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Advise for traveling to WDW after knee replacement surgery

GrumpyDude

Member
Original Poster
I had both knees replaced last December. My wife and I are planning a trip to WDW in early November. Does anyone have any experience and advice to give? I should add that I am 6'6" and I have always had issues with certain ride vehicles.
 

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
How is your recovery going? Are you able to walk long distances yet?

If not, I would recommend renting an ECV (scooter) either for your entire trip or as needed, they can be rented from an offsite company for the length of your trip or at the front of each park if you think you may only need them during park time.
 

GrumpyDude

Member
Original Poster
How is your recovery going? Are you able to walk long distances yet?

If not, I would recommend renting an ECV (scooter) either for your entire trip or as needed, they can be rented from an offsite company for the length of your trip or at the front of each park if you think you may only need them during park time.
I am 80% recovered. I walk 2 to 4 miles everyday. I haven't been on my feet all day yet. That's why I'm fishing for anyone with similar experience. A scooter is a last resort.
 

MissViv

Well-Known Member
I had both knees replaced at once (bi-lateral) in October of 2018 & went to Disney in the fall of 2019 & again in the spring of 2020. I have plans to go again in Oct. this year. I am 69 and do not spend opening to closing at the parks, I like to spend time at the resort.

I still have pain and swelling in both knees if I am on my feet too long but I took prednisone to be able to go to Disney. I, also, have avoided renting a scooter. I think they are a real pain for both the users and the general public in crowded places like Disney but I understand if you really need one.

I would think you should be able to go and have a good time without a scooter especially since you are walking and doing so well now. Just plan on breaks and move at your own pace. Just my 2 cents!!
 

MissViv

Well-Known Member
Forgot to add that you are going to set off all the alarms when entering the parks or monorail. But no biggie, I just tell them it's my knees and they scan them and I move on. It's funny because sometimes the metal detectors go off and other times they do not.
 

GrumpyDude

Member
Original Poster
I had both knees replaced at once (bi-lateral) in October of 2018 & went to Disney in the fall of 2019 & again in the spring of 2020. I have plans to go again in Oct. this year. I am 69 and do not spend opening to closing at the parks, I like to spend time at the resort.

I still have pain and swelling in both knees if I am on my feet too long but I took prednisone to be able to go to Disney. I, also, have avoided renting a scooter. I think they are a real pain for both the users and the general public in crowded places like Disney but I understand if you really need one.

I would think you should be able to go and have a good time without a scooter especially since you are walking and doing so well now. Just plan on breaks and move at your own pace. Just my 2 cents!!
Thank you for the reply. It was very encouraging. I failed to add that I will be 56 in September and I am in pretty good shape. The swelling is my major concern.
 
Last edited:

GrumpyDude

Member
Original Poster
Forgot to add that you are going to set off all the alarms when entering the parks or monorail. But no biggie, I just tell them it's my knees and they scan them and I move on. It's funny because sometimes the metal detectors go off and other times they do not.
I can't wait for that. lol
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
First congrats on doing both at once!

My mom has had both replaced (unfortunately she couldn't do both at once and then waited way too long in between and during our 2012 trip she had to stop every few minutes because she just literally couldn't take another step. We got her a wheelchair after the first day).

By 11 months post op I'd expect you'll be whipping around the parks better than the rest of your party lol.

I wouldn't think there would be any attractions to avoid.

Have fun!

BTW my mom only set off the alarm at the airport. Just let them know you have knee replacements and they will wand the area to make sure its that area that is being detected.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Had my left knee replaced March 2020 still have pain by the end of the day it's hard to walk. Need the right one done but it doesn't hurt --until it does no surgeon is touching it. Would like to return to WDW in 2022

From experience with my mom and my friend's mom the second one is much easier to recover from especially because you already have one good one to help you out.
With the first one my mom was only leaving the house for PT until like 3 months post op and could not return to work as an RN for 6 months.
The second one she was whipping around with her walker to the movies a few weeks post op.
She was 59 when she had her first one and 67 with her second one.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
I’d say be more cautious loading in and off the ride cars. Use any available places to hold onto for stability. All the ride cars differ in how they are designed and the depth stepping in and maneuverability to get situated as you sit or rise up can be challenging. You don’t want to jar or twist your knee with a bad move. Even with good knees it can be a challenge. Don’t rush just because they are pushing to load and unload guests to keep up with their load counts.
 

