Author Topic: Looking for riding experiences while recuperating from a knee replacement  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline OHRider

Unfortunately, I have a knee replacement scheduled and will soon go under the knife.  I would of course like to get back on the bike as soon as possible. I'm still riding regularly as the knee is not really an issue riding so at least I've got some good base miles this year.

I plan to go back to spinning in a gym as soon as I can but I'd love to get out for at least some overnights this year.

Any personal experiences and recommendations for a fast recovery are welcome!

Offline canalligators

Whatever your medical team says.  To the letter.

Keep us posted, I expect that I’ll be in your shoes someday.  Good luck.

Offline aggie

I was out riding within 6 weeks after my replacement.  Did physical therapy to get range of motion back and keep from losing too much muscle.  Did a 3week tour 4 months after. 

Offline OHRider

I was out riding within 6 weeks after my replacement.  Did physical therapy to get range of motion back and keep from losing too much muscle.  Did a 3week tour 4 months after.

That is great to hear. I'm hoping mine goes that well and I plan to really focus on the PT- that seems to be key.

Offline hikerjer

I had total knee replacement a few years back. In addition to my regular PT (can't emphasize enough how important that is), I found that riding my bike did as much as anything to speed my way to full recovery.  I have to say, the replacement was amazing, that is once you get past the first two or three weeks of rehab.  One of the best things I've done. I should have done it earlier rather than try and get by with the pain for as long as I could.  Good luck.  You won't regret it.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2022, 10:38:24 pm by hikerjer »

Offline RonK

I had bilateral TKR more than a year ago but have not been able to return to my previous level of cycling.
While I'm able to ride flat routes, even the slightest rise is difficult because it is uncomfortable to put enough pressure through my knees.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline Patco

I have had both knees replaced. The right knee in October 2019 and the left knee in July 2020. The recuperation for both knees was approximately the same. As has been noted, the healing process will be markedly better if you are diligent in performing your physical therapy. Do not let the physical pain overwhelm the pain drugs. My first knee I was attempting to minimize how often I took the prescribed oxy. Big mistake. I was miserable. Second knee I took the oxy as prescribed and the PT and sleeping went much, much better. Since one tends to forget the process, I asked my spouse whether I could have done a three week tour four months after the operation. Nope. Also, my expectations for how long it would take to fully recuperate was driven by what others had said. And since we humans tend to forget what actually takes place, their timeline was far too short. My expectations were more realistic the second time. I had my bike on a trainer and it was very difficult to swing my leg over the top tube. And it was very painful, in the beginning, to just be able to make one pedal revolution. My spouse reminds me that it was about three weeks before I could actually make one revolution. Prior to that I was close but the pain to take it over the top stopped me. You cannot expedite the healing process. All that said, I would rather have been able to NOT have the knees replaced but my quality of life would not be as good. And remember, when walking up or down steps while healing, it is up with the good leg and down with the bad leg.

Offline OHRider

Thanks all for your input.  Completing PT seems to be the key but it is not a panacea and despite that not all surgeries are 100% successful. Take the pain meds upfront as needed.  I'm getting something called a pain ball which helps control the pain for the first week or so.  I'll post an update further down the road (hopefully from a bicycle :-) ).

Offline ray b

If the knee is not a problem riding, I would make sure I had a second opinion. If you haven't seen a sports medicine-oriented academic guy who focuses only on knees, it might be worth a trip.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline OHRider

If the knee is not a problem riding, I would make sure I had a second opinion. If you haven't seen a sports medicine-oriented academic guy who focuses only on knees, it might be worth a trip.

I did see a sports med guy and asked both him and the ortho surgeon if there are any other options. Based on discussions and of course the xrays I think this is the way to go.  Anything longer than a short walk is an issue. I've had a cortisone shot and they did not see the gel injections as being able to provide long term relief.