Can't give up cycling....

Ka12 Posts: 216
edited May 2013 in Road general
Hi all,

After lots of conflicting medical advice saying I could cycle then saying I couldn't cycle I have spent the past few weeks feeling pretty crap :(

I recently bought some new kit and then sold a few bits on here but never got much interest in my bike, as I keep it in the front room I have been looking at it every day. Every time I passed a cyclist when driving I wished it was me out on a bike!

Last week I was off work and sneaked out on the bike for a short 2 mile ride, felt good to be out but my husband noticed the dirty wheels on the bike :roll: . My husband forced me to contact my hip surgeon again for some more advice and the upshot is that I will probably need a hip replacement sooner if I continue cycling than if I stopped cycling.

Seeing as I am already looking at needing 2 full knee replacements when my tendon grafts fail and my hip will need doing as some point in the future I have decided to take a chance and carry on cycling :)

Hoping for a nice sunny day tomorrow for my first proper ride out since last October.



  • Just take it steady and enjoy. I'd have to be dead before I stop riding.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Best of Luck Sarah - I don't think anyone from here could advise you either way and a lot of us have been in similar situations so may the wind stay on you ass and enjoy your ride.
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    good luck and if the things you mention are going to happen anyway you may as well see how you get on cycling.
    Good luck and take it steady.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    If you haven't already I would recommend getting a good bike fit. That would minimize and further damage to your hip and knees.

    More than anything though - enjoy it!

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • Toe knee
    Toe knee Posts: 525
  • canny_lad
    canny_lad Posts: 329
    Fair play to you. Take it steady, good luck and ENJOY :D
  • Ka12
    Ka12 Posts: 216
    Thanks for the replies :)

    Last summer when cycling was the first time I had found any form of exercise that I enjoyed, hated sport as a child due to bilateral knee pain which was diagnosed as growing pains. Have had 3 ops on each knee including a tendon graft on each to stop dislocations. I even managed the Manchester to Blackpool ride and really enjoyed it :)

    I'm only 30 so probably have a while before they will consider me for joint replacements but life's too short to stop doing something you enjoy.
  • TakeTurns
    TakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    Welcome back to the road...I feel a sign of deja vu!

    I can relate on a similar scale on how it feels not being able to ride. Back when I'd broken my collar bone, they told me 8 weeks! I couldn't last that long and was back on the bike @ week 3. :lol:

    Take it easy and enjoy the ride.
  • ademort
    ademort Posts: 1,924
    Must be awful for you Sarah. At the end of the day only you know what you can do without putting yourself through hell.Hope it all works out for you. Just wondered if you really cannot cycle any longer have you ever thought of a recumberment using your arms rather than legs to power along? Or would that be out of the question.
    Chinarello, record and Mavic Cosmic Sl
    Gazelle Vuelta , veloce
    Giant Defy 4
    Mirage Columbus SL
    Batavus Ventura
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Well done... You rock! Go out and enjoy your life with your own safe limits. Prove him wrong!

    So many folks seem to sit at home feeling sorry for themselves rather than making positive, sensible life choices
  • Ka12
    Ka12 Posts: 216
    Been out today and did 15 miles, felt knackered in places but overall really enjoyed it :) The club I belong to have a track night so going to give that a go this week and just do some laps at my own pace to build up.
  • Forgive me for being a killjoy here Sarah ..... But aren't you just speeding up the time taken to reach the point where all those things need sorting!
    Plus there is absolutely no gaurentee that AFTER required surgeries you will be able to cycle to previous standards.
    I'm not knocking your desire to bike,far from it, but wouldn't it make more sense to get things sorted in a timely structured way, rather than carrying on until you HAVE to be mended.
    The damage you do now may be irrepairable if you just blindly carry on.
    Im sure you wouldn't want a desire to get just a bit more in to completely ruin your obvious passion for cycling.
  • stannie
    stannie Posts: 167
    I can't say whether you are doing the right thing, but I think I would be the same as you.
    I had a ski-ing injury a few years ago and couldn't really do any exercise for a couple of years. I ended up with a knee replacement and now I am back to cycling. (I think it is a better option than running which is weight bearing).
    Not doing any exercise helped me put on a load of weight and probably reduced my life span by a few years.

    I am currently not allowed to ride for 3 months (other health reasons) and it is driving me mad, but when I can cycle again I will be able to improve my fitness, lose some more weight and hopefully increase my life span.
    Cycling may ruin your hips, but it may improve your health - go for it if you want to. But don't overdo things in the short run.
    If you are going to have to have a hip replacement anyway you might as well have it while you are younger and fitter :D
    Waterford RS-14
    Trek Domane SL6
    Ridley Noah SL

    A woman can never have too many bikes!
  • marylogic
    marylogic Posts: 355
    The problem is most hip replacements have a limited life span and the earlier you get one the sooner you may need a revision. I think there is only a limited number of times it can be revised.

    If you are determined to keep going I would ask your surgeon if there is anything you could do to minimise they damage ?get a cassette with a very low granny gear to minimise the pressure on joints going up hills ?even look at electric bike for this ?recumbent as previously suggested.

    If your surgeon doesn't cycle or have enough knowledge could you ask for a second opinion from one who does?

    Best wishes for the future.
  • Ka12
    Ka12 Posts: 216
    As far as I know joint replacements have a 10 - 15 year life span and then they will need replacing, at the moment my knees feel good and it has been 5 years since my last operation.

