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I have had a knee replacement after a failed knee reconstruction on my left knee, and my right knee has had 4 reconstructions. Jogging is out of the question, however I do enjoy walking. The issue is how best to protect my joints - what footwear do you recommend? What sort of regeime? To add to the mess, three months ago I fell from a horse and was stepped on (right hip) ... the result
has been pain in hip, (both) knees and right ankle (right leg is twisted as a result of the various surgeries). I used to go to gym and walked for 4-6km equivalent on treadmill but as a retiree cannot afford travel/gym fees now.
Question sent in anonymously
Fitness Expert replies:
Dear Wonder Walker
My apologies for such a late reply, but I have been away for school holidays without access to emails.
You have mentioned quite a few areas of concern which I will try and respond to individually.
Based on all of your knee reconstructions and now your hip injury, I suggest that you only build up your walking slowly. This means starting with 20 mins initially and then adding 3-5 mins each week. I'm concerned whether or not you have been to a physio for your recent injury and I recommend that you do. This is because as you extend your walking, you may be aggravating your hip and ankle injuries further. Ideally you also need to intersperse the walking with some non-impact swimming or aqua (water) jogging, if you live somewhere that has water based fitness classes at the local council pool.
You are correct to query the type of shoe that you need to walk in. With the knee reconstructions you've had and now the hip/ankle injury, you do need a good shoe with good arch and lateral support. Typically I would suggest that you need a running shoe or a good 'cross-training' shoe, and a brand such as ASICS or NIKE. The only drawback is that this isn't so good for people with a wide foot. Alternatively, seeing as you are only going to walk and not run, then ROCKPORT have the best 'walking shoe'. These are more expensive than the average low-cost shoe though, but definitely worth the investment.
How you 'walk' is also important. This relates to any 'rolling' of your hips and knees and this may be an issue for you based on your surgery and injuries. If you have a wide foot, then go for a shoe that is called a 'cross-training' shoe. Look at New Balance and Nike rather than ASICS as their 'fit' is quite narrow.
If possible, try to get to a reputable running shoe shop. I'm not sure where you live, but there are shops called 'Shoe Science' or 'Smith's Sports Shoes' that have experienced staff to assist in selecting the correct shoe for your foot and knees. Without seeing you, I can only give you 'general' advice in this feedback forum.
Enjoy your walking and despite your knee reconstructions, this is truely the best form of exercise for you.