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Mountain biking after THA?

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UTdave

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Anyone ride mountain bikes or know of anyone who has after THA? Love to hear stories. Anybody who surfs or climbs, feel free to chip in happy (or words pf warning) recovery stories also.
 

JudyS

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Hi UTDave

I had a right hip replacement in June, I am about 5 months past now. Time does fly. When discusing life after my surgeon told me I was free to do anything EXCEPT RUN. You guessed it I have been a mountain trail runner. I live in socal with the wonderful San Gabriel mountains on my doorstep.
He told me he was going to turn me in to a bike rider. Mountain biking is OK. The reason running is out is due to the wear on the joint. It may wear out faster and he is hoping this hip will outlast me. I am 51.
Running is totally possible and feels normal (don't ask how I know)

At 3 months restrictions were lifted and I never looked back. I have been kayaking, swimming, using machines at the gym and hiking almost every day.
I did rock climb before I had kids and feel that would be totally possible. My doc says I have great range of motion, all seems normal to me. My knees are another story!!

Hip replacement is awesome. It amazes me every day.
Judy
 
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UTdave

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Cool. Glad to hear it. Your mountains have some great trails I hear!

I live in UT and have been a competetive downhill biker for about three seasons. I've been given similar timelines for restrictions - no riding outside until 3 months. Now I just ride my trainer. My biggest holdup is my other hip which is due to be fixed in Feb. No plans to return to DH racing this summer, but maybe next depending on how a year of XC riding and rehab goes. I know a local who was back to DH racing about 4 months out and he did an entire summer season of racing and felt good. I think I'll be a little more tenative to make sure everything's a go - scar tissue doesn't form overnight!
 

ripanco

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Hi Dave,

I am 3 yrs out from surgery, simultaneous bilateral THA. Like Judy, I have been able to return to just about all of my physical activites with my wonderful new hips. My surgeon would prefere I not run, but has ok'ed short, cushioned runs. He ok'ed mnt. biking, but I have a feeling he has no idea how I mnt bike! :). I do crash. The only competetive mnt biking I have done is local master races, but I do not like racing so most of our riding is just on our local trails (Green Mountains) awesome trails. I had my surgery the end of May and was back on my bike on real easy stuff by mid July. but it was not until the following summer that I really tried to get into the hills again. My hips were no problem. In fact, I really learned to properly bunny hop in a clinic after my THR! Just take your time, get the other hip fixed and spend the spring getting back in shape. I have a feeling downhill racing is gonna be pretty tough on your hips so make sure you have all your muscles, tendons and ligaments nice and strong.

Good luck!

Andrea
 
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UTdave

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Awesome! I suspect the Greens (I assume you mean in New England) have plenty of rocks and roots and technical challenges to test out your new hips. Funny you mention bunny hops, I CANNOT wait see how much higher I can get with hips that move past 75 degrees! I am hoping to crash less than before since I will hopefully be able to move on my bike and not be a rusty tinman. ;-) Be like water and flow!

P.S. MTBer's have been found to have better bone density than many other sports participants (all the vibration?), so here's to keeping the hardware in place with strong bones!
 

JudyS

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Dave do mountain bikers have greater bone density than runners?
I know at the pt gym I have been going to last year they got some type of equipment to exercise on that has very fast vibrations. It is supposed to help with bone density issues.
Having been an obsesive runner for 27 years, my bone density is low due to an endocrine problem.

I have been debating about taking that first mountain bike ride, this may be another plus. Fire road sounds good to me.

Judy
 
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UTdave

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I don't know about running vs MTB, but it seems to be well documented that MTB is superior to road cycling for bone density, and, in fact, road cycling may be bad for bone density.

Although most research suggest weight bearing as the source of benefit, I also agree with the theory that vibration helps the bone density. I have read an abstract from Europe this year that suggested ultrasound vibration therapy can speed fracture healing. I have found out that some of our local spine surgeons use this technique to speed bone graft healing in back fusions. It has also been theorized that MTBer's stand for pedaling more than roadies and load the joints/bone.

MTB appeals to me more than running as I don't know any folks who have had stress fractures from MTB, but many who have from running. Maybe it's a matter of degree (most of the stress fracture people I know train for marathons). I, for one, feel that 5 to 9 inches of modern, damped suspension goes a long way to give your bones a good deal of weight bearing without a tremendous shock load. Judy, regardless, you should get into it - it's super fun and will increase happiness density if not bone density!

I need to get done with rehab and get back to work so I stop spending so much time on these forums!
 
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