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  1. #1
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Recovering from surgery

    Anyone here ever have major surgery? I'm sure a few of you have. I've had major abdominal surgery recently to remove scar tissue that had strangled my intestine. This was around March 10. I'm doing a lot better and will be going for my postop appointment this week. The surgeon told me at the hospital that I surgeon told me I'll be fine and make a full recovery.I almost feel like I never had surgery! I've had surgery before so I know how it is. But of course, I want to know how long it can be until I get back on my bike. I'll ask the doctor of course, but we all know how it is- a lot of doctors don't know much about sports and they probably assume everyone will go home and be a couch potato. Needless to say I don't think I'll be able to ride for a little while yet, and when I do I know I will have to start SLOW. WHich is okay since this is the early season around here. I've lost weight and have to get my strength back. So, anyone have similar experiences? Hearing it from other cyclists is just as relevant as doctor's advice!
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  2. #2
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    hey wabbit,

    you can read about my ACL surgery i had last week (March 25) on this thread: bikeforums.net/showthread.php?p=434168

    i will be allowed to ride on the bike trainer after 4 weeks, easy road riding 5 weeks, easy MTBing 6 weeks and full MTBing after 6 weeks.

    in 1992 i had my spleen removed and i was not allowed to do any sports for 6 weeks.

    i think it realyl depends on your surgery - the main danger is overstressing the operated area -- so riding on a trainer you can usually do early but because you could fall riding outside is usually first allowed after 5-6 weeks.

    hope it continues to go well. i am doing well and hoping to get healed and get back on the bike and back to trainnig (i still hope to do my 8-day MTB stage race end of July)
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  3. #3
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Spleen removal is also pretty major, but i guess it'll have the same or similar timeline. I probably won't be allowed to get on the bike for at least another 2 weeks. Fortunately, the weather is really crappy right now so I'm not missing a thing. I'll be seeing the surgeon tomorrow. As for knee surgery, that's something totally different. I was encouraged, though,reading about Paola Pezzo, who had an emergency appendectomy late in Feb and just raced a few days ago!

    Are you really doing the Trans-alp? What's the route for this year? I can't believe anyone finishes it at all, but I am sure there are quite a few abandons.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  4. #4
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    I had major abdominal surgery in 1999. I wasn't into bike riding at that stage, but I was swimming a couple of kilometres 3-4 times a week. My surgeon basically encouraged me to get physically active as soon as possible. I was back swimming a kilometre the week after the stitches were removed. I actually walked around the ward in the hospital 8 times (that added up to a mile) trailing my saline drip stand behind me within 3 days of the surgery.

    I guess you've just got to do what you feel comfortable with. If it doesn't cause you pain, then go for it!

  5. #5
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbit
    Are you really doing the Trans-alp? What's the route for this year? I can't believe anyone finishes it at all, but I am sure there are quite a few abandons.
    i'm hoping if my recovery goes well i will be able to take part. obvioulsy placing near the top is out as i will miss AT LEAST 8 weeks of INTENSENSE training. i will decide middle of May if i think i will be able to train and race it ( i would have just over 8 weeks to really train)

    the route for the Transalp Challenge this year is similar to last year but they have added a Switzerland section. it goes from Mittenwald Germany, through Ishgl, then Italy Switzerland short and then Italy down to Lake Garda. 8 days and 620km and over 20,000meters verticaly.

    good luck with your recovery (mine is going ok. had my doctor followup yesterday and everything is good. i had a little swelling and my lower leg is bruised from that, but today, day 7 the welling is WAY down)
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  6. #6
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    The surgeon told me today that six weeks from surgery is the date when I can get back to normal stuff, so that's three weeks from now. I'm healing very well, she says and barring any more complications I'll be good to go by around april 21. No way would I try anything strenuous right now, I'm still healing and my incision isn't quite healed yet, so walking is about it for now.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  7. #7
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    wabbit

    Good luck healing! Ask your Doc about physical therapy then you have supervised riding a stationary bike or treadmill or whatever that way you can build up faster.

    Joe

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    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Its all relative to the type of surgery. I had major back surgery last February and wasnt allowed on my bike for 3 months. I wasnt able to comfortably support myself so I delayed it for another 2 months.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  9. #9
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I saw the surgeon today and she said I'm recovering well, the incision looks great and I should be okay. I asked and she said six weeks from the day of surgery is the okay date for getting back to normal physical activity. SO that's another three weeks.

    I'm just wondering how to build up to it. I fear I'm going to have no strengh or lung capacity at all unless I do something to warm up for it. Although I'm probably a lot stronger than I think, I may go back to the gym and work out a bit first, and I don't expect to go on any serious rides right off the bat. My early season plans were to go on climbing rides and build up my legs for later in the season, that's been changed obviously. However, it would have been postponed anyways, since the early april weather here is just horrible. AFter really nice weather late in march, it's now cold, windy,raining and we're even expecting wet snow for the next week. It's like Paris-Roubaix weather, but those guys get paid! Hardly anyone is getting out around here.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbit
    I saw the surgeon today and she said I'm recovering well, the incision looks great and I should be okay. I asked and she said six weeks from the day of surgery is the okay date for getting back to normal physical activity. SO that's another three weeks.

    I'm just wondering how to build up to it. I fear I'm going to have no strengh or lung capacity at all unless I do something to warm up for it. Although I'm probably a lot stronger than I think, I may go back to the gym and work out a bit first, and I don't expect to go on any serious rides right off the bat.

