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Offline NikkiE

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Martial Arts
« on: April 29, 2005, 10:26:56 PM »
Hi!

Does anyone know much about martial arts (apart from Tai Chi) in regards to putting strain on arthritic knees?

I used to do Taekwondo, but gave it up because there was a lot of twisting and kicking and jumping involved. I am wanting to try ninjutsu and have had email discussions with one of the instructors. She says they work on 3cm mats and avoid repetitive or high impact drills. There is some kicking involved, but not the big power kicks of TKD. She also said there is some falling but it's more fluid rather than the slapping falls of judo.

She's willing to work around my injury and see what we can come up with.

Do you think it would be ok to take this sport up again?
Chondromalacia in right knee for 13 years. 

OA in medial section of right knee, almost bone on bone.

OA in medial section of left knee

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2005, 02:43:19 PM »
Nikkie -

I have also given up tae kwon do.  I don't know much about ninjitsu, but I would ask your OS first.  Depending on how widespread your arthritis is, and what part of the joint is most affected, it doesn't necessarily matter if the kick is hard or soft, high or low.  If you have damage to the lateral part of the joint every time you pivot you will put pressure on that area of the knee.  If you have damage to the trochlear groove every kick (every time you bend the knee) you are rubbing against this area.  I understand the desire to  get back to MA, but I am far more interested in keeping my knee functional.

Let me know what you decide - I'm always interested in options for the future.

Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline NikkiE

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2005, 08:37:00 AM »
Dear Blackbeltgirl
(I only got as far as blue!)
Hmmm. That's food for thought. I knew kicking wouldnt be ideal, but I thought seeing as the leg would be non-weight bearing i.e. in the air at the time, the shock might not be so bad as, say, the impact of landing from a flying kick or something.

My damage is limited to the medial section of my right knee (although the left is exhibiting identical pains right now) with a little bit of wear on the kneecap. All the meniscii and ligaments are good so far.

I think I will try it. The instructor is fully aware of my problem and willing to tailor things to suit me if possible. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Chondromalacia in right knee for 13 years. 

OA in medial section of right knee, almost bone on bone.

OA in medial section of left knee

Offline Heavy_Harry

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2005, 01:12:25 AM »
Hello Blackbelt Girl


I too used to do martial arts as well....But due to the impact  I busted up my ankle and knee so much during practise that I found. that I had do give it up my knee kept and ankle on popping out alignement!! Grrrrrrr I had stop  momentry and remove the brace and shove it back in again ! [hurt like crazy! I missed it as  enjoyed the vigorous training as well as it kept me fit.

I wonder if Karate Do is any   harder on the  injured limbs like the other martial arts? Me I only got up to purple....could of made it futher if my limbs had'nt packed up!

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2005, 01:18:00 PM »
Harry -

I don't know much about karate-do.  I did shotokan karate when I was in college, and it was KILLER on the knees.  Many traditional martial arts focus more on hand techniques than kicks.  We used to hold VERY deep front stances and back stances for 15 minutes to half an hour at a time.  I was only about a year past my 1st knee surgery then, and after a couple of months my knee would just give out on me in the middle of class.

Have you had the ankle and knee treated?  You may be able to return to training in a school that focuses more on form and technique, and less on sparring.  When you are challenging yourself alone, you can modify techniques to put less stress on the joints.  Of course, ask your OS before returning to MA, and make sure the insutrcutor is aware of any limitations and is willing to work with you.  For me, I have too much cartilage damage to return to training at the level I'm at.  And it's too expensive to not be able to do it right.  Before my knee surgery I had reached a point where I needed my assistant to demonstrate techniques when I was teaching classes, because I couldn't do things correctly.  It's no way to teach, and frankly, wasn't so much fun to train that way either.

Good luck.  I hope you get all those issues sorted out, and can return to the mats.
Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline hathor65

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2005, 11:21:48 AM »
Jess

I know you have done some extensive research on ACI's. Have you read anywhere about skiing and how long one should wait before skiing post an ACI....I am due to go with the family in July (winter here Down Under)...which will be 15months....should I be on the slopes or in the bar !? I've also asked my OS who is not the fastest to respond.....

Thx
Hathor
Nov 03 - L Knee debridement
May 04 - ACI L knee - Patella
Dec 08 - MACI L Knee - Patella
Oct 09 - L Knee scope

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2005, 01:16:05 PM »
Good question.  Since I don't ski, I haven't even thought about it.

From the educated customer perspective, I'd say it depends on the size and location of yoru lesion.  In downhill skiing, don't you switch your weight from the inside to the outside of the knee, back and forth as you go down the mountain?  Hopefully you'll hear back from your OS soon.  Worst case - see if the ski resort will be willing to refund the balance of your lift ticket if you try it, and decide it was a bad choice.  Bring your knee brace, your pain killers, anti-inflammatories, and swim trunks in case you spend most of the trip in the  hot tub instead of on the slopes.   8)  A lot of resorts in the US offer tubing as well as skiing.  I'm not sure if they have a lift to the top, but you may still get some of the rush, with less of the pain?

Either way, take your trip and enjoy yourself.  Just remember - moderation is your friend.

Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline bcicio

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2005, 11:12:09 PM »
I practiced Martial Arts for 14 years in various styles and attained 2nd degree Brown Belt in Isshinryu.   My knee problems started during the first year which progressively got worse because I just loved the sport and wouldn't give it up.  Thirty years and 8 operations later (meniscus, 2 ACL recons, more meniscus, etc.), I wish I had never participated in the sport.  I joke that, had I never learned karate and had just gotten mugged, I probably would have spent less time in the hospital.  Got another surgery scheduled for next month.

