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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Cycling After Knee or Hip Replacement?

    Just wondering if any of you over 50 like me
    have KNEE or HIP replacements. I ride with
    3 steel pins in my right hip that are about 4"
    long. At 54 I am not bothered by this but
    I figure that SOME DAY I may have to get
    a replacement.

    Likewise, I don't have any diagnosed problems
    with my left knee but it is a little tender once
    in a while during rides. I figure at some point
    in my 60's I could conceivably have to have
    work done on it/replacement.

    Anyone have real life experience with either
    of these potential maladies?

    Ned Goudy
    Glendora, CA USA

  2. #2
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    talk to Hipcycler.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  3. #3
    Member steel_knee's Avatar
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    I had total knee replacement about 10 years ago. After three weeks I was cycling and walking. After six weeks I hiked 5 miles. Now I am 67 and ride 15 to 20 miles daily.
    Ernie, 04 Dahon Speed TR (mine) and 05 Speed P8 (wife's), Ventura CA

  4. #4
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    I'm 50 and just had a total hip replacement 4.5 months ago. I am back to riding after years of not being able to do so but instead of climbing back on my DF I went and bought myself a recumbent trike. I am having a blast and the new hip has taken to the new trike without any problems. Granted my longest rides at this point have been about 25 miles a shot but my hip, knees, and leg muscles haven't ached or been sore at all. And the recumbent has made biking new and fun again.

  5. #5
    ...the answer is 42
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    At 51 (now 57) I had a complete left hip replacement and my life has never been better. I switched from mountain biking to road biking and love it. I do not have a full range of motion so getting down into the drops is not possible but I sure can do everything else without a problem. I usually bike 17 to 21 miles everyday after work and longer on the weekends, and (thank you goddess!) have had no issues with my hip. My quality of life has totally improved and believe me I'm living it at the fullest!
    ~AG~
    Cats don't like riding on a bicycle......no matter how much duct tape you use.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Team Estrogen/bikejournal.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. #6
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    I've had 3 hip surguries and 2 replacements since an auto accident at 25 years of age. I ride like nobody's business with no problems whatsoever. The last one was in 1998 and I likely will need at least one more. Since I can't run or even walk that well, cycling gives me a sense of freedom and movement that is fantastic. After the first replacement, my range of motion was limited but it was restored after the second one. The drops aren't a problem. I'm soon to be 53.

  7. #7
    a fat old bus driver bikerjohn's Avatar
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    Coping with physical limitations is totally natural and totally human, find the way around an encumbrance. Rely on yourself first!
    Let me start back in time. As a young man, I was fairly athletic and physically active. I rode bike and hiked trail, climbed and jumped about exuberantly. By the time I was 28 years old the diagnoses was of torn cartilage in 2 congenitally defective knees. I was encouraged to make a hasty decision for surgery.
    The surgeries did not improve my condition. In the case of my left knee I developed a post surgical infection that caused me the ability to shoot fluid from the incision site while I rehabbed and for the amusement/amazement of friends. The amount and distance I could eject this fluid was truly remarkable. The right knee had a more sophisticated arthroscopic procedure done. Dr.K. was enthusiastic about the technique, I recall him telling me that "what was great about this type of procedure was that it would be easier to go back and touch-up the knee with more surgery if I felt it necessary".

    After each of the 2 operations in which meniscus cartilage was removed, Dr. Wilfreid K. announced I would be able in 5 weeks to play tennis, no, that is a faulty recollection; He said he had performed the operation on others who were able to play competitive tennis within..(was it 3 weeks?) or ...time has clouded my memory! Perhaps I would not have become so fat if I had only gone out and bought a Tennis racket!

    Of course I have spoken to some who have received a "miracle cure" (or so they say) through joint surgery, so much in praise for the placebo effect I think. I suppose that having a congenital defect means there is not enough knowledge by professionals to effectively treat a specific condition with a general procedure. I would further conject, that every person is unique in their condition and responce to any procedure. The bottom line was each time I had surgery there was no improvement in my condition. Having my own experiences and the honest testimonials of others who can often be described as bewildered and resigned to the outcomes of their surgical encounters, I suggest taking the slow and cautious approach before going under the knife. Time has given me a perspective of caution about running to physicians for a "glorious healing".

    In cycling, you have found the right activity to match your ailing joints. Cycling is freedom and joy and health.

    Consulting medical authorities is always a wise idea when you encounter a health condition. Perhaps equally important is to take notice of other peoples conditions and their coping techniques. Weigh any decision for surgery carefully not with hope for the "miracle cure" but with thoughtful analysis of your observations. When you are at the orthopedics’ office look at the people there who have received their "cure". Talk with the laymen as well as the physician. Do not give any one opinion priority or favor, stay objective and realize that it is within your capacity to heal thyself of most physical conditions. Realize too that the aging process is really nothing more than educating yourself and acquiring the techniques necessary to cope with growing older.