Minnie Mum

Well-Known Member
As I'm sure your Dr and PT have emphasized ad nauseum, recovery and success after a knee replacement can depend on the effort put into your PT exercises. And full recovery can take up to a year. Keep it up, and keep walking. The swelling in my knee continued for about 6 months. I went to WDW about 9 months post op and managed without a wheelchair for the first time in years. But we also took a park break for part of each afternoon. The only difficulty I had was when I had to step down to enter a ride vehicle ( like POTC). Having DH enter first and then extending a supporting hand was all I needed. That, and taking my time so as to be careful, was sufficient. But then again, I'm short (5'2"). You might want to avoid those rides where leg room is cramped, like the Mine Train. I've found that even years later my knee is sensitive to being bumped.
 

GrumpyDude

Member
Original Poster
I’d say be more cautious loading in and off the ride cars. Use any available places to hold onto for stability. All the ride cars differ in how they are designed and the depth stepping in and maneuverability to get situated as you sit or rise up can be challenging. You don’t want to jar or twist your knee with a bad move. Even with good knees it can be a challenge. Don’t rush just because they are pushing to load and unload guests to keep up with their load counts.
Great advice. Thank you.
 

Goofyque'

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the reply. It was very encouraging. I failed to add that I will be 56 in September and I am in pretty good shape. The swelling is my major concern.
My doctor literally told me the swelling didn't bother him. I said "Way to power through it, Doc!" Ice it at night and maybe once through the day if you can. Remember, while you may be on your feet all day, much of it will be broken up with rides and shows, giving you a chance to rest it a bit. You'll do great!! Been going to WDW all the 15 years since I had mine done!
 
I had my right knee replace in Sept 2013. We went the following June and had no problem at all. We did what we always did. We always took a break just after lunch. DW had to see her soap operas. We were there a the rope drop and got back to the parks by 4PM and stayed to closing. I was walking without a cane or walker in 7 days. My knee is tender if I kneel down on it, but beside the cold winter morning when it takes a couple of steps to loosen it up it find. If you are in good shape there shouldn’t be any problems. Just ice it down at night if it look swollen. Have fun.
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
I had both knees replaced last December. My wife and I are planning a trip to WDW in early November. Does anyone have any experience and advice to give? I should add that I am 6'6" and I have always had issues with certain ride vehicles.
Its almost a year since surgery and you are already doing amazing with the distance with your walking. I doubt you will have any issues (outside of the ones you already had issues with at 6'6).... i hope you dont have to fly though.. at 5'7 i feel cramped lol
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Another knee replacement recoveree here, so the big issue with knee replacement is swelling. I think after my right one after a long day in the parks my knees would some times swell up.

I had my last replacement last february, right before all hell broke loose.

Some tips that helped me.
1) really good sneakers/shoes. lol you're going to be pounding the pavement literally.
2) no more commando touring. I generally go when it's Africa hot in Florida so generally I break the day up to give the heat and my knees a rest.
3) just like after surgery, I tried to stay ahead of any serious pain. generally at the end of the day I popped two or three acetaminophens or whatever your anti inflammatory drug of choice is and I iced my knee down (just grabbed some ice from the resort)

congrats on the new knee. I was bone on bone so although I still get stiff from arthritis, it's 100% better than before
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
The only ride my husband had a problem with post knee replacement was 7DMT. He has a hard time getting his feet placed in the narrow foot well.
(True story, I sent him to phys therapy with a photo of the ride seats and told them he needed to be able to get on this)! 🤣
 

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