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Riding after total hip replacement

Old 10-29-22, 07:18 AM
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Riding after total hip replacement

How soon?
My surgery was a week and a half ago and I think my progress has been pretty good.
I had the anterior approach procedure and according to my surgeon, my physiotherapist and just about everything I read on line, I can expect much more rapid healing than those with the lateral approach.
All good news, but neither my surgeon nor my therapist will commit to a timeline which I totally understand.
Although I think I am progressing well, at this stage even the thought of throwing my leg over a bike seems like a far off dream.
So, anyone with experience to share?
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Old 10-29-22, 08:38 AM
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Hip replacements are always a risk to dislocate on falls.
In this respect, let the hip muscles heal and adjust to the new hip connection, better not to rush.
Put in lots of time of stationary spinner until you have good confidence in your new spinning and balance.
I forget exactly how long I waited but think it was around 3 months.
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Old 10-29-22, 08:47 AM
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I canít recall the exact amount of time before I could ride after my hip replacement (five years ago), but it was at least a couple of months. I did what my surgeon and PT recommended. One thing I do recallÖwith regard to getting my leg over the bikeÖit was much easier after the replacement. Before the surgery, riding wasnít painful. But to get on the bike, I pretty much had to lay the bike on its side, straddle it, and then pick the bike up between my legs. Since the surgery, getting my leg over the top tube is not painful at all.

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Old 10-29-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
I canít recall the exact amount of time before I could ride after my hip replacement (five years ago), but it was at least a couple of months. I did what my surgeon and PT recommended. One thing I do recallÖwith regard to getting my leg over the bikeÖit was much easier after the replacement. Before the surgery, riding wasnít painful. But to get on the bike, I pretty much had to lay the bike on its side, straddle it, and then pick the bike up between my legs. Since the surgery, getting my leg over the top tube is not painful at all.

Dan
Yeah getting my leg over the top tube was getting a bit more difficult but the last couple of years, I was finding my range was diminishing as well.
where I used to routinely do 40 and 50 km rides, I was finding 25 km to be about the limit.
We have a low step thru bike in the home fleet currently set up on a trainer in the basement so that will probably be how I start my comeback.
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Old 10-29-22, 12:25 PM
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I am really worried about joint replacement in my future. Knees and right hip. Iím worried that I will need it. Iím worried that I will do it too late to make it worthwhile and just suffer through recovery to a lower state of health like my poor mother did. Everyone I talk to who was successful with it went really hard with the recovery therapy and they did it earlier. If you do the minimum effort you will get the minimum result. They were also mostly in their 50s and wanted to remain active. The ones who did it to just keep golfing in their late 60s or 70s had a much harder time.
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Old 10-29-22, 01:33 PM
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I haven't had a hip replacement myself, but a friend of mine who is a high school mountain bike team coach has had both hips replaced. She was about 65 when she had them replaced and went right back to riding within just a few months of having the surgery. I was surprised at how quickly she was able to recover and get back on the bike. As with all surgeries, it probably matters a lot how fit you are to start with, and how conscientious you are about following the physical therapy instructions through to their conclusion.
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Old 10-29-22, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I am really worried about joint replacement in my future. Knees and right hip. Iím worried that I will need it. Iím worried that I will do it too late to make it worthwhile and just suffer through recovery to a lower state of health like my poor mother did. Everyone I talk to who was successful with it went really hard with the recovery therapy and they did it earlier. If you do the minimum effort you will get the minimum result. They were also mostly in their 50s and wanted to remain active. The ones who did it to just keep golfing in their late 60s or 70s had a much harder time.
I am already in the late 60s 69 in a couple of weeks. Given my rate of recovery so far this early in the game, I am optimistic.
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Old 10-30-22, 06:37 AM
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I can only speak from experience of my wife, an avid but hardly heroic cyclist. She has dealt with both hips replaced, using the anterior approach which seems to be the best for active people. She still steps over a bike lying on the ground, but for balance issues and not necessarily due to lack of flexibility. The range of motion and comfort when the legs are used in the same plane as the bike trajectory are great.. The factors to consider are dislodging those implants, dislocating the hip joint due to weakened muscle tone, and just as importantly avoiding falls that might break bones. This is not the time nor will there be one in the future for a broken hip. I'd say ride when you and your medical team say its OK, but your MD is more like to be more conservative than you need to be. Most of their patients are not as active or as motivated as you are. She was told that she probably would never walk on irrgular surfaced again, but she does quite well hiking on rocky trails, hillsides, and cobbled streets of Europe. Go figure.
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Old 10-30-22, 07:58 PM
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One of the question I recall asking my surgeon at a follow-up appointment was specifically how the whole procedure transpired. One of the things he told me is that one of the last things they do before closing the incision is to purposely try to dislocate the artificial hip. His sentiments were essentially that if he canít dislocate it while youíre still on the operating tableÖitís installed pretty damn well.

