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Bicycling and recovering from knee surgery(5 posts)

Bicycling and recovering from knee surgerykilimanjaro
Aug 7, 2001 8:47 PM
I just had my right minuscus repaired about seven weeks ago. I am pretty sure the injury was caused by court sports rather than cycling since I was not cycling much when it first became serious.

The orthopedic surgeon said no running, jumping, squating, kneeling on the repaire knee and limit lateral movements for the first twelve weeks. Walking to be reduced in the first six. However, he said I could swim once the entry wound completely sealed (about two weeks), and I could cycle almost after the first week or so. I should mention that my surgeon is a highly recommended sport medecine specialist who has worked with local professional football players.

I am a bit confused because this conflicts with what I always hear and read about cycling being hard on knees. I would love to hear people's comments. Naturaly I keep forgeting to ask my doctor to explain the discrepancy during my office visits.

Prior to the surgery I have been a masher on my mid 80's Puegeot with Shimano biopace rings. Since the surgery the few time I have ridden I have tried to spin a bit more and have not noticed any pain attributed to riding after the surgery.

As an aside due to advices on this board and others I decided to replace the rings many months ago, which turned into ugrading the entire group which includes asking a shop to strech the rear to accomodate wider 9speed hubs, which ultimately turned into a custom 853 cyclocross with Daytona tripple due in about six weeks. Boy things sure turn from $50 to $1400 real quick
re: Bicycling and recovering from knee surgeryAkirasho
Aug 8, 2001 3:46 AM
... also done the miniscus thing... twice (wear and tear from previous sports and ... old age).

'Bout the only comment I could make on cycling being hard on knees is when it's done improperly... an ill fitting bike (cuz most folks size bikes the same way they learned how to ride, and taught their younguns how to ride... with both feet squarely on the ground while seated on the saddle...) and/or as you noted... mashing the big ring (course, clipless pedals with float help emmensely). This is assuming no pre-existing conditions.

Now, I'm no spinner, but I'm much better at it since my second surgery. Initially, spinning (or what passed for spinning post-op) was the only way I'd get down the road (took water level routes with virtually NO hills). My average speeds post op were in the 10-13 mph range on a good day (once took me an hour to go 2.5 miles) with ranges from 10 to 20 miles.

Part of my post-op rehab included a stationary bike (the therapists were quite patient as I took several minutes to "dial" the fit in each session) which I then translated over to a recumbent (I have two along with SEVERAL uprights). My last surgery was February 4 2000 and by mid April I was able to participate in my first TT of the season (still on the 'bent but managed just a hair over 20 mph for the 10 mile course... a great psychological success!) While I rarely use it, I still have a semi mashing 56/11 for when the terrain allows.

BTW, my Orthopod is the team doctor for a couple of local universities and pro hockey... but the clincher on the deal was that he is also a cyclist! He understood exactly what type of outcome I expected.

Now, if I could just hold off getting the total knee on the other leg till someone perfects cartilage regeneration...

Good luck and...

Be the bike.
Don't know if this will help, but here's my storyseth1
Aug 8, 2001 5:56 AM
In 1994 I partially tore my right acl. Never had it reconstructed, just went to therapy and wore a custom knee brace when doing lateral movement activities. Skip to 1998 in martial arts class where I twisted my knee even further, tearing miniscus and completing the job on the acl. Immediately my right leg started to atrophy and I told my doctor that I wanted to get the minescectomy first, then rebuild the right leg and then go for the acl reconstruction. I used the bicycle in conjunction with PT to strengthen the right leg to a level close to pre-injury. I found that the time on the bicycle was the best thing that I could have done to rebuild the leg. It took a long time however.
I would think if you are fitted correctly on your bicycle knee injury is close to zero. The only problem I can think of is that cycling doesn't involve the ham-string wich is crucial to proper knee balance.
Tell that to my hamstrings!1EyedJack
Aug 8, 2001 7:20 PM
I thought that the hamstrings were involved in cycling in a pretty big way.
My wife had ACL and meniscus surgery...MikeC
Aug 8, 2001 10:24 AM
...three years ago, and has no problems cycling, including hills and longish rides like the MS150. By the way, she's 43.