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Old 02-12-04, 01:21 PM   #1
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Riding with HERNIA!

Just wondering if any of you guys out there are riding with a herniated condition.. For the first time, I started experiencing constant mild lower abdominal pain on my left side a few weeks ago so I decided to ease up on cycling a bit.. Last week my doc told me I have hernia and would schedule me an appointment with a specialist. The specialist/surgeon told me my inguinal hernia is mild and is very common and gave me an option of getting it fixed or not if this condition isn't bothering me. He basically advised me not to alter my life syle and to continue with my normal activities, including running and cycling.. So I opted not to get operated on for the time being and to see if my condition worsens or not. I've been on the bike a couple of times since and it hasn't bothered me except for an occasional discomfort and very mild pain. Any thoughts?? Thanks!

George

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Old 02-12-04, 02:08 PM   #2
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Yep when I had my physical a couple of years ago I got the same prognosis and the same advice. I have not had any trouble with mine. I even have a physical job and it hasn't affected it.
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Old 02-12-04, 02:26 PM   #3
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Have had 3 hernias of the type you describe. 2 while in the Army, left, then right side, then about 2 years later the right side returned. Wasn't riding during the first 2, running, the last one was when I was first entering the sport. The last surgery was 15 years ago. The only time I think of it is if I start going really heavy in weight training, most refer to this as a phantom pain, probably tugging some old scar tissue. Never think about it while riding.

From my personal experience, if you're active, it will worsen sooner or later, before my last surgery, I can remember riding comfortably, only to stand for a sprint and have the odd discomfort come back to remind me something wasn't right downstairs.

From what I read, newer procedures of repair are much more tolerable, people claiming they're back in the gym in a few weeks. 15 years ago, I was off the bike for 2 months, did that because I thought the reoccurrence of the right side was because I got back on it to fast, so I followed the surgeons instructions 100%.

I'd suggest finding out if repairing it now will make the recovery faster than if you wait for it to worsen. Do some research on the latest repair techniques, make sure the person you're working with is giving you the best chance of a good recovery and a lasting outcome.

My opinion, I'd have it repaired in a heartbeat, it will be behind you and you'll hardly think about it ever again.

Hope this is helpful, just my personal experience.
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Old 02-12-04, 04:12 PM   #4
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My wife is an RN in surgical recovery... there's a well worn saying amoung Dr.'s with regard to hernia's....

"Go about your normal activities, we'll see you sooner O.R. later"

This is taken to mean... get it fixed, they dont go away, they don't mend, and they always worsen.... may take years but it will get worse and of course the older you get the more of a potential difficulty it is for your body to recover through any surgical procedure.

Her .02 cents to you... bite the leadpipe and schedule the procedure.
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Old 02-12-04, 04:13 PM   #5
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I just had my third inguinal hernia repaired in January. These all occurred over a 20 year span. It has been my experience that your hernia will worsen over time. My first two surgeries were the traditional incisions types, this last surgery was the laparoscopic procedure. This is the method you want, my recovery time was a week! as apposed to the 60/90 day for my previous surgeries.
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Old 02-12-04, 04:46 PM   #6
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Hmmm......my dad had both sides repaired a few yrs back when he was in his sixties. In both cases, they inserted a small mesh, stitched him back, sent him home only after a couple of hours, and was told to immediately walk about a mile. He was back to work within 48 hours.

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Old 02-12-04, 06:03 PM   #7
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I have an inguinal hernia (the turn-your-head-and-cough kind) and it used to give me lots of trouble.

Years ago, before I started cycling, if I sneezed while sitting down it would hurt like you can't imagine- as if someone had stabbed an ice pick between the boys.

After I started riding a bicycle every day (from 1994 on) I have had almost no trouble. My theory (and it is just that, a theory) is that the bicycle saddle puts pressure in just the right spot and pushes everything back inside so my innards don't get pinched whenever I sneeze and cause the muscles to contract.
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Old 02-12-04, 07:17 PM   #8
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What can be done to prevent such things? I'm 38- no tummy bulge- but I wouldn't say my abs are a 6-p..
Does total ab work help this condition?
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Old 02-12-04, 07:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycletourist
After I started riding a bicycle every day (from 1994 on) I have had almost no trouble. My theory (and it is just that, a theory) is that the bicycle saddle puts pressure in just the right spot and pushes everything back inside so my innards don't get pinched whenever I sneeze and cause the muscles to contract.
That makes sense and I'm hoping for that in my case...