Seriously, it's a great sport and a great exercise.  But if you are genetically inclined to having knee problems -- and who knows if they are -- Martial Arts wiill trash your knees.  It won't matter what style, though some styles are worse on knees than others.  If you do take Martial Arts, my recommendation would be to give up the sport and move onto something else fun at the first sign of knee injury.  It is only going to get worse.  Been there, done that -- and sorry I did.

Bill C.
1973 - R. patella lig relocate (Hauser)
1974 - L. patella lig relocate (Hauser)
1978 - R. medial meniscus trim
1979 - L. medial meniscus trim
1988 - Bilateral medial meniscus trim
2000 - L. ACL recon (allograft)
2001 - R. ACL recon (allograft)
2005 - L. debrisment
9/14/11 - BTKR (single surgery)

Offline TSDlady

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2005, 06:46:26 PM »
Well, Aren't you all cheery.  I am that awful 45.  Started MA at 28 got to just before BB and then quit to have babies.  Returned 3 years ago.  Had first ACL and Meniscus on Left Knee then partially tore Right ACL & had surgury again last May.  Came down hard at Class last night and am back to RICE today.
So is it that we can't do Martial Art or do we just have to make sure that we are doing extra and I do mean extra & specific exercises to strengthen those knee muscles outside of Class?

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2005, 08:56:25 PM »
Don't let anyone get you down.  ACL tears are especially common in women who practice MA.  Don't know why.  Since you now know that both knees are a bit vulnerable, you may want to wear your ACL braces during class.  Especially for sparring.  YOu may look like the bionic woman, but it could allow you to continue training.  I know a lot of people who've returned to training after ACL surgery.

And even though I've had to give it up, I wouldn't trade the years I spent on the mats.  Granted, my knee problems aren't specifically due to tkd, so that may be easier to say.  But with all the benefits of training, I wouldn't trade it.  Period.

Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline TSDlady

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2005, 04:55:52 PM »
I am wearing my brace, for awhile all the time.  But I am sure that I will not be taking class without it.
So if your not doing MA what are you doing?
I always needed the discipline of MA to exercise - can't get into the jazzercize or aerobics or traditional weight lifting.

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2005, 05:42:01 PM »
I joined a gym.  I do the arc trainer usually - not nearly as much fun as MA.  And because it was fun (and expensive) I was really good about being consistent in my training.  With the gym membership, it's easy to get lazy, and I'm working on it.  Martial arts are just not an option for me at this time, so it doesn't matter how much I preferred it.  I hope that someday I feel as addicted to the gym as I feel to MA, but that day hasn't come yet.

Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline TSDlady

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2005, 02:48:59 PM »
How about Yoga?  I have a close friend who swears by it.
Knee is sore again.  Last week worked abit too hard. Although mainly just helping white belts which is fun.  In my area the gym is more expensive then the MA.
Probably camaraderie is a key too!  Have you found any friendly people at the gym?

Offline badkneedgal

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2006, 04:06:12 AM »
I'm a 1st Degree Black Belt in Chio Kwang Do.   I never had an obvious injury from class, but know many, many people with ACL tears, and other knee problems from class.  I stopped training a couple of years ago because the school broke away from Choi and for a while it was great...but as time went on they introduced more and more ground fighting and the such.  There is a demand for that -- the coolness factor is high!

It should be explained that I am the world's biggest chicken and do not like rough housing(only child)... was only there because my hubby is a 4th degree Black Belt and he and the school owner railroaded me into class and to my surprise, I loved it!  Took it for 8 years, started when I was 40!  But when I started feeling singled out for not liking the rough stuff on the ground I went less and less.  I haven't trained now for about 2 years.  Even when I no longer loved class I have to say I went just because I loved the people training (except the person giving me a hard time about ju jit su class!)  My friends where there! 

Then I became a gym rat for a year or so.  Also took ballet for eight years, started in 1st grade and last 2 years on point.  (Toe shoes!!)  When I look back I think that my current knee condition is a result of all the abuse I've heaped on them through the years - and probably partly genetic.

During the time I was a gym rat I lifted on the machines, thinking that was safer, but I think I still  lifted too much.  While I've always had some popping in the knees, the real crunching started then!   Now I just want to be able to work out pain free and be healthy.  I would not go back to MA --even with the padded floors!  Our Dojang has the 6" closed cell foam padded floors - oh yeah I taught high impact kickboxing aerobics on that floor for about a year, too!  Oops! Can't imagine why my knees hurt!  I think I'll stick to the elipitical Machine! :)  These days I just want to be able to go up and down the stairs in my house.  There is a single level ranch home in my future!
Osteoarthritis, patellar tracking prblems in both knees, in 1st round of physical therapy
Probable Meniscus tear right knee, Surgery scheduled for 2/3/06

Offline WantToKick

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2006, 04:37:58 AM »
As a martial artist, doing taekwondo, judo, & Hapkido....  I know people who have rather bad knees who work out with me just fine...  but they avoid the mats!  With the mats, your feet sink in and grip very well... too well for bad knees.  I say go for it, there's usually a way, but if possible, stay off the mats.  Any twisting will torque your knees, not your hips or ankles... I've been there, i know... set backs many times from this.  Also watched my favorite instructor loose her ACL, MCL, a couple other ones, dislocate, & shred cartilage from twisting on a mat.  Not trying to scare you, as she was in the midst of a test for rank - just making sure you know that mats aren't always our friends!
1998 - dog vs. human accident, torn MCL, subluxed patella
1999 - plica removal, chondroplasty. 
2002 - skating accident, subluxed patella, torn LCL, bone bruising
2005 - skiing accident, torn MCL, torn meniscus, stretched acl, torn medial capsule
2007 - plica removal, synovectomy