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Old 12-21-17, 04:57 PM   #1
Chaco
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Broken Hip Recovery Advice

I broke my hip 5 days ago, and recovery is going well. Probably my biggest danger at this point is to rush the healing process out of anxiousness to get back on the bike. I'm off pain meds, and walking without a cane at this point. The doc is telling me that it may be 3 months before I'm back on a road bike, because of the danger of bending my waist at more than a 90 degree angle.

Just wondering if any of you have experienced this, along with tips for a good recovery and staying in shape.
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Old 12-21-17, 07:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
Probably my biggest danger at this point is to rush the healing process out of anxiousness to get back on the bike.
This is true.

While I have not personally broken my hip, I did work as a hospital RN for over 25 years, including orthopedic patients. My advice: listen to your doctor and physical therapist; a set-back from rushing things will not be pleasant. Ask if you can see a physical therapist with sports medicine background, cycling specifically even better.
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Old 12-21-17, 07:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
I broke my hip 5 days ago, and recovery is going well. Probably my biggest danger at this point is to rush the healing process out of anxiousness to get back on the bike. I'm off pain meds, and walking without a cane at this point. The doc is telling me that it may be 3 months before I'm back on a road bike, because of the danger of bending my waist at more than a 90 degree angle.

Just wondering if any of you have experienced this, along with tips for a good recovery and staying in shape.
What exactly did you break and what was done to fix it?

I was back riding at two weeks. Currently at two months and riding dirt and road like before. I just have more pain post-ride that is managed by a good icing regimen.

My experience:

https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/1127968-recovering-broken-femur.html
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Old 12-21-17, 10:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
This is true.

While I have not personally broken my hip, I did work as a hospital RN for over 25 years, including orthopedic patients. My advice: listen to your doctor and physical therapist; a set-back from rushing things will not be pleasant. Ask if you can see a physical therapist with sports medicine background, cycling specifically even better.
Thanks, John. I'm trying to get cleared for outpatient rehab in a couple of days, so I'll follow your advice looking for someone who relates to cycling.
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Old 12-21-17, 10:16 PM   #5
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What exactly did you break and what was done to fix it?

I was back riding at two weeks. Currently at two months and riding dirt and road like before. I just have more pain post-ride that is managed by a good icing regimen.

My experience:

https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plu...ken-femur.html
I broke my femur clean through just below the ball. They put a long steel (titanium) ball with a "spike" extending into my femur. Two ortho surgeons told me the biggest thing that can screw things up is that the body needs a few weeks to surround the steel in your femur with new bone growth, and that that process shouldn't be rushed. They told me that if you do that, instead of bone, you get this fibrous tissue that doesn't provide enough support and can cause lots of pain.
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Old 12-21-17, 10:56 PM   #6
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I broke my femur clean through just below the ball. They put a long steel (titanium) ball with a "spike" extending into my femur. Two ortho surgeons told me the biggest thing that can screw things up is that the body needs a few weeks to surround the steel in your femur with new bone growth, and that that process shouldn't be rushed. They told me that if you do that, instead of bone, you get this fibrous tissue that doesn't provide enough support and can cause lots of pain.
I also broke my femur at the femoral neck. Your terminology is confusing - using steel and titanium interchangeably.

I do not have a "ball," just a titanium rod (called a nail by the orthos) and so big ole screws. My surgeon had me bearing weight less than 12 hours after surgery and I was encouraged to bear as much weight as I could stand as I progressed from walker to crutches to cane to walking aid-free. No mention of the risk of fibrous material by my surgeon, nurses, or PT folks. Your post was the first I heard of such a thing.

Good luck with your healing.
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Old 12-21-17, 11:01 PM   #7
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I also broke my femur at the femoral neck. Your terminology is confusing - using steel and titanium interchangeably.

I do not have a "ball," just a titanium rod (called a nail by the orthos) and so big ole screws. My surgeon had me bearing weight less than 12 hours after surgery and I was encouraged to bear as much weight as I could stand as I progressed from walker to crutches to cane to walking aid-free. No mention of the risk of fibrous material by my surgeon, nurses, or PT folks. Your post was the first I heard of such a thing.

Good luck with your healing.
Sorry, I'm not a doctor, so I really don't know what it's made out of, but I think it's titanium. I've been OK to put full weight on the repaired leg, and I'm not using a cane anymore. But a friend of mine, who was an ortho surgeon for 25 years, said the danger of fibrous material forming instead of bone mainly comes from overstressing the site, and especially from bending too acutely or twisting in the wrong way.

Perhaps the difference in treatment may have to do with age as well. From what I've read, younger patients get screws, while older ones like me (close to 70) get the ball replacement. Also, I guess going into the surgery, the doc probably made an estimate of my bone strength based on the average for my age. As it turned out, he said my bones are really strong, with hardly any bone loss, in other words, more like a 50 year old than a 70 year old.

Thanks for your info!

