Any positive stories about getting back on the bike after ankle surgery??

by Mike_B   July 27, 2013  

Hi all,

Currently recovering from surgery on a broken ankle. Got a plate and 7 pins in there.

I'm a long way off getting back on my feet but all I can think about is when I can ride my bike again.

Anyone here had this sort of surgery and how long did it take before you could get out again? How long before you could do proper efforts like all day rides and hard climbs??

I've read too many negative stories on the net about it taking ages and your ankle not being the same. They are probably all written by overweight hypochondriacs and it will be fine - but still would be good to hear from a cyclist who has been through the same thing to put my mind at rest. Or not!

Thank you
Mike

9 user comments

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Yes Mike,I was buried on the coalface in 1988,and nearly lost my left leg below the knee,but fortunately Mansfield General Hosp,and Harlow Wood Orthopeadic Hosp,saved my leg.I was off work for 18months,and found the physio and the constant to and fro,harder than the accident.I started slowly once the all clear came,and set little goals,around the local lanes.My left ankle is 15 degrees off centre,but it does not make any problems,I use Look pedals,on all my bikes.I am 66 and have cycled since age 9,and am still Time Trialing at least once per week,and beat the Vets standards for my age at 10-25miles.Keep your chin up pal,you will be pleasantly suprised how you will get on.I had to build up all of my muscles on the left leg,and I play havoc with airport scanners.Tony Fox,Mapperley CC,Notts.

posted by foxyloxy [52 posts]
28th July 2013 - 17:02

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I have a plate and a bunch of pins in one of my ankles. I think it was about 12 weeks until I was back on the bike (about 17 weeks for running). Seemed like forever at the time but I was able to ramp up the mileage again quite quickly after that and get more or less all movement back, and definitely all fitness.

The best thing I did was to pay for a couple of sessions with a sports physio. They'll be able to tell you what you can do in your individual case to get back to normal as soon as possible without taking risks.

posted by Mat Brett [1808 posts]
28th July 2013 - 17:25

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Not many surgery's for my. But I have gotten back cycling after being told I have Parkinson's.

I was having issues with balance and tremors while out riding, which was forcing me to only do a mile here or there.

Now I'm back, all be it on a recumbent trike. I can do any mileage my body can handle, stop have a break and then get going again Big Grin

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posted by Gkam84 [8645 posts]
28th July 2013 - 17:44

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I'm in the same boat having snapped my achilles 9 weeks ago, had surgery, still in plaster , calf muscles have disappeared , just wanna start riding again!! Doc said as soon as I'm out of plaster in 2 weeks I can start with zero resistance work on the Turbo. It's a start!!
Good luck with your recovery..

Slow n steady wins the race Yawn

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posted by Mattho72 [4 posts]
28th July 2013 - 23:40

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Thanks for the replies. Reading these stories abound you guys coming back from far worse problems than mine is inspiring.

Think the sports physio is a good shout. Now just got to try and limit the amount of time I've been spending ogling new bikes on the net!

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posted by Mike_B [28 posts]
29th July 2013 - 9:37

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I've got 11 pins and a steel plate in my right ankle. Broke it both sides and split the tibia down the middle for extra effect.

I think I'm right in saying that the metalwork is redundant after about 8 to 10 weeks after the fracture(s) has healed. The important thing is that the orthopaedic surgeon has done a good job and set your ankle back to how it was originally - or as close as can be expected. ie that all the bones are in alignment. Generally, the people who have problems have either had a catastrophic injury OR a bad surgeon.

Personally, 7 years on, it doesn't really affect me anymore. My achilles tendon was damaged as well ( the doctors didn't even mention it because compared to my fracture, it was just an also-ran) and I find I sometimes get some tendonitis. Apart from that, long term prognosis is good.

Don't read too much into the bad stories you read online. Just like reviews/forums, people will generally only vent when things go badly. Those of us with good experiences tend to keep quiet and get on with life.

You will be fine, trust me!

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
29th July 2013 - 12:25

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Agree with londonplayer. People aren't motivated to go online and post, "Broke my leg but the surgeon was really good and I recovered quickly without incident."

I snapped my elbow off last year and read a bunch of horror stories about recovery and long-term problems. I was swimming again in less that 4 weeks.

posted by Mat Brett [1808 posts]
29th July 2013 - 12:41

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I suffered a broken ankle being hit by a car last November. It wasn't as serious as yours sounds, but it did require an operation and a couple of screws inserted. I was in plaster until the new year, and went for a very tentative, very short ride the day after the plaster came off Wink Probably not to be recommended but I couldn't resist! I was back on the bike properly sometime in February / March, and built up from struggling to do fairly flat 20-30 milers then to doing a hilly 106 mile sportive last month. It still bothers me a bit walking around sometimes, and I'm not running again yet, but it's fine on the bike.

My advice would be take it easy and don't try to do too much too soon. Go and see a decent sports physio (the physio I saw at the hospital was useless and wasn't interested once they'd seen I could walk on it, albeit very gingerly, as soon as the cast was off) and make sure you do the exercises they give you.

Good luck with your recovery Smile

posted by graham_f [84 posts]
30th July 2013 - 16:22

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Thanks Graham - good to hear. Sounds quite similar to my injury.

Running and walking both completely superfluous activities in my opinion - as long as I can ride a bike properly ill be fine Smile

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posted by Mike_B [28 posts]
30th July 2013 - 19:20

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