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Old 10-30-22, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
One of the question I recall asking my surgeon at a follow-up appointment was specifically how the whole procedure transpired. One of the things he told me is that one of the last things they do before closing the incision is to purposely try to dislocate the artificial hip. His sentiments were essentially that if he canít dislocate it while youíre still on the operating tableÖitís installed pretty damn well.

Dan
I will make my first return visit to the surgeon to have the staples removed later this week. I will ask if he does that.
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Old 11-01-22, 02:07 PM
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In the simplest possible words, there is nothing holding the hip ball in the socket except muscle. To do the procedure they have to open up a slot between muscles. You can have the traditional lateral approach where the opening is from the side (and thus crossing your legs or twisting can cause the hip to dislocate, but other movements are relatively safe), or you can have the frontal approach (where the opening in the muscle mass is on the anterior side of the leg, with good structural support laterally/posteriorly and only minimal risk of the ball slipping toward the front of the muscle mass. Most athletes and folks desiring the best range of motion after surgery are likely to be given the anterior approach. Thats what you had and you can be expected to do fine with a modicum of recovery time. My wife at 77 years old has great range of motion, rides a bike, hikes, and by in large keeps up with me even with a double hip replacement that has been in place for serveral years.
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Old 11-02-22, 04:23 AM
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Looking back at photos here’s my milestones. Before the THR I was walking 18 holes 5 days a week and in really great condition. I started walking without a cane 12 days post surgery. I didn’t tell my surgeon but I started walking 18 holes (6-7 miles/not playing) with my golf buddies at 3 weeks. I was probably doing way too much but I think it helped me overall. I was back on a trainer with minimal resistance after 6 weeks. I added resistance on the trainer at 8 weeks. The biggest issue was getting on and off the bike, needed a step stool. I did 25 miles on my first official road ride post surgery at 13 weeks. The surgeon allowed me to start playing golf after about 18 weeks. I rode 6000 miles and did 5 weeklong bike tours the next year.

I’ve not gotten back to the power and speeds before the THR as I lost a little leg strength and cardio and just didn’t have the desire in my mid 60’s to push it hard enough to recover it. But riding distances at a little slower speeds wasn’t an issue.
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Old 11-02-22, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Looking back at photos hereís my milestones. Before the THR I was walking 18 holes 5 days a week and in really great condition. I started walking without a cane 12 days post surgery. I didnít tell my surgeon but I started walking 18 holes (6-7 miles/not playing) with my golf buddies at 3 weeks. I was probably doing way too much but I think it helped me overall. I was back on a trainer with minimal resistance after 6 weeks. I added resistance on the trainer at 8 weeks. The biggest issue was getting on and off the bike, needed a step stool. I did 25 miles on my first official road ride post surgery at 13 weeks. The surgeon allowed me to start playing golf after about 18 weeks. I rode 6000 miles and did 5 weeklong bike tours the next year.

