the lower back is in the right position so we don’t have a posterior/anterior tilt. Again - these are things that are impossible to make a diagnosis of in this kind of forum. But if she is serious about running after knee surgery, even if it is just for health purposes, even if she doesn’t get to a point of running half marathons and that sort of thing.

It’s important that she does it right from the beginning: make sure she’s in the right shoes, make sure that she’s seeing a qualified health professional who give her the right exercises to deal with the imbalances that she has, and then she really needs to build up slowly, slowly, slowly.

Lots of walking to start with, little bit of running, and gradually let that overtake. She’s most likely going to be the type of person who shouldn’t run more than 3 or 4 times a week. Even with that she should be able to get herself to the point where she can run the odd half marathon and just lead a really healthy lifestyle and enjoy all the benefits of running.

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