    I have had tendon grafts in both knees and as it is quite a new procedure there isn't much information available on how long these will last, when they fail I will need joint replacements. This is quite a good a good document showing what I had done.

    I have been told that using a cross trainer is fine, don't see how the motion from cycling is too much different. The lining in my hip joint has been repaired and the loose fragments of bone removed, I will only need a hip replacement once the arthritis in the joint gets worse or the lining goes again, there is a good chance that cycling could help delay the arthritis from getting worse.

    The reasoning behind wanting to carry on cycling is that I could damage my hip or knees at any time, If I fall over or have an accident etc - I used to dislocate my knee just by turning too quickly to get something out of the fridge, so I may as well carry on with cycling as I enjoy it and it will help me to loose weight.
  • Hi,

    I can kind of relate to you as I'm 32 and on the 1st April this year while out on my road bike, a van driver pulled out of a side road directly in front of me. I crashed straight into him at full speed. I have a fair few injuries but the most serious was the femur neck being broken in two. It has been bolted back together but the surgeon has said there's a 30-40% chance that the blood vessels would die resulting in a hip replacement op. I will not know how it's heeling until I return to hospital at the end of May.
    I was also told that if I do require a hip replacement, they last up to 20 years depending on your lifestyle and they only really do 2 in a persons lifetime, 3 at a push.

    As the weather has now started to improve, I see my friends out riding and have already lost two KoM's on Strava! :(
    I'm desperate to get back out but it's unlikely to be anytime in 2013!

    I feel your pain but stay positive and take it easy but do not give up on the cycling. If anything, it will keep you motivated.

    All the best,

  • MartinB2444
    MartinB2444 Posts: 266
    I'm not quite sure why you have been advised not to cycle if your problem is simple osteoarthritis of the hip, or the knees for that matter. Is there something peculiar in your case (apart from your relative youth) or is the surgeon concerned about your tendon grafts? As a GP I'm very regularly giving people with OA lifestyle advice. Excercise is really important and non impact is much better than something like jogging. Joints are designed to be used and if excercise is avoided you can actually accelerate the the arthritic process.

    Quite apart from the strengthening of ligaments and muscles that support the joint, and forget for a moment the benefits to cardiovascular fitness, avoiding excercise will make you feel like an old woman, not good!

    So I don't know your circumstances and there may be some specific reason for your surgeon giving you the advice he has. Just google osteoarthritis and cycling. Then ask him why, in your specific case, is he advising against.
  • Bustacapp
    Bustacapp Posts: 971
    I would say deffo go out cycling if it makes you happy. I imagine it's one of the best exercises for arthritis sufferers due to lack of impact. And surely the muscle maintained can only help support the joints.
  • Akirasho
    Akirasho Posts: 1,892
    ... hope things work out...

    Back in 2000, I had knee surgery that put me back on the bike in perhaps the greatest shape I've ever been, but by 2003, I'd succumbed to a series of ailments that knocked me off the bike for almost 4 years. I battled both the physical and mental.

    Fortunately, I was able to mount a struggled return in 2006, and while I still have battles, the bike SAVES ME. I find it difficult to walk up a flight of stairs... a normal day of shopping/walking will have me off my feet for at least three days to recover... but I can ride a bike for days at a time with high mileage (50+ per day) with a sense of absolute JOY.

    Again, good luck!!!!
  • Ka12
    Ka12 Posts: 216
    Thanks for all the replies :)

    I haven't been out on the bike since I did the 15 mile ride but didn't suffer any pain in the hip joint after it, going to go to the club track night tomorrow. I have been using a cross trainer at home, built up from 5 mins a time to 17 mins and feeling much better in myself.

    The advice about stopping cycling was explained to me as they were concerned if I tore the hip lining again they wouldn't be able to repair it - I have no idea how I got loose fragments of bone in the hip joint in the first place though.

    I work for one of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups and have spoken to a couple of my colleagues who can't really understand why cycling wouldn't be good for me, I am due back at my consultants in a few weeks so will ask them again but in the mean time I am going to continue cycling gently and see how it goes :)
  • Herbsman
    Herbsman Posts: 2,029
    This made me feel like crying a bit.
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Ive been off the bike for almost 2 years - today I stripped my bike of its carbon wheels - that I have never been able ride properly - it was sombre experience. I yearn when I see a cyclist cycling.
    Make the most of it folks -I didn't get a hint my cycling days were over. I got a twinge one night on the way home from work - thought I d have a week or so off the bike.........2 years later.......

    Ive got another scan tonight - if that doesn't show anything - its a recumbent bike for me
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    I'd follow the doctors advice and give up cycling. Start swimming, canoeing, rock climbing....anything else that works for you. Good luck.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Ka12
    Ka12 Posts: 216
    Did 15 miles round the local track last night and hip feels good today.

    Had to see GP yesterday about my foot as I keep getting a cramping pain in it and whilst there asked about my hip and cycling, he didn't see any issue with me cycling. Had to have my foot x-rayed yesterday afternoon, will get x-ray results in 2 weeks.

    Not too sure about giving up cycling for rock climbing though!
  • Ka12
    Ka12 Posts: 216
    Well the cycling was going well and was enjoying being out riding but its all over now. Rushing downstairs on Tuesday I slipped and the hip lining tore so I am back on crutches, dosed up on codine and waiting to see the surgeon next week :(
  • That's tough, feel for you. I was going to say that it should be fine to keep cycling as it would really be no worse than walking around on it. Now of course you'll have to wait for the outcome with your surgeon.