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2933 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2006 4:00 PM by EJ Levy RSS
efdarda Amateur 9 posts since
Jul 9, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 24, 2006 7:28 PM

Cycling after knee replacement surgery

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.

  • mdargis Amateur 17 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 6, 2006 2:25 PM (in response to efdarda)
    Re: Cycling after knee replacement surgery

    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.

  • skharless Rookie 2 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jul 13, 2006 6:01 AM (in response to efdarda)
    Re: Cycling after knee replacement surgery

    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!

     

    Stephaie

  • manueljramos1 Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 13, 2006 10:55 AM (in response to efdarda)
    Re: Cycling after knee replacement surgery

    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,

     

    Manny

  • wally_gator Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 13, 2006 11:52 AM (in response to efdarda)
    Re: Cycling after knee replacement surgery

    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.

  • bradopel Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 18, 2006 12:29 PM (in response to efdarda)
    Re: Cycling after knee replacement surgery

    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.

    B

  • EJ Levy Rookie 3 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Oct 12, 2006 4:00 PM (in response to efdarda)
    Re: Cycling after knee replacement surgery

    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.

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