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Riding after vertebra fused

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Riding after vertebra fused

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Old 09-05-07, 09:42 AM
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cobryan
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Riding after vertebra fused

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with road biking after having a vertebra fused in ones neck? I had surgery... c-6 disc was replaced with a piece of bone and some hardware about 3 weeks ago. I'm feeling great, no pain in my arm anymore. The surgeon told me that I loose about 6 -8% in range of motion and have a full recovery.
When I'm cleared to work and start being active I thought about riding on the trainer first, raising the bars close to seat hight with a bit shorter stem. any input with experience or thoughts would be great. thanks Bryan
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Old 09-05-07, 10:06 AM
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gunnar1947
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Back in 2000 I had three cervical disc fused. They replaced the disc with pieces of bone from my pelivs and put in titanium plates to secure everything. When I first started riding after surgery I used my hybrid. Then knowing my neck limitations I bought a Giant OCR which has a tall head tube. This and a 10 degree rise stem has put me back in the game. I also use a set of short drop, narrow reach handlebars from Salsa, the Poco's.
Right now I feel pretty good on the bike, but I know I couldn't ride a short head tube, 6 degree or less stem road bike anymore.
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Old 09-05-07, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for the reply, my bike also has a short head tube. I might be able to use a couple of spacers and a steeper stem and see how that feels.
I have a few week to go yet.
thanks Bryan
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Old 09-06-07, 12:09 AM
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Though my health problems are nearly completely unrelated to yours I figured I would share my experience with getting back after major surgery. I had surgery twice on L4-L5 after two ruptures in the same area, the last time was two years ago this month, after being mandated to 4 months of recovery time vice the standard 6-8 weeks I started back into things. I am Soldier of 15 years and was a runner of about ten years so the impact on my back was great from day to day, so to avoid any unnecessary impact on my back I decided recently to switch from running to biking and could not be happier. If you do what gonnar1947 has done and pick your bike smartly I think you will be great. I did the same thing when I bought a C-dale Synapse. It put me in a more upright position so that I don't have the usual back pain associated with the traditional racing bike position. Also, it seems to me that your worries are more to do with riding position more so than impact of the ride as your injury is so high up. At any rate, I really believe that if you are smart about it and accept that you WILL have to change how you approach things now, you will have no troubles.

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Old 09-06-07, 07:16 PM
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Thanks for all of the input!! I have a couple of bike options and I will start off slowly and in a more upright
position. I just can't wait to ride!!
Thanks,
Bryan
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Old 09-06-07, 07:51 PM
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I had the bone put in between c6-c7 along with a titanium plate back in 03. I teach and train in BJJ and cycle about 4000 miles a year with no real problems. Neck gets a little stiff on a century, but nothing a little advil cant take care of. I was back to work (im a Police Officer) full duty in less then 6 weeks, and grappling full on within 4 months. I ride a Klein Q Pro with no extra heigth in the stem.

Good luck with your recovery and I hope it goes as well as mine did,
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Old 09-07-07, 04:06 AM
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I had a 5 level cervical laminectomy/fusion last fall. I had to get a Roubaix with a tall headtube and a 17 degree stem. Very limited range of motion so I use a helmet mirror as well. Haven't gone over 50 miles yet but should be able to with some advil or similar. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-07, 08:02 AM
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I have had two cervical fusions, one at C 4/5, and later at C 5/6 (another on the way, but for now I am in denial). Once I healed, I was able to get into just about the same position on my road bike, with just a slightly shorter stem (100mm before, 90 now). My only major problem is I can't turn to look back very well, so I have one of those Italian bar-end mirrors from AspireVelotech. They are not too bad looking, and are really durable. Anyway, do exactly what your doctor says, don't overdo it. Once your fusion grows in, you will feel great. Good luck with it, a cervical fusion is not the end of your biking career.
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Old 09-09-07, 10:04 AM
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Thanks again for all of the ideas and kind thoughts, so now have an idea on what to expect. I go to the Dr's for a x-ray 9/20, till then no lifting more than 7 lbs. so I now think there may be a great chance of recovery and riding again.

thanks Bryan
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