    Hate to say it but 2 bouts of being cut about, Bypass and Prostate cancer. Back on the bike after the bypass after 6 weeks, but gently. Literally up and down the road, and it was not the surgery that was the problem, it was the total of 4 months not riding that caused the problem. This only became apparant at the end of a 40 mile organised ride, 8 weeks after the surgery. Did the ride, took it gently, very pleased with myself. Packed the bike away, went to chat with some other bikers about 200 yards away, and had to be carried back to the car. The muscle in front of the shin bone siezed solid. Prostate was different, could not sit on a saddle at 6 weeks, in fact still have a problem on this occasionally, Learnt from first lesson and went to the gym and built up leg muscles, from 2 weeks after surgery,and in particular, calf muscles. went on a 40 mile off road ride at ten weeks, and main problem was mental. I had a reason to be slow and at the back of the group. Don't let this happen. Set a ride for the end of this Summer and train for it. I set one for 2 years after the prostate surgery, and it was a biggie. 100 miles offroad. I did it, beat a lot of youngsters,earnt a fair amount of respect from my local group, and got my riding back together.

    Start at the gym, start gently, set a goal and go for it.

  11. #11
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm worried about how to get in shape. I'm still not up to going to the gym,but I might renew for a month so I can work out when I'm better, it's not four months of inactivity, for me it's just a few weeks, since I was active all winter until I had the operation.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Broke right shoulder in 2 places crashing at 30 mph coming down a canyon (road) in Utah on my racing bike.
    Off the bike for 7 weeks. Doctor asked how I was doing. Told him : 'Look!'
    Did 15 quick pushups. Doctor said: 'You can't do that for 6 months!'
    Told him: 'So that's what you tell me." He just shook his head.
    Oh, I am 71 years old and still a-ridin'!
    Have a quick recovery . . . and ride when you can!

  13. #13
    Senior Member JustsayMo's Avatar
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    I had a tumor removed from my esophagus, started riding (very slowly) again at about 6 weeks, did my first post surgery race 6 months later.

    Start back slow. It doesn't take long to get it back.

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbit
    Yes, I'm worried about how to get in shape. I'm still not up to going to the gym,but I might renew for a month so I can work out when I'm better, it's not four months of inactivity, for me it's just a few weeks, since I was active all winter until I had the operation.
    Hope your back in training buy now. Abdominal surgery could cause problems at the gym as most machines will require some straining. Choose your exercises carefully, and at a low level, but for a longer period of time. This will help the cardio-vascular, but you may lose some muscle strength. Try the treadmill on gentle hills at a sensible speed, but walk it, for 10 minutes building up to 20 minutes. I'm currently on level 16/20 for 25 minutes at a speed of 7kph. Might not seem much, but this is quite high. Try level 4 at 5kph for 10 minutes. If your OK,increase the level or speed, but keep walking, and only get heart rate up to 75% of your max initially. This will be quite enough, but take all exercise gently. If it pulls on the scar, slow down or stop it.
    This was the advice given to me by my physio. If you are not fit enough to keep muscle strength up, work out on the cardio and at least you will be getting back to exercise and doing something usefull.

  15. #15
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Yes, I'll be heading back to the gym and I'm limbering up with yoga. Amazing how your muscles get so stiff.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  16. #16
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbit
    Yes, I'll be heading back to the gym and I'm limbering up with yoga. Amazing how your muscles get so stiff.
    Hi wabbit ,Im 9 weeks out from surgery for a broken hip (bike crash) I had to have the ball bit on the end of my femur pinned & plated back to-gether, I just started to ride again a couple of days ago ,my biggest danger is from another fall at the moment ,I found pysio & the stationary bike good but the best results for me came from doing hydro-therapy in the pool, just walking up & down chest deep in the water realy seemed to strengthen my legs, work with a gym (swiss) ball is also great for regaining your balancing skills ! Good luck & heal well
    regards greywolf
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  17. #17
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I finally went on my first real ride today! The weather has been horrible, but it wasn't bad today, about 57 degrees. Only problem was the wind, which made it a bit harder.I was a lot stronger than I had anticipated, and I would have gone further had it not been so windy.As it is I managed 27 k which is about what I'd expected, and aside from tiring a bit prematurely, I felt great to be on the bike again! I was worried about hills, but that wasn't so bad either. I've lost some weight since last year at this time and I really noticed the difference. And I should point out I was on the Kona (cross bike). Weee, I'm a cyclist again!
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  18. #18
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    Congratulations and may each day take you further and faster down the road!
    Last edited by outashape; 04-26-04 at 11:36 PM.

  19. #19
    Pat
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    When I had surgery for a two bad breaks in my ulna (at the elbow), I was walking as soon as I could - 2 days after surgery. I was on the trainer in 2 weeks which was as soon as I could climb onto it. I was on the road in 4-5 weeks.

    I figured that as long as the pain was more or less manageable and it did not get progressively worse, I was ok.

    In your case with abdominal surgery, well I would be a little concerned about tearing the incision if you are a devotee of the "no pain, no gain" school. If you know how to back off, then you can probably listen to your body and avoid seriously injuring yourself.

  20. #20
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    The incision is healed, that is to say, closed. The date for getting back to 'normal' was six weeks after surgery, and I waited another week (due to weather) but I was back at the gym and on the trainer. ANything that hurts, I don't do. Some stretches and exercises still pull at the incision, but riding the bike causes no problem. However, I think mountain biking, cyclocross racing or downhilling/freeriding would be out of the question, but I don't do anything like that.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

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