Knee Replacements for Snowboarders

The other day, we received a comment. Here it is. Feel free to chime in, especially if you’ve had personal experience with knee replacements.

Hi, My name is Steve from New Hampshire and have been snowboarding for about 26 years now. I made the switch after tearing up my meniscus again skiing and having it removed. I don’t want to stop; I have a collection of over 96 boards that I have accumulated over the years and just love the sport. I am just returning from a 4 day trip to Loveland Ski in Colorado with my 2 adult sons, one of which is a career Army Ranger so I know he would have gotten me off the mountain if there was trouble.

I am contemplating a new knee in the Fall of 2017 and need some opinions to help me make this life-changing decision.

Please let me know.

Steve from Derry, NH.

When I learned downhill skiing, my first instructor had undergone two replacements, either knee or hips, though I can’t recall which.

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4 Responses to Knee Replacements for Snowboarders

  1. Pat Moore says:

    I’ve been lobbying for a new knee for a number of years but my doctor says they don’t last forever. I pointed out that the ads say they’re good for thirty years and I’ll be 100 before it wears out.

    My history: I tore the right ACL at a skydiving competition in 1969 and the left ACL ski racing in 2010. I’ve had both reconstructed and a total of three subsequent “tune-ups.”

    My right knee is inclined inward 5.5 degrees so my right ski race boot has been canted so much it won’t stand up. I do get twice-a-year injections of hyaluronic acid to ease the bone-on-bone arthritis. Eventually I’ll get a new knee but for now they’re suggesting letting the technology continue to improve.

    In over 2000 parachute jumps I never broke a bone. I’ve lost count of the tally from ski and snowboard racing. Added another one last Sunday when I got clotheslined. Didn’t see a rope that shouldn’t have been there and got knocked unconscious plus broke my collarbone. I take vitamin D weekly but at age 70 the bones aren’t as strong as they once were. There is a segment on my injuries in this video:

  2. Rudy says:


    I am 63 and started boarding at 40. I definitely have over used my body over the years playing a lot of sports. I had to make the decision of replacement because my right knee was worn out.

    My knee replacement was the best decision I’ve ever made. I boarded exactly 8 months after the replacement. I worked hard on my rehab and strengthening my quads.

    I still board, referee basketball 4-5 days a week and trail ride a lot.
    I’m not sure how long it will last and don’t really think about …should I do this.. or that?

    I just do it!

    Get it done and really work hard at your rehab.

    Good luck

  3. lance davison says:

    Steve, good for you and I am jealous of the collection of snowboards you have. I hope one day when I have 26 years of riding under my belt, I have half as many boards as you.

    I can’t speak from first-hand experience, but my father just had both of his knees replaced a couple years ago and had done all the talking/questions/research he could find. I am happy to give more specific information if you’d like, but here’s what I know he went through.

    The reason he even considered it was because he plays tennis 6 days a week, and he didn’t want to stop playing. He pushed off the replacements with temporary solutions but knew it was inevitable. He contemplated doing one, and then the other a couple years later, but in hindsight, he said he was glad he did both at the same time mainly to get the pain/rehab over with together.

    He had his surgery in the fall, and I believe he was back on the courts by late spring/early summer. Keep in mind, if you’re looking at fall ’17, it might be pushing it to be back snowboarding within a few months. ou want to make sure you give yourself time for rehab and get that strength back.

    It was a difficult surgery for him, especially since he did both, however, he is very happy he did it and is back on the courts pain-free and moving like he’s 25 years younger too!

    If you can try cortisone shots or anything temporary that can mitigate the pain, maybe you can push it off a little longer, but in hindsight, my father is happy he did it and it solved the pain issues he was having so that he can continue doing what he loves.

    Consider age too because you don’t want to outlast your knees. My father most likely won’t, so he didn’t see a need to push it off anymore, but a doctor most likely won’t even do it on someone who is 60 (maybe 70) or younger. Happy to talk to him about specifics too if you have any questions.

  4. Chris Norman says:

    Hi Steve, I’ve had four cartlidge or meniscus operations on my left knee, all down to football, and have none left on the lower outside of my knee now. I had the last operation five years ago now and was told by the specialist at the time that I would need a whole knee replacement at some stage, that it was far too far gone for just half a new knee…. But I have continued to board for the last five years without too many problems just the usual swelling. I also have arthritis because of the damage and also my age, I’m 64 next month. The one thing all the specialists have told me though over the years is that no matter how bad my knee is it still works better than an artificial one would….. Hope this helps.
    Best regards
    Chris Norman

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