Smith & Nephew BHR Brimingham Hip Resurfacing

Author Topic: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks  (Read 1236 times)

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Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« on: September 18, 2017, 12:32:51 PM »
Hi all... I'm new to the forum. My name is Ben and I am a 32 year old male who had a left hip resurfacing with Dr. Brooks at the beginning of August. I am a little discouraged and wondering if anyone else has had any of the issues I am dealing with. Prior to surgery, i was a very avid cyclist... riding 500-800 miles a month and racing in the summers. I am pretty thin, but have (or had) extremely muscular legs from all of the biking. Everyone told me because I was young and healthy that I would do great and have a quick recovery so i was very optimistic. However, I will be at 6 weeks post op tomorrow and I still cannot pedal a stationary bike. I just can't get the pedal all the way around because I hit a wall the last 45 degrees of the pedal stroke... muscle right below my incision is SO TIGHT and i just can't get past it without feeling like I'm going to tear something. My guess is that it is just scar tissue, but I don't know. I'm reading on here that people are stationary biking at 2-3 weeks and it is making me feel a little uneasy. I just started using a foam roller, so I am hoping that helps. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice or experienced anything similar to this. Thanks for your time.
- Ben
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 12:34:42 PM by BenFalk22 »


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Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 02:18:08 PM »
Hey Ben,

Avid cyclist here too... not the miles you ride, but still ride a lot. Mountain and road.

How much resistance do you have the bike set at? At this point it should be basically ZERO. You are very, very early in your recovery and your muscles have TONS of healing left to do. Don't get discouraged, you WILL get there but it's going to be a while. I hate to break this to you but you're going to be disappointed with your power output on the bike for some time to come. Don't get me wrong, it'll come back but it takes some serious time. I'd guess I was a year or so out before I was really feeling strong on the bike again. I rode quite a lot during my recovery and did some pretty big rides but never felt truly strong. It'll be something you have to learn to deal with in the short term but I have no doubts you'll be very pleased in the long term. I was doing some pretty solid rides even at about 3-4 months out, around ~20 miles and over 3,000' of climbing. I learned early on that those muscles below the incision were not ready to really push hard. Not only did they hurt, they'd just say "NO, sorry, we're not ready for that" when asked for a big push or a fast climb. I'm guessing you're going to experience the same thing and will learn what you're capable of and only push to that point. That point will be constantly moving and moving in the right direction but it'll take more time than you want.

Also, I'd be careful with the roller. I don't recall the specifics but I feel like the foam roller was discouraged until about the 6 month mark. I could be wrong on that, just check to make sure it's ok. That spot under your incision is going to feel tight/weak for some time to come though it will improve consistently. I'm nearing 18 months out (bilateral) and still feel those spots. They'll still talk to me a little after strenuous exercise but are still slowly improving.

Don't get discouraged, it's very, very, very early. Relax a little and let your body heal and you'll be very pleased down the road. I'm about the least patient person you'll every meet but learned an awful lot about how important patience is during recovery.

Good luck.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 02:19:53 PM by Quig »
Bilateral Hip Resurfacing by Dr. Thomas Gross
  -Right Hip; April 11, 2016
  -Left Hip; April 13, 2016


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Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 03:50:03 PM »
That's a good point, Quig, about focusing on the motion first and pedaling with no resistance to master the movement.

Thinking back to the early recovery days, I could pedal an upright stationary bike but not a recumbent one. Maybe try both?

I went to a spin class at about four months out. Hey, I was feeling good and thought I could do it. Spin was just stationary biking to music in the dark with a group, right? Then I ran it past Lee, Dr Gross' nurse, and she told me to stop, to wait until I was six months out. She was worried I would get carried away and do too much. (She was probably right.)

I returned at six months. While I could stand up and pedal, albeit slowly, I couldn't pedal with a lot of resistance.It has taken awhile to be able to do that.

About the scar tissue. I can't remember when I was allowed to get a massage. When that day came, I went to a therapist who specialized in breaking up scar tissue, and I think it helped. (Like a Rolfer or myofascial massage therapist or ART practitioner.)


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Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 07:42:42 PM »
Hey Ben, welcome to the forum. I am an experienced cyclist, road, mtb, and gravel. You are very early in your healing and recovery phase. I don't know of any cyclist that has not been able to return to riding post surgery with any competent surgeon. You cannot force the healing, that will only be counter productive. Have you been to a therapist to help you regain some movement? You could try to simulate pedaling while standing and holding on to a table or crutch for support. I would be very cautious with a foam roller at this point.

I would not be discouraged at this point, it's best to think long term. You are still young and have the rest of your life to enjoy cycling. Your pedal stroke will return in time.

Good luck, moe
Bi-lateral, BHR, Dr Marchand. 7-13-09


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Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 11:29:59 PM »
Thanks for the responses. Today was a good day... i was actually able to get the pedal all the way around! Took me 23 minutes to stationary bike a mile, so a little slower than I am used to riding. Haha. I'm sure I will be in touch again. Thanks again.

- Ben


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Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 08:31:15 PM »
Just to reconfirm what you're hearing on the board... 6 weeks is way early and everybody is different in flexibility, etc.

As a cyclist, don't worry yet about getting back in 'cycling' shape.  This is the time to get your hip recovered, whole body back in sync, core solid, etc.  The cycling fitness will come later. 


40yo at the time of my 2/16/2011 left hip uncemented Biomet resurface with Tri Spike Acetabular cup by Gross

Ron Rourk

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Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 11:44:25 PM »
I'm glad I read this after I did the stationary bike this weekend.  I was never much of a cyclist, I prefer fast walks or slow runs so I didn't plan on doing much on a stationary bike until my wife suggested it.  I had my right hip resurfaced at HSS on October 6th.  Two weeks later I started the stationary bike.  Initially I think I had the seat a bit too low and I was getting a cramp down my leg under the incision line.  I raised the seat and have been increasing the time each of the past 3 days.
Ron age 55


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Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 12:59:42 AM »
im at 5 weeks and I just started the stationary bike myself with a bilateral.  Im using no resistance and will slowly build resistance.  I did it for 35 minutes two days in a row, i can feel my groin the most afterwords so i may take it down a notch, feels a bit tight but not the incision sight areas.  Also i can feel my hip clicking a little bit as im told is normal until the muscles and capsule tighten back up
Bilateral Hip resurface Dr. Gross

Hip Talk About Hip Resurfacing

Re: Unable to stationary bike at 6 weeks
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 12:59:42 AM »


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