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Old 07-29-08, 03:49 PM   #1
makeitwork
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Biking after fusion. Possible?

I'm new here, and getting ready to start riding again after many years (currently converting my old 10-speed to a single-speed). Mostly just errands and around the park for now.

Still working through some health issues, but the one that has me most concerned is a cervical spinal fusion (C5-C6 for those in the know) that isn't healing correctly. The fusion never fused, though the neurosurgeon says it could happen in the next year or two. The plate's holding well, but some bone spurs have developed. I feel better after moving around all day, and hope that biking will not only provide some motion, but also strengthen muscles in that area. My doctor's okay with continuing normal activities.

Anyone else here returning to biking after this kind of thing? I'm still a little leery -- the spinal compression that led to surgery was severe, so part of my brain still wants to think I'm fragile, even though it was done three years ago. I'm hoping biking -- which I've missed terribly all these years -- will let me get physically and psychologically past these barriers.

Normally I'm pretty tough about things -- no painkillers during recovery, suck-it-up-and-deal with most things. But this is different.

I'm not really sure what I'm asking here Encouragement? Advice? Commiseration?
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Old 07-29-08, 04:12 PM   #2
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You may have to take some extra time playing around with the fit of your bike. That initial fit will probably change as you continue to ride more.

I would think that as long as your not doing any hardcore jumping over things on the bike that it should not present a problem.

As with all things done with a questionable back...............start a little easier than most and go to whatever level is comfortable.
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Old 07-29-08, 06:45 PM   #3
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My girl friend has exactly the same fusion. She had a cadaver bone put in and her bone grew over it almost immediately (3 months). She says she could see the fusing starting in the xrays after just a couple of weeks. She had her surgery when she was 40. She was able to ride centuries easily after fusion.

You might want to get the dreaded second opinion.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:16 AM   #4
makeitwork
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
You may have to take some extra time playing around with the fit of your bike. That initial fit will probably change as you continue to ride more.

I would think that as long as your not doing any hardcore jumping over things on the bike that it should not present a problem.

As with all things done with a questionable back...............start a little easier than most and go to whatever level is comfortable.
Thanks! The bike fit me well when I was in my twenties, but flexibility has probably changed since then. I'm tinkering with handlebar height mostly -- setting it up a little higher than it was before, especially for when I'm in the drops.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:21 AM   #5
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My girl friend has exactly the same fusion. She had a cadaver bone put in and her bone grew over it almost immediately (3 months). She says she could see the fusing starting in the xrays after just a couple of weeks. She had her surgery when she was 40. She was able to ride centuries easily after fusion.

You might want to get the dreaded second opinion.
The doctor showed me the current x-rays, and there was definitely a gap where the fusion should be. The initial prediction was that it should be almost fused at six months, with increasing density for a few months after that. If it doesn't fuse within the next eighteen months, we'll be redoing everything. Ugh.

Congrats to your girlfriend! It's good to hear that it's possible to be at 100% after a fusion!
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