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Old 10-19-04, 09:17 AM   #1
ofofhy
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Appendectomy Recovery

Hey all,
I had my appendix out a week ago. I was wondering to see what other folks' recovery times were. As in when did you get back on the bike. Of course the doctor said four weeks.
I am not so much woried about the pedaling part, but I am worried about going down or having to do some quick evasive maneuvers. My entire commute is through rush hour, center city traffic, so sometimes you have to come off the pedals fast.
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Old 10-19-04, 09:40 AM   #2
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6 weeks. 3 months after my operation, plus a 2nd one to remove part of my large intestine I was on the leadership phase of my Army leadersip course (very physical, long patrols with a combat load etc)
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Old 10-19-04, 11:03 AM   #3
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ofofhy,
Rely on your doctor's advice and even add a week or two. Theoretically, cycling should be great exercise for re-strengthening the the abdominal muscles, but doing it before the muscles are sufficiently healed could cause re-injury. The abdomen is part of your core and does more work than you realize.

Like you, my big concern is always more about accidents. Not necessarily an actual fall, but as you point out, sudden movements that stress the muscles unexpectedly. Since you are already favoring the healing wound, you are even more susceptible because you are not moving normally and may get off balance as a result. Movements you might not even notice normally become exagerated and troublesome. Better to take the extra time for complete healing than to risk re-injury or improper healing that can cause discomfort for years.

A little anecdote. A couple of years ago my brother sliced his thumb pretty badly, right through a number of tendons. The hand surgeon who repaired the damage was actually impressed because the knife was obviously extremely sharp which made the cuts very clean and easier to repair. Anyway, two days later, and, naturally contrary to his wife's urgent discouragement, he went for a ride in a friend's new boat. You can probably guess the result. Taking a turn the boat somehow caught a wave sideways and tossed everyone out. No injuries, no damage, no big deal, EXCEPT, of course for my brother's now re-opened wound, tendons re-torn, dirty water contaminating the wound. Now the friend was a skilled boater and was not hot-rodding. Nothing like this had ever happened to him before. Never in a million years could you have anticipated it. Now my brother has worse damage and dirty water. The hand surgeon has to trim the tendons a bit to get sound material to re-attach. After the original surgery thumb use was expected to return to 90-95% of normal. After second surgery maybe 85-90%. Oh, and later a third surgery was required to remove some excess scar tissue that formed as a result of the re-injury which was limiting the range of motion.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but it just goes to show you. "Things you think will never happen happen just like that." Who can name the tune and the artist?

Sometimes it is admirable to "suck it up" and "play hurt". Many time, though, it is downright stupid.
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Old 10-19-04, 03:40 PM   #4
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Take your time. A setback will be even more costly!

Maybe take a little walk.

Heal well!
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Old 10-20-04, 10:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ofofhy
Hey all,
I had my appendix out a week ago. I was wondering to see what other folks' recovery times were. As in when did you get back on the bike. Of course the doctor said four weeks.
I am not so much woried about the pedaling part, but I am worried about going down or having to do some quick evasive maneuvers. My entire commute is through rush hour, center city traffic, so sometimes you have to come off the pedals fast.
Hi there,

I had a laparascopic appendectomy last year, so maybe I can give you some of idea of recovery times. I was also given the four week restriction on strenous exercise.
Here's mine (days are post-surgery):
Day 3: slow running in the pool
Day 6: medium running in the pool
Day 12: back to fencing, taking it easy
Day 28: fencing at pre-surgery intensity

I found that doing slow, smooth exercises to start was very helpful in getting me back. From the sounds of your commuting description, you may want to wait the four weeks. Until then, it might be a good idea to do recreational riding, starting slow/short distances in low risk areas and working your way up. Don't try to play through the pain. If it hurts at all, stop. When the four weeks are done, you should be able to be both strong and fast enough to get back to your commute.

If the appendectomy was done the old-fashioned way, then recovery times will be longer. Just take it easy and if it hurts, stop.
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Old 10-20-04, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiza
Hi there,

I had a laparascopic appendectomy last year, so maybe I can give you some of idea of recovery times. I was also given the four week restriction on strenous exercise....

If the appendectomy was done the old-fashioned way, then recovery times will be longer. Just take it easy and if it hurts, stop.

Yeah, it was old-fashioned. The incision is actually less than two inches long, and the surgeon said recovery time should be equal to (possibly a few days longer) than the lap method. I am having the staples out on Friday. I have decided to not commute for the full four weeks, but just ride a stationary bike in the gym (if doc says it's OK) to keep up my strength.
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Old 10-20-04, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiza
Hi there,

I had a laparascopic appendectomy last year, so maybe I can give you some of idea of recovery times. I was also given the four week restriction on strenous exercise....

If the appendectomy was done the old-fashioned way, then recovery times will be longer. Just take it easy and if it hurts, stop.

Yeah, it was old-fashioned. The incision is actually less than two inches long, and the surgeon said recovery time should be equal to (possibly a few days longer) than the lap method. I am having the staples out on Friday. I have decided to not commute for the full four weeks, but just ride a stationary bike in the gym (if doc says it's OK) to keep up my strength.
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Old 10-21-04, 10:00 PM   #8
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After i had mine removed I was able to go on a 10 mile ride after a week. I had to go kind of slow and mainly stick to flats because I would get a slight pain in my side if I pushed myself too much. After about 5 weeks I was able to ride at about 80% of the level before the surgery.
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