Is there anyone out there that has experienced partial or complete knee surgery and tried to get back into cycling after the surgery. I had partial knee replacement in April to replace my knee cap and I have been riding a little bit. I have been trying to get back on my road bike. I have been able to ride for up to 7 miles as of today. Am I pushing it a little too hard too soon? I would like to be able to do 40 miles by September so that I can ride in the Livestrong ride in Philadelphia. Am I being realistic? Anyone out there that can share their experience with me? This has ben my fifth surgery on the same knee in the last three years.
I can't imagine the pain you are going through. I had my ACL fixed and it took months to get back to my average. I would stay within your limits and try the 10% increase rule in speed and distance. With your history, an every week advance could prove to be too much. Let us know how you progress.
I rode after work last night. I was able to ride for 10 miles. I may have pushed it a little too hard because I was in pretty much pain last night and most of the day today. I didn't ride today but plan on going back out again tomorrow. It gets frustrating because I was used to being able to just do things without effort, now, it takes alot more effort. I will still keep a positive attitude and that is most of the battle.
I rode for 10 miles again this evening. It felt good and I was able to pick up my speed slightly. I think I will continue 10 miles for the rest of the week then add 2 more miles on next week and see how that goes. I have also joined a fitness club so that I can work on strengthening my quads. If I keep going maybe I can reach my goal of 40 miles at one time by September 10. It is very important for me to ride in the Livestrong ride to raise money for cancer. I have lost several family members and friends to cancer and I can't think of a more fitting tribute. They have gone through far more pain than I possibly will experience.
I had ACL surgery about 1.5 years ago (which is nothing compared to what you are dealing with). Although I'm not a physical therapist, I can tell you what I've been told by a variety of people after asking similar questions.
Cycling is supposed to be pretty easy on your knees as aerobic exercise goes, so you are lucky in that respect. It is imperitive, however, that as you begin to train, you keep your cadence above 60 RPM's. As a general rule, keeping it above 60 places the least amount of strain on your knees. Once you drop below that level, all bets are off. This probably means you should avoiding climbing. Also try to integrate some cross training in the form of swimming into your routine. This way, you can still build muscle and aerobic threshold, but won't be do a weight-bearing exercise. If you don't swim, you can still do workouts in the water that will be easier on your knee like jogging or walking in 2-3 feet of water.
Good luck--I admire you for sticking with it!
I have had two back surgeries, also I broke my tibia plateau and my meniscus came out and went into the fracture. My leg was immobilized for 8 weeks until the fracture healed (I had two screws implanted two hold the bones together in addition to bone graph implant) After the eight weeks the Dr. allowed me to do spinning on my trainer for the next 4 weeks, in addition, I had me go through therapy on which they had me do weights excersice to strengthen my muscles. Three month later, I was able to ride 300 miles in three days. What worked for me was and still is I have to maintain a higher cadence to compensate on the up-hill. I also, recommend for you to listen to your body and don?t rush your comeback. Take your time and you will be able to enjoy your cycling for years to come. Also, try to be seen at a sports medicine clinic, that?s what they do. Today I still ride between 150 and 200 miles per week. Nonetheless, I still have to take some pain and anti-flamatory medications.
Best of look on your recovery,
First off I have been a fairly avid cyclist for over 20 years, riding 1 to 2 or 3 centuries per year. I ride with a regular group on week ends and would ride at lease 100 miles a week. In 1999 both my knees had degenerated to the point that total knee replacements were no longer an option. And according to the doctors my cycling actually kept me from having to have them replaced sooner. Sorry for the long version. So in December of 1999 I had both of them done at once, fortunately I was able to keep my knee caps. after about 2 weeks into rehab I was allowed on a stationary bike to peddel backwards. At 3 weeks I started light weight training, streching flex excersizes and peddling forward. In the 4th week I increased the level from week 3. This routine continued thru the 7th week where I was actully putting some power to the peddels and spining at about 90 rpm. In week 8 I went and rode about 15 mile on my road bike. In May of 2000 I rode a 50 mile charity event.
Now not any of this was with out some degree of pain especially in the begining.
So do I think you pushing it? Not really unless you are incurring a lot of pain and it continues for days afterwards. Remember the more you use you body the quicker it will recover, let your knees be your guide.
PS I was 55 when I had them replaced.
I rode 6 miles tonight, but felt like doing 10. I started a fitness club and now have a personal trainer to help me build my cardio and also to help strengthen the muscles in my leg. I worked out last night and it felt good. This is the reason for only doing 6 miles tonight. I didn't want to overdo it. For the record..I am almost 51 in chronological age but in my heart I am 23. My son provides me with a lot of inspiration. At 25 he had to have open heart surgery and shortly after the surgery he had a stroke. He has a lot of courage. He is now into racing bikes and is doing very well. I want to make him as proud of me as I am of him. I will continue to strive for excellence!!
I want to thank everyone for all the helpful advice. It is much appreciated!
I thought I'd kick in some thoughts regarding the cycling after knee replacement.
I'm 53 (now) but Oct 04 had partial inner replacement. I was not a cycler then but the doctor said that his most successful recoveries were cyclist. Equiped with that bit of information I was in. I started riding in Feb of 05 and haven't stopped since. I do 3 big rides a year and try to go out 3-4 times a week based upon my travel schedule.
Key for this program is building a solid foundation of schedule and program. Be committed to consistency and the rest will come. As someone else said, your body will tell you if your pushing to hard, but my philosophy is that a little pain is good. I know I'm not going to hurt the joint, titanium and nylon is strong stuff, so it is a function of rebuilding muscles and endurance which is where consistency comes in. Strange thing is that I have more discomfort when I'm not riding - go figure. Hope this helps, good luck.
I am now up to 12 miles. The 12 miles felt pretty good because it was warm outside and my muscles were nice and loose. I was thinking about pushing it to 14, but I started to feel some pain just below my knee in my lower leg so I forgot about the 14 mile mark. I will have to work with 12 for a little while now until my body becomes used to that. It really kills the ego to be out riding at the pace I am because I am used to doing much better. I have to learn to be more patient.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I went to see my orthopedic surgeon last Monday and he is very impressed with what I am able to do. He told me to keep doing what I am doing and I can do a little harder frequency. He ststed that the implant has stayed in place and looks like a very positive thing. I owe my success to biking!!!
Just wanted to let everyone know that I participated in the Philadelphia Livestrong Ride on September 10th. What an awesome experience. I got to ride right along with cancer survivors. They are so inspiring! If you have an opportunity to participate next year, please do so. I was only able to complete the 10 mile ride because the next distance was 40 miles. I'm pushing to do at least 40 next year if not 70. Support LAF!
Why did your knee deteriorate in the first place? If you had an accident and as a result of the acute damage it degenerated over time that is one way of looking at the situation. The other is if you have a chronic deterioration as a result of misalignment. If you read MotiveForcers reply in the numb toes question you will get an idea about this point. Most people's feet pronate. That causes stress at the knee joint. Get yourself orthotics which I would not be surprised your orthopedic surgeon did not even mention to you. That's incompetence in my mind if you are an athlete and even if you aren't. Then get to a good bike shop that sells to racers and have yourself fit including the cleat position of your shoes to the pedal. You will be pleased with the increase in power and performance.