Total Knee Replacement

Hi all

The purpose of this post is to explain my current physical limitation and the use of a table and chair at drive up summits without some form of seating arrangement or improvised seating. I repeat drive up summits.

You may see me post pictures of my SOTA station where I have used a table and chair. Don’t be alarmed, my actions are not designed to undermine the principal of ‘not within the spirit of the SOTA awards program’.

On 17 November 2023 I had Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgery of my left knee, I now have a prosthetic Tritanium left knee. The post surgery recovery and rehab can take up to 12 months to achieve a range of movement (ROM) to approximately 120 to 125 degrees. A healthy knee ROM is ~130 degrees.

What is my physical limitation at a SOTA summit? At present I cannot kneel on the ground with my left knee and my ROM won’t let my knee bend far enough, which makes sitting on the ground quite difficult and when I do it comes with significant short term pain. At a recent activation of Isaacs Ridge VK1/AC-041 I did with some difficulty sit on the ground after a 30 minute ascent, walking!

I’m not planning to give up this amazing hobby which I love so much, therefore in the next six months or so you may from time-to-time see a photo of my SOTA station where I have used a table and chair, again at a drive up or drive to summit only.

I trust everyone will understand my current limitation and trust that I am not undermining the ‘spirit of SOTA’. Attached are three sample photos, where at a ‘drive-to’ summit I have elected to use a table and chair. Oh and just for fun a photo of my left knee post surgery.

73, Andrew VK1AD


No worries from me Andrew, most of us in our age demographic have something in the DNA to stop what the brain thinks it can still do. I too have a niggling health issue and promised my doctor on the last round I would only do my “easy” summits first just in case a fix comes along down the track, but mostly we don’t get better we just re gig. HI. I can see by your photo you have hobbled away from the vehicle with your load of chairs and kit, perfectly legit. Glad you can still get out and activate.
Take care and Regards
Ian vk5cz …


Welcome fellow cyborg. :slight_smile: I remember walking the corridors shockingly-few hours after my disc replacement and there were more than a few knees beside me doing the same. I attribute my recovery in big part to outdoor pursuits like SOTA keeping the joints shiny and lubricated.


Sorry to hear of the injury. Nothing wrong with a table and chair separate from the vehicle.

Best of luck with your forthcoming activations.

73’s Wal VK2WP


Good on ya for keeping up the SOTA after that Andrew. Been following the recovery process on of another aussie TKR oparatee, and it doesn’t sound like fun.

And always fully aware it will be me one day.

Do what you need to do to keep active & keep doing the things you love.

Matt - ZL4NVW


Glad to hear your voice on 10m today, Andrew.
I have a same feeling with your friends here.
Looking forward to the next QSO.
73 Atsu


Thank you for hobbling to the summit for an activation, the bands were certainly working well this morning! I feel a bit guilty as at the moment I’m still running on original hardware and today was the first morning in ages when the view out the window was not horizontal rain, or as yesterday sleet…(I’ve not yet managed a G/VK S2S) 73



Sun is setting on Mt Stromlo.


Lovely photo. Glad I didn’t venture out this morning. I’m quite tired and the weather is pretty wet and windy.

Gratuitous Land Rover pic, when we got them home after the rally at 2100z last night.

It’s all about getting out, enjoying the fresh air, the landscapes and connecting with people on your radio. Period. You’re doing a great job at that. :slightly_smiling_face:
Personally, I had as much fun doing four drive-up summits in the US last year as I do climbing local hills at home. It’s still a great adventure.


Look on the bright side - you will recover.

I met a guy on a GM hill a few years ago who had both knees replaced - his surgeon said he was unlikely to be able to hill walk ever again. He was just completing visiting every Corbett (they meet SOTA rules but elevation under 3000 feet) and needed me to take his photograph to send to the surgeon!!!


Odd thing to say Barry, that’s not the point of my post.

I know I will recover, I’m a glass-full enthusiastic SOTA activator, besides my physio/rehab knows what my goals are.


Andrew VK1AD


I wish you a speedy recovery!
All the Best!



Take care of your personal battery since all you have is connected there. And let shine your personal sun despite all things limiting you at present – that is (the invisible) part of your medication.

Vy 73, Markus


We have a phrase here in the UK and maybe it’s the same in Australia… “more power to your elbow”… an expression of praise or admiration for someone’s success or brave actions. Well in your case it’s certainly more power to your knee. :grinning:

Well done getting out to do some activations Andrew. The positive vibes we get from activities such as SOTA are so much a part of recovering from what ails us in life, be it mental, physical or both. I found it immensely helpful when recovering from my heart attack and a year later when recovering from my bypass operation.

73, Gerald


Keep on activating!

I had a hip replacement a couple of years ago. I integrated SOTA activations in my physio programme, slowly increasing hiking distance, elevation metres and difficulty of the hiking trail.

73 Jens HB9EKO


I look at it like this, if some kind benefactor installs a park bench or a picnic table on a summit I have no hesitation in using it, so why worry about something that you have carried yourself?


I wish you a speedy recovery…

As we know from many posts here… SOTA helps!


73 Armin


Get well soon but don’t rush the healing process. As far as table & chair is concerned, in my mind you carried them in to the activation point and you carried them out. The fact that many rough it by scrabbling around on the floor and sitting on a thin foam pad shouldn’t deny you a little bit of home comfort.

All the best with the recovery


Hi Andrew,

Wishing you a speedy recovery ! It doesn’t seem to have slowed your activating that much. My wife had a full knee replacement nearly 2 years ago now. She is now really fit and over 4 days we did 70km together.

Cheers Glenn VK3YY.


Hi Andrew
I had a knee replacement just before I started Sota and have managed decent walks 6mths later until 2018 whenother unrelated health issues hit. I now do a mix of drive ons, short walks, electric trike and the very odd long walk which for me is about a mile. Keep going, ignore those who yap at you about it not being in the spirit of sota (and I’ve had quite a few) - just make sure you are away from the vehicle. I must mention that I did a Flora & Fauna sitting on the trike once as there wasn’t anywhere for me to sit- this isn’t allowed in SOTA rules!! (For those of you who haven’t had a replacement, kneeling is not advisable and getting up from sitting on the ground is very difficult.)
Keep doing the physio and you will soon be doing decent walks again.
PS - do as many summits as you can before the other knee gets to the top of the waiting list!!