Gransnet forums

Health

A legacy of a sporting youth?

(18 Posts)
Aveline Wed 28-Apr-21 14:47:16

I've just heard that I need a hip replacement. Not surprised as I've already had both knees replaced. It got me thinking though. Why should this be happening to me? Its not something there's a family history of. However, I did a lot of serious training for a sport from age 16-24 then took up running then went back to the original sport in my 40s. I also made a point of walking a lot.
Is our generation the first to do serious sports training? My mother and her generation certainly didn't. I cringe when I think of the shoes we used to train in and on the concrete surfaces too.
I fear my osteoarthritis is a legacy of my sporting youth. If only I'd known!! Is it just me?

Liz46 Wed 28-Apr-21 14:48:57

My husband played rugby, football and squash. He reckons he worked hard to get his dreadful joints!

Nannarose Wed 28-Apr-21 15:11:58

It may be true that some people get osteo-arthritis after serious sports training - others don't. I do think there is more research to be done on that - sometimes it's do do with high impact (and I'm sure that trainers make a difference!)

However, my mother, her best friend and my aunt, all born late 20s-early 30s took sports training very seriously. It was interrupted by WW2, but 2 of them went on to compete at national level.

Aveline Wed 28-Apr-21 15:17:24

Nannarose- how were their joints in middle /older age?

FlexibleFriend Wed 28-Apr-21 15:33:06

Mine are down to my auto immune condition not my sporty past. I'd probably be a lot worse off had I been a couch potato rather than a fitness freak. It is what it is and no point looking for excuses.

geekesse Wed 28-Apr-21 15:53:40

My downfall was ballet - too much wear and tear on hips. When I was young, all the older ballet teachers I knew walked with sticks, so it’s not just my generation.

FannyCornforth Wed 28-Apr-21 15:56:52

When I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis last year the doctor asked me if I had been an athlete in my youth (nothing could be further from the truth).
Apparently the level of wear and tear is what you may see in someone in their 80s. I'm in my late 40s 🙁

Aveline Wed 28-Apr-21 16:06:49

I'm not looking for excuses FlexibleFriend! It's happened and I can't rewind my life. However, I reckon that if I'd known how I'd end up I might not have exercised so hard.
I'll soon have a new hip and the pain will have gone but I'll always wonder if the osteoarthritis was self induced!

Nannarose Wed 28-Apr-21 21:27:16

Interesting Aveline, and confirms my view that like many conditions, there's a combination of factors.
My mum was the only one who got osteo-arthritis, and her sport was swimming (so not much strain on joints)
My aunt was a cyclist, not much strain on the whole, though some of her club members have had knee problems. She is the only one still alive, very fit & active in her late 80s, although she no longer cycles.
My mum's friend was a runner (almost made the 1948 Olympics) so you would have thought a lot of strain on joints, but she never had any problems. I did ask her about training, and in those days it was mainly on grass.
I, like my mum, was a swimmer and have osteo-arthritis.

I suspect that you have some pre-disposition and some wear and tear from your youth. Good luck with your new hip!

grannyrebel7 Wed 28-Apr-21 21:43:20

My DH has arthritis on one side of his knee. He's been told he'll need a knee replacement eventually. He is an excessive long distance walker and I'm sure that's what's caused it. I don't think too much exercise is good for anyone.

Aveline Wed 28-Apr-21 21:47:49

We trained hard for hours on concrete floors. Modern coaches would be appalled.

aggie Wed 28-Apr-21 22:01:18

I blame jiving for my hip replacement 😉

Urmstongran Wed 28-Apr-21 22:54:26

I’ve noticed how many who played bowls over the years have hip/knee replacements!

I’ve had neither.
#lazygran

Chestnut Wed 28-Apr-21 23:16:50

I'm sure much is down to your genes but excessive sport will make it worse. If you have good structural genes maybe you get away with it and have no trouble later in life, while the next person who did the same activity may suffer because their genetic make up is different. In our youth we can never know where our weaknesses lie. Some people smoke like chimneys into their 80s and others (like Roy Castle) die young just from being in smoke filled rooms. I guess the same applies with wear and tear on our legs. I believe excessive, extreme exercise can be just as damaging as no exercise.

Aveline Thu 29-Apr-21 07:23:24

It's certainly not in my genes. Neither side of the family have been affected the way I have.

Kim19 Thu 29-Apr-21 07:33:04

Yes, my pals kids both insane marathon runners and gymnasts, have joint problems and they're only in their fifties. Mind you, she had too, although only reasonably sporty. Maybe genetic?

Nannarose Thu 29-Apr-21 10:47:18

Aveline - we know more about the causes of cancer (in thus context) than about osteo-arthritis.
To put it simply, a combination of genetic pre-disposition & environment is often a cause.

So, IF either of your parents had some genetic pre-disposition but didn't put much strain on their joints, they probably wouldn't have had much osteo-arthritis. IF you inherited that pre-disposition but put strain on your joints, that would account for for your problems (IF in capital letters because it may not be so!)
Others might have put on a similar strain, but not had the genetic factors - such as my mum's friend - although I think that the training surface (as you describe) may be a factor.

There is a lot we still don't know, but I get a bit cross when osteo-arthritis is dismissed as being a problem of obesity. Of course being overweight puts strain on the joints, but it is only one factor.

Aveline Thu 29-Apr-21 11:55:43

Luckily I'm not obese! Phew. The surgeon even congratulated me on it.
We'll never know.