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Thread: Knee Injury

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    Knee Injury

    Should I be riding my bike 8 weeks removed from a knee surgery? Do I need special gear?

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    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Perhaps this is a question for your doctor?

    With that said, I know many folks whom had knee surgery and were put on stationary bikes for rehab....
    I ride with a jacked up knee on the residual side, so in essence I ride one legged. Does that count?
    One Foot Less

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    Senior Member canklecat's Avatar
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    Ask your surgeon and physical therapist to be certain. But when my seventysomething mom had knee replacement surgery around 2007 they had her up out of bed almost immediately, and follow up therapy at home included lots of time on a machine that automatically flexed her knee joint for for half hour sessions a few times a day. Within a week or two of discharge she was being encouraged to use one of those floor pedaling doodads that can be used while sitting in an ordinary chair - I thought the thing was junk, but exercise bikes never feel like the real thing.

    Same routine with her shoulder replacement surgery a few years ago - they had her up and moving almost immediately, with follow up physical therapy and evaluations. Fortunately she cooperated pretty well with physical therapy and healed as well as can be expected (she also has degenerative arthritis affecting every joint, so she was never going to be in great shape). At the other extreme my grandfather refused to cooperate with physical therapy. As a result his muscles and connective tissue deteriorated and his artificial knee joint was always popping out of joint. It was pretty grotesque looking, but he seemed to think it was amusing.

    My 70-y/o friend had hip replacement surgery a year or so ago and was back to playing tennis (slowly and gingerly) in 6-8 weeks.

    As long as therapy is appropriate for your condition, and you're spinning rather than straining, the biggest risk to bicycling might be falling and re-injuring the knee.
    Why not Zoidberg?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semicod View Post
    Should I be riding my bike 8 weeks removed from a knee surgery? Do I need special gear?
    In a former life, when I was in retail almost 50 years ago, we used to fill "prescriptions" for bicycles for a local surgeons knee patients. This was before the scope, so knee surgery was a big deal. The surgeon was a cyclist himself and a big believer in bicycles as an aid to recovery and maintaining/improving the repaired knee.

    His patients would come to the shop on crutches, barely able to walk more than a few steps, and ride off on bicycles. The keys to the therapy was an open frame to simplify mounting and dismounting (falling was highly discouraged), and gearing locked to low numbers, so they could have motion but no real force. Patients were also instructed "NO HILLS". Some were also fitted with short (childrens length) cranks to limit total motion. As they improved and the knee gained strength and support, he'd send them back to progressively allow higher gears, until they were near normal.

    So, I'd check with your doctor or rehab specialist, and ask when, and how to get back on the bike. Then learn to ride lower gears and be careful about overdoing it. The bike is not only allowable during recovery, but can be used as part of the rehab process.
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