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  1. #1
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
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    Hip Replacement Questions

    My lovely wife of 38 years is facing hip replacement and possibly knee replacement surgery in the very near future. Her biggest concern is will she be able to return to cycling after the hip surgery and I was hoping to find some positive results here. So if you or someone you know have had this surgery and were able to return to cycling it would be great to hear your stories.

    Thanks In Advance
    "It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love". Blazeman, Warrior Poet

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    A guy in one of the clubs that I ride with is a retired 64 yr old school teacher. He had his hip replaced last January. In June he completed 227 miles during a 24 hr endurance event.

    I also ride with another 58 yr old who had both knees replaced about 5 years ago when he could no longer run. He can still hammer on the bike and does sprint triathlons.

    Both those guys are the type of person that wont let anything stop them from doing something they enjoy.

    I hope things go well for your wife.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  3. #3
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    I am hoping people will comment back to this thread with successful stories to encourage your wife before she has the surgeries. I, too, am interested in this subject as I am doing everything I can to avoid having knee surgery because I am fearful of what will come after, in terms of recovery time and then being able to cycle to the extent that I do now. I am currently undergoing Supartz injections in hopes that doing so will give me the cushioning I am lacking between the bones at the knee cap.

  4. #4
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    My wife (at age 70) had a knee replacement (minimally invasive surgery)
    Prior to the surgery, she did a lot of stationary bicycling, and kept her muscles in great shape. This helped greatly with quick recovery.

    She recovered quickly and well and rides with regularly with no problem whatsoever. She is much more mobile now then she was before the surgery.

    The only inconvenience is going through metal detectors at the airport!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    That's encouraging, but had can knee replacement be minimally invasive surgery? Sounds like being out on the bike will be good preparation if and when I give up and have the surgery (sigh).

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktytrfan View Post
    That's encouraging, but had can knee replacement be minimally invasive surgery? Sounds like being out on the bike will be good preparation if and when I give up and have the surgery (sigh).

    Somehow, the surgeon cuts a whole lot less muscles - I don't know the details, but do a google and see what you find out.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  8. #8
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    I had hip replacement surgery in 2000, when I was 51. I was overweight and out of shape. I started riding in 2002 and for last several years have ridden 6,000 to 7,000 miles. I do several races and several long rides each year. I have had several bad falls (none for the last few years) and the hip was never an issue. One of my falls was actually directly on the artificial hip. I broke a bone (greater cantor) that is right next to the hip joint but the artificial hip was undamaged.

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    My 34 year old son had a hip replaced last year. He had a bone graft at the site so had to treat it like a break and stay off the hip for a few weeks for the graft to take. His doc wanted him to avoid raising his knee to his chest so he had to stay off his Coppi and ride his Surly but over a year later he has started riding his Coppi anyway.
    He was really ready for the surgery and almost couldn't ride anymore so the outcome is very satisfactory.

    If your wife's replacement is due to partially corrected congenital displasia then the question of a bone graft comes up. My son's doc said that his replacement would be fine without a graft now but that when it came time to replace the worn hip in 30 years it would be much preferable for the future replacement if he had a graft now.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ZmanKC's Avatar
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    I had my right knee replaced 10 years ago when I was 46. I've also had two surgeries on my left knee since then. Running is out of the question but cycling is one of the few activities I'm able to do..

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    knee replacements

    I had bilateral total knee replacements on 7/2/08 (yep, both knees). Stationary bike riding is one of the 1st rehab exercises I started (after all the straight leg raises). I am VERY happy with my new knees. Yes, it was a slow & difficult recovey, but I did everything I was told to do (likely for the 1st time in my life), and I rode my bike several miles for the 1st time at 7 months in recovery. I likely could have begun before that, but I wanted to be totally comfortable with my balance and range of motion in both legs before I started. That was a very happy day for me!

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    Incidentally, my son's knee was giving him a lot of pain but the corrected hip has cured that for the time being.

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    My friend recovered splendidly, he went down a size with his latest bike & rides like a demon. I don't know exactly how long he waited but caught most of the following season. He complains more about ill-fitting cycling wear now. I've had knee problems; correct footware, cycling and otherwise help. Short,easy rides are in order for two or so month long spells.

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    12bar,

    I had my right hip replaced in 1998 and my left hip in 2008 (at 62). It is not minor surgery, but it is very routine and most people get dramatic relief from pain and stiffness. Other than being conscious of the range of motion limitations (which fade with time), I have no restrictions on my physical activities. I ride as often as possible, play tennis occasionally and may snow ski next winter.

    Within a month or two following hip replacement, most people say "it doesn't hurt anymore" and "I should have had it done a long time ago".

  15. #15
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    I had my left hip replaced about three years ago, and as others have said, I wish I would have done it sooner: but I was only 45 at the time. My hip had completely fused, and created some extra problems for my surgeon, or so he told me the next day.

    It was my surgeon that suggested that I get some low to no impact exercise, and bicycling would be a great way to get it. That worked out fine with me, because I loved bicycling up until the time my hip got so bad that I couldnít even get on it anymore.

    Iíve made a couple of concessions in my riding style, and my choice of bicycles (low step, or Mixte now), but I have found that I still enjoy riding as much or more than I ever did. Actually my mixte has turned out to be one of my all time favorite bikes. (but I digress)

    Anyway my point is; there isnít much I canít do now that I could do before the surgery, and several things I can now do, that I couldnít do right before the surgery.