George
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Old 02-12-04, 09:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jeff williams
What can be done to prevent such things? I'm 38- no tummy bulge- but I wouldn't say my abs are a 6-p..
Does total ab work help this condition?
Inguinal hernias are congenital defects. you are born with a defect in your fascia lining the abdominal cavity and heavy lifting and increased intrabdominal pressure brings it out. If you aren't born with the defect, all the lifting in the world won't give you a inguinal or femoral hernia...a bad back but no hernia. Acquired hernias or non congenital hernias are usually due to previous surgeries (incisional hernias). Pregnancy can thin the fascia to the point they rip in pregnant women.
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Old 02-12-04, 09:28 PM   #11
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First time I had that examined, doctor didn't asked, just grabbed my nuts and asked me to cough. Needless to say, when a large fat man has your nuts in his hand, you're pretty much out of options...

Anyway, it came out clear but I'm wondering what exactly this hernia felt like because everyonce in a while I get a pain in my lower abdomen in my right side, like my appendix is swelling or something. It usually goes away and I have no clue what it is.
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Old 02-13-04, 11:07 PM   #12
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First time I had that examined, doctor didn't asked, just grabbed my nuts and asked me to cough. Needless to say, when a large fat man has your nuts in his hand, you're pretty much out of options...


Ah... so that's what they're checking... honestly, i didn't know.
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Old 02-19-04, 01:32 AM   #13
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LOL! @ What slvoid said.
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Old 02-19-04, 05:08 AM   #14
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I have a hernia in the stomach wall, I cannot remember what the specialist called it. I am scheduled to have it fixed in June when we are in our winter and after a 170km race we entered. The procedure will be done by keyhole surgery. What I need to know, how long will I be out of action. Another post suggested very short. The doctor at first said very short but later changed his mind.

Keep those wheels spinning!!!!!!

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Old 02-19-04, 01:44 PM   #15
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During a big snow storm in college, when I was riding, I passed car drivers who were having trouble on the road. When I saw three people trying to push a truck out of a snow pile, I dismounted from my bike, to lend a hand. I felt smug as I hopped back on my bike and rode away, but not for long. It was during the big push that I first felt my abdominal cavity rip. This was on Thanksgiving. I had surgery the day after Christmas.
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Old 02-19-04, 11:39 PM   #16
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I had the conventional surgery for 1 side back in 1965 with 6 weeks off work to recover. Then again a year ago to fix the other side which had become quite painful any time I did any heavy exertion. It's a quick procedure now (surgery in the morning & home at Noon) & the recovery period is much shorter but the conventional repair does require some pain medication for a day or two. With doctor's approval (he said go ahead whenever you think you're up to it), I began cycling again on day 4. I had picked up a mixte step thru type 10 speed & put an old Schwinn sprung seat on it just for my operation. Doctor said I made a quicker than normal recovery. Get it done now, not later when it becomes a problem. Don
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Old 02-20-04, 04:24 PM   #17
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A friend of mine had hernia surgery recently- it was pretty straightforward, he went home the same day. He'd had the problem for years but it had recently started bothering him again. He's not a cyclist, though. However, I'd imagine that it wouldn't be too long before you could get back to normal. Just be careful taking off the top of the ketchup bottle!
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Old 02-20-04, 04:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
He basically advised me not to alter my life syle and to continue with my normal activities, including running and cycling.. So I opted not to get operated on for the time being and to see if my condition worsens or not. I've been on the bike a couple of times since and it hasn't bothered me except for an occasional discomfort and very mild pain. Any thoughts?? Thanks!

George
We had a member of our group that had hernia problems for a couple of years before he had it fixed. The hernia was causing him a problem, as he could never tell when it was going to cause a problem, and it was normally when we were in the remotest part of the trail, with no roads nearby to get him recovered. He had the OP. stopped cycling for 4 weeks to give time to heal, but took up walking to replace cycling for this period. When he came back to cycling, he was more adventurous, faster downhills, longer routes, more technical trails Etc. We still had to get him recovered though, Once by Ambulance, as he then got too adventurous, and kept falling off and damaging the bike or himself.
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Old 02-20-04, 06:12 PM   #19
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Thanks for the thorough description, cbhungry.

I've felt pain down there on rare occasion when I cought or sneeze. I mean like once every 6 or 8 months or more. This wouldn't be a hernia would it?
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Old 04-24-04, 08:29 AM   #20
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Hi guys

Well I had my operation. It was doen on Thursday a week ago. I slept over in hospital and have a cut about four inches long starting just above my navel in a southerly direction. I am due to see the Surgeon on Monday and hope he will remove the staples and give the green light to start cycling again. I had almost no pain and the newly growing hair gave me the most discomfort. A doctor friend of mine said that this is the biggest problem of this procedure..... the fact that you do not feel bad at all. It is then when you hurt yourself again. Hope to be back on the bike soon. We have to do a 170km one day stage race early in June.

