Has anyone had a total knee replacement (TKR) and been able to resume climbing mountains? I may have it done in the next couple years. I don't need to climb anything real technical, but I would like to conquer Mt. Rainier. I've tried twice now and haven't made it yet. I feel the third time is a charm and now I know exactly how I will train to make it to the top. I've tried twice with RMI. I think they're a great guide service and I would try them again, but the guides are in their 20s and 30s mostly and don't cut any slack to someone like me, who at 59, may need to stop occasionally just for 20 seconds or so and catch my breath. I crapped out on top of Disappointment Cleaver, but with a little encouragement I now believe I could have kept going. I was not altitude sick, just somewhat exhausted and had difficulty regulating my body temp, so I sweated too much. I just don't know if I'd attempt it again knowing I have bad knees. After last year's attempt I was in pain for about 4 days after coming off the mountain. I can go up with no problem. It's the coming down that hurts. So I'd like to hear from anyone that has rehabilitated after knee replacement surgery to successfully hike and climb again. I've read where some doctors say you can hike again, but they say don't carry weight. Well, you can't climb mountains without carrying weight. On Rainier you have to carry about 40 pounds up to Camp Muir. Any experience or info would be greatly appreciated.
I have NOT had knee replacement surgery. One guy I know had it (not a climber) and did not do well for a long time afterward - required redoing it, etc.
IF you can still climb I'd do Rainier before the surgery. Just in case the surgery is not successful. IF the climb messes up your knees, THEN get the surgery. Ask a doctor if this plan would cause the replacement surgery to be more difficult or less likely to be successful.
Your posting is so relevant to my concerns and I was wondering if you could give me some of your thoughts. I had a total knee replacemnt a few years ago, I'm presently 59 years old. My oldest son and I were talking this past weekend about potentially attempting a climb to the summit of Mount Rainier in 2017. I have already talked with RMI and they sound great but your comments about them stopping you near the top because you needed a little rest has me concerned. Yes I had more stamina when I was 30 years old but that does not necessarily mean I cannot still reach goals. Have you any updated thoughts or heard more information regarding climbing with 45Lbs with a artificial knee (my knee needed to be replaced because of a bad ski accident when I was young). Are there any other outfitters/guides that you are aware of that might just slow things down enough so they you feel you could summit Rainier?
Thanks in advance for any comments or feedback. I would also appreciate any comments from others who could shed some light on this matter.