Last edited by Chaco; 12-21-17 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 12-22-17, 06:58 AM   #8
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I broke my hip a year ago on August 30. IIRC the docs said to stay off the bike for 4 months. It was winter then so I stayed off until February when I went on a bike trip to Costa Rica. All was well.
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Old 12-22-17, 07:09 AM   #9
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Agree on getting with a sports medicine specialist. They can work wonders when partnering with your orthopedic surgeon.
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Old 12-23-17, 01:24 PM   #10
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Broke my hip two years ago Dec 7th 2015 bike fell on ice. I have femoral neck fx and it required 3 screws in surgery overnight stay. The fx was not displaced and I was a lucky man as avascular necrosis can happen as main blood supply to femoral neck. The doctor said I was in great shape and thought I would have a good chance to heal completely.

I was able to walk right after surgery and could but told not to do much. I did get back on the indoor trainer and start riding 5 days after surgery. I could spin but no real weight pushing. Well I am runner actually first and was able return to running in 11 weeks. I think I was off the bike for real riding 9 weeks almost same as running. The doctor knew me and told me no pushing and I was really worried because AVN would mean a hip replacement.

Be very patient and recover. The reason to stay off the bike I believe is not so much the healing process but if you fall again before the bones are healed and repaired it could be worse. I do think the indoor trainer was a blessing an allowed me back to recovery much better. I did avoid even walking much as I could tell it was not right and ready. No real problems now except the usual sciatic pain at times I had before the hip ever broke. Running came back pretty good too I went back to 30 mile weeks after 12 weeks. Lucky lucky lucky.....The Lord was watching over the deacon
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Old 12-24-17, 08:55 AM   #11
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Broke my hip two years ago Dec 7th 2015 bike fell on ice. I have femoral neck fx and it required 3 screws in surgery overnight stay. The fx was not displaced and I was a lucky man as avascular necrosis can happen as main blood supply to femoral neck. The doctor said I was in great shape and thought I would have a good chance to heal completely.

I was able to walk right after surgery and could but told not to do much. I did get back on the indoor trainer and start riding 5 days after surgery. I could spin but no real weight pushing. Well I am runner actually first and was able return to running in 11 weeks. I think I was off the bike for real riding 9 weeks almost same as running. The doctor knew me and told me no pushing and I was really worried because AVN would mean a hip replacement.

Be very patient and recover. The reason to stay off the bike I believe is not so much the healing process but if you fall again before the bones are healed and repaired it could be worse. I do think the indoor trainer was a blessing an allowed me back to recovery much better. I did avoid even walking much as I could tell it was not right and ready. No real problems now except the usual sciatic pain at times I had before the hip ever broke. Running came back pretty good too I went back to 30 mile weeks after 12 weeks. Lucky lucky lucky.....The Lord was watching over the deacon
Glad to hear you recovered so well. Yes, the idea of falling before my hip is fully healed is not a pleasant one. I think I'll limit myself to stationary bikes until that day comes. Anyway, it's cold out now!
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Old 12-24-17, 09:38 AM   #12
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Fortunately I haven't had a broken hip but have several fellow cyclists who have had broken hips. My brother broke his when a car took him down on his bike but he was in his 40's at the time. He was back riding pretty quickly but I'm thinking it might take us more mature folks a little longer to heal up. You might just factor the age thing into any feedback you hear outside of your surgeon just to make sure there aren't any setbacks?? I'm betting you'll feel ready to ride prior to getting the thumbs up though.
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Old 01-02-18, 03:51 PM   #13
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I fractured my left hip Labor Day on ‘16, repaired with rod and screw. I was up walking with a walker the next day. On my trainer ten days after, first few days injured leg just going along with the movement. Back on the road two months after crash. I’ve ridden 7,600 miles since, I’m 73.
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Old 01-02-18, 04:10 PM   #14
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I fell on my bike the week before Thanksgiving, 2016. I received a total hip replacement, plastic socket screwed onto the pelvis, titanium implant down the femur with a ceramic coated ball. Surgeon said it is a 12 month for total recovery. I rode nearly 2000 miles last year, down from my usual 3300-3500. It did take about 10 months until it didn't feel like there was a softball in there, lol, and that is what kept me from doing my long rides (50+miles). At 12 months I almost felt normal. I still experience some minor pain and discomfort from time to time, but becoming less as time still passes. I was 54 when I broke it.
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Old 01-04-18, 05:24 PM   #15
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I didn't break my hip but had my left one replaced with anterior approach Oct 30 and was riding my bike on trainer exactly 3 weeks post op. I did 65 miles on trainer 8 weeks post op. Not allowed outside yet by ortho doc but I have follow up on Jan 17 and hope to be cleared for outdoors at that point. I'm signed up for a century on Feb 10!!
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Old 01-08-18, 12:41 PM   #16
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I didn't break my hip but had my left one replaced with anterior approach Oct 30 and was riding my bike on trainer exactly 3 weeks post op. I did 65 miles on trainer 8 weeks post op. Not allowed outside yet by ortho doc but I have follow up on Jan 17 and hope to be cleared for outdoors at that point. I'm signed up for a century on Feb 10!!
Good luck! I'm hoping to get cleared by my doc on Jan. 30th. Until then, I'm doing spinning classes and weight training every other day. Working out inside is NOT my cup of tea!
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