“Many were forced to curtail or entirely stop certain physical activities or risk becoming invalids.”
Today I was doing a bit of research on the subject of joint replacements. This was prompted by a recent discussion with an aikido friend of mine who is considering a knee replacement.
I did the requisite google search and found a few comments on the subject from aikido practitioners, mostly on hip replacements, which appear to be far more common. It seems that people in their 50s and 60s are the most frequent candidates for these surgeries. The years of wear and tear on the body, the accumulation of injuries, and constant pain are what commonly bring people to the point of considering surgery.
Based on the anecdotal evidence of aikido practitioners I came across, most seem to have been satisifed with their operations, and have been able to return to training, albeit with certain limitations on their activity while on the mat.
Several aikidoka who had undergone operations stressed the need to carefully select the doctor, clearly specify the type of activity level you expect to engage in following surgery, and discuss the pros and cons of the different types of surgery and materials used, and possible risks of failure.
Previous generations of active people did not have the many options we do today. Many were forced to curtail or entirely stop certain physical activities or risk becoming invalids.
Although the results of years of physical activity affect everyone in some way eventually, those who take care of their bodies, maintaining flexibility and keeping a normal body weight, can postpone or even avoid these invasive surgeries through intelligent lifestyle choices. But in the event surgery seems to be the best course of action, today there are many options that promise to permit the return to normal life and activity, and the technology is steadily improving.
I think our aikido readers would be very interested in the experiences of those among you who have had or know about cases of joint surgery. Please tell us about the conditions that brought on the decision to choose surgery, the recovery time and physical therapy needed, and the eventual outcome and return to active training.