Keep those wheels spinning!!!!

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Old 04-24-04, 09:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big H
I have a hernia in the stomach wall, I cannot remember what the specialist called it. I am scheduled to have it fixed in June when we are in our winter and after a 170km race we entered. The procedure will be done by keyhole surgery. What I need to know, how long will I be out of action. Another post suggested very short. The doctor at first said very short but later changed his mind.

Keep those wheels spinning!!!!!!

Big H
Had my umbilical hernia repaired in September. Doc told me six weeks no lifting or cycling. I left hte hospital that day and was back at work in two, no pain. That's where the danger lies - Doc says even though the superficial wound has healed, it takes the muscle wall up to a year to heal completely.

Follow Doc's advice, resist temptation to ride even though you feel fine a few days after the procedure.
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Old 05-02-04, 08:06 PM   #22
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Had my umbilical hernia repaired in September. Doc told me six weeks no lifting or cycling. I left hte hospital that day and was back at work in two, no pain. That's where the danger lies - Doc says even though the superficial wound has healed, it takes the muscle wall up to a year to heal completely.

Follow Doc's advice, resist temptation to ride even though you feel fine a few days after the procedure.
by umbilical hernia I presume you mean your belly button? I've had something like that going on now for a couple of years (got worse as I became more overweight). Essentially, my innie became an outtie (guts pushing out through the navel). In the past year I've lost quite a bit of the weight (60+ lbs) through a good diet and riding. I plan to have it taken care of someday as I believe it is one of those things that never really goes away. Anyway, this morning I felt cramps and the outtie felt weird/hard. I had to lay down flat on my back and massage the area to loosen things up and get the outtie pushed back in. Does any of this sound like what you had? Please advise.
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Old 05-03-04, 12:45 PM   #23
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I just had hernia surgery on April 6th. I had a left inguinal hernia, and chose to have it operated on via the canadian method (i believe it's spelled schulstezed). This is supposed to be a 3 day recovery time. I think my doctor was a little optimistic about this. However, I did go home about 9 hours after sugery. The pain was pretty intense for about 3 days, then I was able to ride home on a 2 hour car ride back to school. I was able to walk around pretty much right away, it just hurt like a *****. The doctor only gave me 250mg of vicodin. Really wasn't the drug that I needed. About 3 weeks after that I started running again, and just yesterday I was back to my normal pre-surgery pace.
I never had any pain from my hernia, I'm just planning on going into the military in the fall. I'm not sure about other programs, but I know I wouldn't be able to pass a flight physical while having it. Otherwise I think I would have just let it slide. My roomate had traditional surgery and his recovery was something like 2 months. So I guess mine wasn't too bad. Right now the only think thats really strange about the hernia is that the tissue on top of the mesh is completely numb. My roomate had his done like 3 years ago and his is still numb. Just glad that this numbness didn't go a little lower, would have really ruined my social life....lol.
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Old 05-03-04, 12:52 PM   #24
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Hi

I had my hernia repaired. It is called a ventral hernia and was right above my bellybutton. I firts noticed it in December 2000 and damaged it further a year ot two ago while swimming. I also had an "outtie" and could gently push it back through the tear in the tomach wall. It became progressively worse and I went to see the sugeaon who advised me to have the procedure done. I was done at about one o clock (13hoo)and was up and walking by 7 o clock (19h00) the same day. I was discharged the next day before 12 and was told to rest. I spent two weeks at home and had my first full working day today. Not easy but I survived. My surgeon also said that I can cycle as much as I want to but no gym work that might put undue stress on the healing area. The biggest problem with this procedure is that I never felt any pain, just a little bit uncomfortable. beacause there is nothing that hinders you one might damage or tear the stomach wall again. The danger is that the intestine might get trapped in the tear and cut off blood supply. You then need ER urgently. All sorts of nasties like gangreen might set in. Better to see your surgeon and listen to what he has to say.

Keep those wheels spinning !!!

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Old 05-03-04, 01:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaper007
I just had hernia surgery on April 6th. I had a left inguinal hernia, and chose to have it operated on via the canadian method (i believe it's spelled schulstezed). This is supposed to be a 3 day recovery time.
What exactly is this Canadian method? I think the only procedure my HMO uses is the insertion of the screen mesh thingy, patch you up, and tell you to go walk a mile when you get home the same day.
The only discomfort I experience is when I'm just standing around doing my usual thing. Every so often I need to push things back in place, if you know what I mean. But as far as during running and cycling, it doesn't bother me at all. Anyway, I am getting it fixed this year. The 'pushing' it back in place is becoming too frequent..... more of an inconvinience issue.... especially when I need to push when I'm in public, for instance....

George
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