I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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15 posts • Page 1 of 1
Anyone here riding after having a hip replacement. I ask because my hips are dodgy and one is giving me a lot of grief.
The thing is it's fine when I ride so I will put it off as long as possible if I can't continue to ride after it's replaced.
When I was in my thirties I was told they would need replacing by the time I reach 50, however I am now 62. I figure the riding, running and swimming I have done over the years has prolonged the life of the hips.
I can't swim or run anymore so want to keep riding for as long I can .
I briefly met a guy who had new hips and was riding, he was an avid rider before. During his recovery phase he was riding, but had difficulty swinging his leg over the bike, so had to sort of lay the bike down underneath him to get on/off. As far as I know that was his only issue a few months afters the op.
As I only briefly talked to him this may or may not be normal.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
Not riding, but I used to have a 92yo mate who did goat controll work in the mountains, he could get up the mountains quicker than me @28.... (Was a while ago...). He did wear out several replacements, but he never let it get in the way of his lifestyle
I had a hip replacement in 2001 and have been riding ever since. I think about it when I fall but I've never had a problem.
I had a fall in the Simpson Desert Cycle Classic in Oct 2000 and snapped the ball off the end of the femur. (I also dislocated the shoulder and fractured the humerus). An operation put 2 screws in to hold the femur together as it healed but after 6 months avascular necrosis of the femoral head became apparent so I went in for the hip replacement.
I had a check up last year and all is good. I am told that the quoted life on the artificial hip is being exceeded regularly and I don't need to worry.
At the time of the hip replacement op, I was told that running and parachuting would reduce the life of the hip due to impact stress so I haven't run much since.
Based on my experience, one word of advice - not all orthopods are equal - so get second and third opinions. Get the best surgeon you can find and tell them you are a cyclist.
Happy to answer other questions by pm,
Riding shouldn't be an issue post op, as long as your saddle height isn't too low... There are squillions of cyclists with hop replacements, some of which would say the are faster postoperatively than preop. There also had been some riders in the pro peloton riding the tour with various degrees/types of hip replacements.
All good advice above, don't let it stop you!
A word of warning though - when they do the replacement, you will inevitably end up with a different length leg. It could be longer or shorter. I had a fit client in a few months back who left with a 12mm shim stack under the cleat on the hip replacement leg. When they bang the intramedullary nail in down the femur, and shape the acetabulum to accept the new cup, they invariably get it a little bit off, so you end up with a different length leg. Getting this assessed with a standing leg-length Xray with knees locked into full extension and arms up above your head to disengage your postural control system will quantify the difference reasonably accurately and you should definately compensate with a shim under the appropriate leg.
Hmmmm, because my pelvis stayed on an angle one leg is already shorter then the other, and of course that's the worst hip.
Both hips will need replacing at some stage, although the specialist said I would be lucky to get to 50 before that occurred, I am past that by 12 years
I broke one hip when I was 20 by falling four floors off a building. The other hip when I was 35 in a car crash.
On the bike my right shoe has two cleats to help compensate for the shorter leg lol ...
I had a Birmingham hip resurfacing operation in 2001 and have been cycling with it since.
My surgeon told me that was a better option than a THR for younger patients (I'm 50).
The hip was very arthritic and painful before the operation, but is much better now.
WRT cycling: racing, track, Audax, no problem, apart from being a bit awkward getting on and off the bike, as mentioned in a previous post.
My surgeon was sanguine about me cycling with the hip, he just said: "When you fall off, try and fall on the other side."
Hope it goes well for you.
So much better without the pain and falling off is no problem, you're 1/3 titanium now, that won't break.
I was a bit stiff laterally for a year I guess but am tip top now.
Best part was rehab, as a strong cyclist before hand, they girls at rehab couldn't devise any exercises that 'tested' my legs.
Being the youngest by 30 years in the hydro pool was an issue becuase the old dears were being washed around like corks in a washing machine and I had to come for my own private sessions.
Don't ride in pain, get yourself sorted.
There's no sugarcoating it, it is fricking painful to recover from but well worth it. Got good photos too if you're interested.
Just on the odd chance that it may not be as bad as you think I'll relate an experience of mine a few years back.
I worried a lot about my right hip as it would always hurt a bit on the first long stretch DOWN a slope. Didn't do much about it, just worried every morning.
However, out of recovery of some surgery for my shoulder I was put under the direction of a specialist physio. When she got me to do an exercise that involved me balancing on one leg she was surprised that I could not do so on my right one. (I did ride the unicycle to the clinic after all.) Not able to at alll. Not just difficult, impossible. She quickly identifed however that I had a lazy right adductor which caused my right hip to be a little displaced to the right, Probably been like of for decades.
She gave me a simple exercise to do and, in no time at all, I could stand on my right leg. I noticed withing a week or so that the long standing ache disappeared and I now do the exercise pretty much daily when I wait at a set of lights.
To a carpenter everything looks like a nail and to a surgeon every thing looks like it needs surgery. In my fairly lengthy experience Physios are a generalist whereas even good surgeons are often incapable of seeing a bigger picture.
It may be of benefit to see a physio.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
I have a 70yo mate with a THR. He used to be a State level cycling champ, but his risk:reward calculus led to a decision not to race after the op. He does 300-400k a week, seriously. He is also a cautious and very capable rider, and prefers not to ride in tight bunches.
Despite all that, he has fallen once onto the THR side, but all was good. He's a smaller guy though.
As part of your risk calculus, I'd suggest you include what would happen to your health if you didn't ride. If you were likely to blow up in weight, then the risk of falling is likely countered entirely.
How does your hip stop you from swimming freestyle, if you are capable of walking?
There's not a day goes by this is not the bane of my life. The stories I could tell....
Nevertheless, I don't think generalist is the right term. They need to be specialists in musculoskeletal pathophysiology, functional anatomy, and biomechanics, which requires a lot of clinical experience to develop, and apply time, energy, and cost effectively. And then there's the problem of non compliance from patients. There's many easier and more rewarding ways to make a living.
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