Iíve not gotten back to the power and speeds before the THR as I lost a little leg strength and cardio and just didnít have the desire in my mid 60ís to push it hard enough to recover it. But riding distances at a little slower speeds wasnít an issue.
I have a low step through bike set up on the trainer for when I am ready to get on it.
Surgery was two weeks ago today and I am almost completely off the pain meds and only using my cane part of the time.
My second physio session is today so we will see how that goes.
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Old 11-02-22, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
I have a low step through bike set up on the trainer for when I am ready to get on it.
Surgery was two weeks ago today and I am almost completely off the pain meds and only using my cane part of the time.
My second physio session is today so we will see how that goes.
Awesome!! I hope your recovery continues to go smoothly. It sounds like recovery is a lot faster with the anterior method. I didnít have time to research doctors and methods. I crashed one day and had emergency surgery the next dayÖ..
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Old 11-02-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Awesome!! I hope your recovery continues to go smoothly. It sounds like recovery is a lot faster with the anterior method. I didnít have time to research doctors and methods. I crashed one day and had emergency surgery the next dayÖ..
Today, the physio therapist told me that I am progressing ahead of schedule. Iím at week two and I am where she usually expects patients to be at week four.
She had me do 15 minutes on the stationary recumbent bike and I could have kept going when she said thatís enough.
I will try the bike on the trainer in the next couple of days.
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Old 11-05-22, 05:57 AM
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Was your hip arthritic?
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Old 11-05-22, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Was your hip arthritic?
Yes. The surgeon told me it was pretty well worn out.
I got 69 years out of it though. The new one wonít have to last nearly as long.
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Old 11-26-22, 04:27 PM
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First outdoor ride today. Went pretty well. I had no difficulty swinging my leg over the frame and pedaling in an easy gear was no problem.
Didn't go far or fast, but it was nice to get out on a 50 degree November afternoon.
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Old 12-13-22, 02:43 PM
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I had my right hip replaced 3 years ago, at the age of 51. I'd worn it out with big mileage running, rowing, bone spurs, arthritis etc. I had been in pain for 3-5 years prior, with decreasing range of motion, bone impingement at the top of the pedal stroke, etc etc.... I put off having the operation for years, nervous about replacing something "natural" with a piece of metal/ceramic/plastic--- but when I finally did it, I was delighted with the results. I was cycling on an indoor trainer within a week, and on the road again within 2 months. My surgeon has said there are no real restrictions on activity with the anterior surgical approach--- far less worry about dislocation, etc. Yes a severe crash could break the implant-- but it would have to be a crash sufficient to fracture a natural hip as well.... so the risk is about the same if you're going out on the road, regardless.

I have regained much of my original hip function, and I am pain-free--- so I am a great believer at this point. I suppose I could run into problems 10-15 years down the road, but this new hip has allowed me to continue my athletic life, which is worth a million as far as I'm concerned.

Being fit and healthy before the surgery leads to better outcomes, of course--- which to my mind is even more reason to get the operation before pain and disability rob you of fitness!
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Old 12-14-22, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by no67el View Post
I had my right hip replaced 3 years ago, at the age of 51. I'd worn it out with big mileage running, rowing, bone spurs, arthritis etc. I had been in pain for 3-5 years prior, with decreasing range of motion, bone impingement at the top of the pedal stroke, etc etc.... I put off having the operation for years, nervous about replacing something "natural" with a piece of metal/ceramic/plastic--- but when I finally did it, I was delighted with the results. I was cycling on an indoor trainer within a week, and on the road again within 2 months. My surgeon has said there are no real restrictions on activity with the anterior surgical approach--- far less worry about dislocation, etc. Yes a severe crash could break the implant-- but it would have to be a crash sufficient to fracture a natural hip as well.... so the risk is about the same if you're going out on the road, regardless.

I have regained much of my original hip function, and I am pain-free--- so I am a great believer at this point. I suppose I could run into problems 10-15 years down the road, but this new hip has allowed me to continue my athletic life, which is worth a million as far as I'm concerned.

Being fit and healthy before the surgery leads to better outcomes, of course--- which to my mind is even more reason to get the operation before pain and disability rob you of fitness!
51 is young but if you need it as you obviously did there is no point in suffering.
Iím 69 so not much chance I will wear the new part out.
Now eight weeks since surgery and I have nearly full mobility ( more than I did before) and no pain.
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Old 12-15-22, 09:43 AM
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I have also graduated from the step through bike on the trainer.
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