    But, now I need a knee replacement, and the other hip done sometime soonÖ
    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  16. #16
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
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    I really appreciate all the replies and words of encouragement, it's good to know she should be able to get back in the saddle after all is said and done. Cycling is a very important part of our life and while it wouldn't be the end of the world if she couldn't ride anymore it would be very hard on her emotionally. We have been riding together for over 25 years and would hate to lose that.

    Thanks Again

    12bar & Mrs 12bar
    "It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love". Blazeman, Warrior Poet

    11 Giant Talon 1, 10 Masi 3VC, 08 Long Haul Trucker, 08 Felt Curbside, 99 Specialized Allez

  17. #17
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    I know I'm a little late to this, but my father had an osteotomy, ( I think that's what it's called when they cut a wedge out of your shin bone), in the eighties, both knees replaced in the late nineties and a hip replacement in 2007 and still gets on the bike every day, he's 77 by the way.

  18. #18
    Magnum Propulsion
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    I had a left total hip replacement on March 4, 2008. On May 1st I was OK'd by my surgeon to start riding my bike again. His main concern wasn't about the cycling, but that I'd fall. I rode regularly, and in a month's time was doing ocassional 30 milers.

    In July I was feeling great, and took a ride to my sister's for a 4th picnic. On the way a big dog blindsided me as I was rolling along fast on the paved road. I landed directly on my left side, and my hip took a big part of the blow. The hip joint was fine, but a corner of the prosthesis damaged the tissue over it pretty badly, causing a hematoma the size of a half a canteloupe to form. It caused me problems over the next few months, but is OK now.

    I didn't ride much the rest of 2008, but got back into biking heavily this last June. Since then I've ridden a good 1500 miles, including three 100 milers. Just yesterday I rode 91 miles for pie.
    In all that riding, my hip only bothered me last May when I started. It was still healing, and didn't take too kindly to being stretched and moved around like that.
    Now, I rarely have pain in the hip joint itself. Sometimes the muscles around it hurt just a little, but nothing major.

    One of my biggest concerns with the new joint was that the constant repetitive motion of cycling would wear the metal away, but my surgeon said that was not a problem. I checked the website of the company that makes my hip joint, and found that the ball and socket actually wear less over time. The bearing surfaces actually are self polishing, and over time become so smooth and fitted to each other that wear is minimal.

    12Bar, make sure your wife tells her surgeon she plans to do some cycling, so he/she can choose the appropriate prosthesis to install. Different artificial joints have different qualities. This is the one I ended up getting...

    http://www.wmt.com/Bigfemoralhead/default.asp

    If the insurance will cover it, ask the surgeon to OK a visit to a physical therapist once or twice a week for several weeks, starting very soon after the surgery. The first time I went to physical therapy, I couldn't even sit on the regular office chairs because they were too low for me. That was one week after my surgery. It's not standard practice for new hip patients to go to therapy, but I know it sped up my recovery. I started riding the exercise bike at therapy at week 3 or 4.

    Looks like there are a lot of other cyclists here that have new hips and ride a lot. I'm sure your wifey will be no different after her installation procedure.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12bar View Post
    My lovely wife of 38 years is facing hip replacement and possibly knee replacement surgery in the very near future. Her biggest concern is will she be able to return to cycling after the hip surgery and I was hoping to find some positive results here. So if you or someone you know have had this surgery and were able to return to cycling it would be great to hear your stories.

    Thanks In Advance
    I did not read the entire thread but my brother rides and had his hip 'shaved' instead of replaced. He is riding again. The surgeon is in South Carolina and specializes in this proceedure. It is worth looking into

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaBoy View Post
    I did not read the entire thread but my brother rides and had his hip 'shaved' instead of replaced. He is riding again. The surgeon is in South Carolina and specializes in this proceedure. It is worth looking into
    That's the Birmingham hip resurfacing system. It's becoming really popular if it's suited to your particular condition and preferable to hip replacement. The OP's wife should make sure whether that might be suitable for her before proceeding with a full replacement.

    http://www.birminghamhipresurfacing.com/

  21. #21
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    Two guys I ride with, one 70, the other 76 have had hip replacements in the past two years and were back on their bike within three months. They are the fastest in our group by far!

  22. #22
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    "12Bar, make sure your wife tells her surgeon she plans to do some cycling, so he/she can choose the appropriate prosthesis to install. Different artificial joints have different qualities."


    Yep I agree 100%... I got the Depuy Big Femoral head, Metal on Metal hip installed, because of my age, and fairly active lifestyle. I saw on TV the other day where Zimmer was having a recall on some of their hip implants: Scary stuff... I'm glad I didn't go with that model... The Zimmer model was one of my many choices.
    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  23. #23
    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    I am 61 and had a total hip replacement 8 weeks ago. Last weekend I rode 46 fairly hilly miles. My first ride was at 19 days and I did a very flat, slow, 10 miles. No pain afterwords.
    http://geraldatwork.blogspot.com/
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  24. #24
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    My first post on Bike Forums asked the same question, only it was for me.

    I had both hips replaced July 08 (left) and Sept. 08 (right) at the age of 54. I had given up riding for several years because of the pain.

    I am back to riding several times a week. One ride was nearly three hours.

    3 weeks ago I biffed it really "good." I received 11 stitches in my left knee and my ankle looked pregnant, it still is swollen. The hips are fine. I went down hard on my left side. The joint has never ached at all. The technology is fantastic. The only problem she can expect long term is getting through the airport. She will get extra attention, plan on it and enjoy her bionic limbs.

    Best of healing and rehab to you. Its gonna be hard for you as well. She will need a couple of months of babying, then look out. She will ride you into the ground.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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