    ...6 years ago I was a hurtin' 45 year old; My job as a snack food vendor involved serving retail outlets, walking more or less (increasingly hobbled) 3 to 5 miles a day, doing my routine 10 to 15 hours a day, 6 days a week. I ground up my knees down badly. In 1999 an Orthopedic surgeon suggested I had the knees of an 85 year old man, 'course my humongous weight (peaked at 264 in 2004) had much to do with my discomfort. I was not a good candidate for knee replacement because of my youth and excessive weight. A replacement joint could not be expected to function reliably for more than 5 to 8 years.

    I received some good advice from that doctor, though it took a few years for me to realize it. Dr. Nailer(not his real name) said I needed "a change in occupation". My interpretation has come to mean a change was needed in the way I do things as the aging process unfolded. Coping with a physical limitation is totally natural and totally human, find the way around an encumbrance and rely on yourself first. This really has become a life philosophy for me!

    Today I am out of the snack food business (now drive a school bus and love it). I am achieving a goal of increasing physical activity and continuing to decrease my weight. I have rediscovered cycling and with a fervor. I commute by bicycle as time and weather allow (some weeks 85 miles).

    Thankfully, counter to much advice, surgery was not the answer for me. I am riding my bikes about 2000 miles a year now and hope to increase the miles as time allows in the future. Riding has helped my muscle tone, straightened my gait, and helped my weight loss. My weight is about 225lbs and I am continuing to monitor my caloric balance. I am trying to keep my net caloric intake to under 2100 calories per day. Actually I think further weight loss will come when I get my net intake down to 2000 calories per day. I keep a food and exercise diary to help me monitor my efforts. I take supplements such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM sulfates, additional calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, Flax seed oil, green tea, caffeine, nicotine, occasional ginseng and taurine.

    I'd encourage everyone to find their way through listening to themselves first. Make choices based on balancing advice and experiences of others with your own interpretation of the encumbrance as you perceive it. Be encouraged to seek a unique method of compensating for the ravages and deficiencies that life lends you to acquire. Seek your unique method for coping with the realities of life.
    Last edited by bikerjohn; 10-22-05 at 12:51 PM. Reason: spelling errors corrected

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphaltgurl
    At 51 (now 57) I had a complete left hip replacement and my life has never been better. I switched from mountain biking to road biking and love it. I do not have a full range of motion so getting down into the drops is not possible but I sure can do everything else without a problem. I usually bike 17 to 21 miles everyday after work and longer on the weekends, and (thank you goddess!) have had no issues with my hip. My quality of life has totally improved and believe me I'm living it at the fullest!
    ~AG~

    Thanks to all who have replied to my original post.
    I was happy to see that so many have responded.

    I am encouraged that if I need a knee or hip replacement
    that I can indeed still ride.

    And for the record, I broke my hip on a blowout on my
    RECUMBENT bike, but within two months and two weeks
    of the DAY of the break I rode the same bike a round trip
    of 84 miles. Recumbents are the only way to go for me.

    Thanks again, I gotta go now and get me at least 15 miles.

    Ned Goudy

  9. #9
    Junior Member CoastRoadie's Avatar
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    In 1974 I had a major knee rebuilding job - motocross racer/crasher. Doc told me to look forward to full replacement in 25-30 years. Well, his timeframe just past, but my knee is fine for its age 60 yrs. Riding to *avoid* replacement is a key motivator for me. In fact, I look forward to AIDS ride from SF to LA next june. Never did a charity run.

    My hat's off to you who continue to flog the pedals after replacement. Rock on!
    Tom - SoCal

    Look KG 281
    I'm not old, just older than I remember being in the past.

  10. #10
    Junior Member CoastRoadie's Avatar
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    First of all, my hat's off to all you who continue to flog the pedals after replacement. Rock on! I'm glad to read so many positive stories of riding success after replacement. My S-in law had her knee done last year and has slowed way down and gained a lot of weight. Sad.

    In 1974 I had a major knee rebuilding job - not replacement. I was then a motocross racer/crasher. Doc told me to look forward to full replacement in 25-30 years. Well, his timeframe just past, but my knee is in fine shape. Riding to *avoid* replacement is a key motivator for me. In fact, at 60 yrs. I look forward to AIDS ride from SF to LA next June. Never did a charity run.
    Tom - SoCal

    Look KG 281
    I'm not old, just older than I remember being in the past.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Having just broken my hip in a auto/bike accident this august at age 37, reading that you can keep cycling like daredevi and you, Ned, has gives me a lot of hope. I probably have similar pins, 3 honking big screws in the top of the leg bone. I have no idea yet if I can actually ride again.

  12. #12
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    I'm hoping to get back on my bike after a car accident (not my fault) cause a shattered pelvis on my right side. 23 screws!!, 3 plates and a hip replacement later. I've just started to exercise on a spin bike, Xfingers I can us my road bike down the track .

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Welcome Batesy, but sad about the car accident. That had to be one h*** of a car accident to shatter your pelvis. Here's hoping for a very quick recovery and return to the saddle.

  14. #14
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    I had hip replacement about 3 1/2 years ago. Last year I rode RAGBRAI with no problems. I rode over 900 miles training for RAGBRAI last summer as well. It took me a year to be confident on the bike again, but after that, I had better range of motion and could ride much more comfortably.
    2011 Raleigh International
    '73 World Voyageurs -
    Proud owner of all three colors made! Orange, Blue , Yellow .

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