Ask The Expert
Injuries & Surgery: Knee Injuries
My wife is 64 years old.
She has very little cartilage left.
The knee has been graded at 4.
I understand that arthritis was the cause.
It sounds to me as though your wife has osteoarthritis (wear and tear) of the knee. Osteoarthritis does not always cause pain but when it does start to cause pain it can be very difficult to get it to settle down again.
Keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) can help but not always. If the knee pain settles and she can build her strength up and maintain flexibility she may get away with skiing. If she can ski without a significant increase in her symptoms then I doubt she is doing a great deal of harm. Any risk of advancing the need for a replacement is likely to be relatively small when compared to the 64 years taken to reach this stage.
Any increased risk needs to be balanced against how important it is to live an active life. She needs to discuss these points with her surgeon who should be prepared to discuss the various risks with her.
If the knee remains painful then she will be faced with giving up skiing or considering joint replacement. It is possible to ski in many cases after replacing the knee and I have many patients who do so.
Ski de Fond may be easier on the knees.
Jonathan works as a consultant at Wimbledon Clinics - sports injury specialists.