Our frequent guest poster, Don Blount, is dealing with a setback.
I had planned on building on what I did last year, riding a total 6,500 miles and completing a bunch of challenging rides, including the Tour of the California Alps Death Ride and my first double century.
This year my goal was to complete three double centuries, which would give me a California Triple Crown and to complete the Death Ride again.
But man makes plans and God laughs.
Instead of preparing for my next ride, I am readying for major surgery in March and rehab with hopes of being able to complete a double century by the fall.
The problem is osteoarthritis in my left hip. It is something that I have been tracking for nearly two years. X-rays taken about last May showed no cartilage in the joint, which meant there was bone on bone grinding.
My doctor described it succinctly: “You have a crappy hip.”
Cycling is a non-weight bearing activity – except for standing when climbing or making a hard effort – so the only option was to live with it until it became problematic.
So I rode and for the most part without any significant problems.
In October I had a quick consult with an orthopedic surgeon who looked at the x-ray, and told me to come see him when I was ready. Ready meant ready for hip replacement surgery.
The hip was balky but it provided no real indication that it would fail.
But over the Christmas holidays it took a turn, becoming increasingly difficult to use until one morning after New Year’s I got up and could not walk at all.
My hip had not just deteriorated; it felt as if it had imploded. I can ride, I can work out. But the pain became constant and I needed a cane to walk.
It was time for hip replacement surgery.
I spoke with my doctor who referred me to the surgeon and a surgery date was scheduled.
I may view this major surgery a bit differently than other people since I had my right hip replaced in 2004. People do not know I have a replacement hip unless I tell them. The surgeon says I can be on bike trainer a few days after surgery.
That’s my new starting point on which to build and hopefully I can complete a California Triple Crown in 2016.
Don, very sorry to hear about your injury. I’ve had a similar series of injuries with the hip, including it being broken twice (one surgically), a torn labrum, and I may be dealing with similar osteoarthritis now that you are. This has been a three year process for me, much of which I’ve bee off the bike. My surgery was January 2015 and I was just cleared to do some serious riding last week (not that the weather has cooperated). Still, my riding will not nearly be at the level that it was. My advice is to stay patient, get hooked on some TV series or movies, and let your hip dictate when you go back out. I think some of mine became worse because I rode on it.
Best of luck with the surgery and recovery.
Dan In Iowa says
You already know all about physical therapy at least! Recover well!
Be well. Be Strong. Be healthy. And here’s to you getting that triple crown in 2016. This is just a delay. Keep on moving and keep on riding
Bill Eccleston says
I am scheduled for April 1. Be a summer of recovery! The fall will be great !
Type 1 Roadie (@neximus) says
Best of luck Don!
God speed. Complete the rehab & keep us in the loop. Hope your riding pain free soon.
Thank you everyone for the well wishes. My surgeon says being fit going into the surgery will be a big help in my recovery. I intend to be a good patient and hopefully will have a good recovery.
Jeff goins says
Don and Aaron.
I was diagnosed with necrosis 7 years ago. It has been a tough rode back. This year I started riding again. I had to have two hip replacements plus a psoas tendon release. I competed at a high level for 12 years with a crappy hip…..and then two hip replacements in Five years. I am or have been riding since December exactly 12 months since my last surgery. I am doing a century in May so hopefully motivation and good luck I will be back.
Jeff, sorry to hear of your struggles. I’ve heard good things about hip replacements and I might be getting one later this year. Hips are a nuisance, but we need them (or at least some metal facsimile). Sending you a prayer for continued improvement and a successful century in May.
Thanks Aaron- I could write a novel about Hip replacements.
I took up cycling in high school after a car wreck (my ultimate reason of a hip replacement) , I could no longer do impactful sports. I loved cycling from the first moment. I competed for years and then kept riding until I started having hip pain and severe arthritis.
I got so bad (like you) it was bone on bone- I debated and at the age of 38 had my first Hip replacement. I however, had bad timing or bad luck and was given a Metal on Metal hip. It was a disaster from day one. It took me five years to get them to take it out, and only after I had metal debris in my blood stream. I rode off and on- but nothing like I had before and always had lingering pain after a ride. I even got rid of all my training equipment- I was so discouraged.
My wife took the first step this year and got me a new bike for Christmas (Infinito CV, the CV for comfort, etc)- love the bike and got me going and off my butt. Last year was a painful year recovering from the new hip surgery, so I was nervous and still am….. Riding is helping the muscles move back to the correct position and holding the hip in tight. I don’t think I can ever compete again at the level I was but hoping to log in some centuries and good tours. I had some pain after 5 consecutive days of 16+ miles each day. I am trying to listen to my body but train hard at the same time- balance is what I keep telling myself.
Re: Hip Replacements – Had I gotten a ceramic one to begin with I would have been fine, hell I walked out two days after surgery but the metal on metal caused me problems.
Good look to you my friend. I know the pain of a bad hip and it can take over the mind……
Thanks, Jeff. That is great feedback. I don’t know that they do metal ones anymore. Either way, I’m going to learn a lot over the next few months, as will Don.