Fifty Plus (50+) - Post-Op...How soon can I ride?
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10-02-09, 10:32 AM
I'm recovering from Heart Bypass surgery since 08/10/09. Just wondering how long it's taken others who have had similar surgery to get back on the bike. I should mention that I had a slight setback about three weeks ago when my chest incision developed fluid and had to be drained. The wound has not completely closed yet but it's getting there. Overall, I'm feeling okay. Legs hurt like hell where the veins were removed and my chest feels tight where the incision is healing. I really thought by now that I would be feeling better than I do. Naturally, I'm doing a lot of walking and my endurance is pretty good as far as that goes. I know that getting back on the bike is still a ways off mostly due to the length of time it takes the sternum to heal. I'm just wondering how long.
10-02-09, 10:41 AM
Best wishes for a smooth and complete recovery followed by years of happy riding.
Given the investment you and your insurance company have made in medical professionals, I'd suggest allowing them to earn their money by giving you a time estimate and providing some detailed exercise advice which takes cycling into full account.
10-02-09, 11:06 AM
Thanks for the good wishes. I'll certainly discuss it with the Surgeon or Cardiologist during my next visit.
10-02-09, 12:48 PM
Simper Fi ;Simper Fi//THE Marine corps way in this case probably wont do.But If your walking a lot [damm near a waist of time as far as bikeing is conserned]. but ask the Doc about riding a recumbent. A lot of folks here ride them here with all sorts of different problems.Best to ya from the best B.A.R man in the Corps:50:/Kenneth
10-02-09, 01:10 PM
Must be sopmething about the Marines--or EX marines
Bypass in August 99. Sat on a bike 6 weeks later and found I definitely needed a more upright riding position. At 8 weeks and I did a 20 mile ride and was struggling. Heart rate would not get above 130 and at that it felt like 170. Trained on and got a few more long rides in at a low pace and stopped if I hurt and enjotyed the downhills.
At 13 weeks I did a 40 mile organised ride. One difference- after consultation with the Consultant- I took the Beta Blocker the night before the ride-I had to keep my HR down and always ride with someone. Other than the BB the night before- the rest went out of the window. A good stiff hill and I got the HR up to 165 but stood by the ambulance till it went down to 120- and I got fed up with riding with slow riders or loud mouthed Youths on Wally mart bikes that reckoned 50 was too old to ride a bike.(I left him at the bottom of the hill).
You can recover fairly quickly- but be prepared to alter the bike to get the stress off the sternum- Watch out for the BB's slowing the HR and performance and talk to your Doctor.
EDIT- PM me if you want more details but you will have lots of pain for about 2 years. Well not lots- but pains will occur that are purely down to cycling and pains that are down to the body recovering. Do not confuse with or ignore pains coming from the chest.
10-02-09, 04:41 PM
Many cardiac rehab facilities use recumbents bikes as well as treadmills during the first 6 weeks post-op. I am a 61 yo physician and had a triple bypass 10 years and 65+ pounds ago and began on a recumbent almost immediately. I would stay on a recumbent or a treadmill for the first 10-12 weeks before trying to ride outdoors. Then I would CAREFULLY begin to bike outdoors again, using a HRM. Obviously, falling would not be good as you could injure your sternum. At 3 months you should be good to go on the bike. I was able to maintain/improve my fitness the 1st three months by daily workouts first at the cardiac rehab and later at the gym. Oh, BTW, you may feel more fatigue than usual until your red blood cell count returns to normal. You should consult your surgeon and/or cardiologist before attempting anything really strenuous. Lastly, as any biker or athlete knows, listen to your body and if something doesn't feel right get it checked out. Best wishes on a speedy recovery.
Seek medical advice from a sports physician who him/herself is fit and active. Most of the others will be far too conservative, risk-averse, and "by the book," which is precisely what you don't need right now. Lonewolf48 obviously knows what he's talking about, having been on both sides of the "bedside manner." My usual rule with any physical activity is to challenge myself into discomfort, but not pain.
However, with the issues that you've already had with your incision, it may be longer than some others have experienced, and you had better strictly attend to your surgeon's instructions about when and how to start stressing that area. Good luck!
10-04-09, 10:41 AM
Great advice from everyone and I appreciate it very much. Thank you all.
10-04-09, 11:10 AM
As with all sporting endevors, when things go well, much is possible. When things don't go well, (as in a crash) you might wish to have been doing something else. Get your advice from professionals and with their advice run your own upside and downside analysis of when you should come back.
Now go get better............we'll be looking for you on the road/trail.
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