Return to cycling after hip resurfacing

by Hypoglycaemic   September 24, 2013  

I may undergo hip resurfacing surgery in the next few months. Does anyone have experience of this? I am worried that I might have to give up serious cycling forever! Worried

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If it's any comfort, I broke my hip last year in March, and managed to do the Gran Fondo di Roma in the October (95Km). I spent 6-months on crutches - I dropped to one very quickly, but limped without that. I did exactly what my physio asked of me, and although I couldn't say it wasn't painful, I recovered.

I know it's not the same, but thought it might give you some idea.

niceguysean's picture

posted by niceguysean [107 posts]
24th September 2013 - 13:18


When you say resurfacing, do you mean an arthroscopy. If so, I had one about four years ago now, after being knocked off my bike on a dual carriageway (from behind) and suffering fairly bad injuries, including hip damage. I can't say that it will cure whatever condition it is that your having the surgery for, but it should make it easier. I've also had the steroid injections afterwards, the first set worked short term, the second had almost no impact. I'm now back to riding everyday (20-30 mile commute), some days it hurts, some it's easier. I don't do huge mileage (although i've not tried anything over 50-60 miles) and the summers are better than the wetter seasons (I wonder whether arthritis is setting in!!). I followed physio advice as well and I still swim as much as i can which does seem to help. Obviously each person is different, including the reason for the surgery, but I would say that you shouldn't have to give up serious cycling, at the end of the day just listen to your body.

posted by elevensees [4 posts]
25th September 2013 - 12:54


Hope all goes well. I was at the hospital today as a follow up for the ongoing groin issues I've had. Now going for MRI on hip as x-ray points to that as possible cause.
Long term, hip replacement but way too young I hope for that!

posted by Super Domestique [1670 posts]
26th September 2013 - 20:43


Any update on this?

Just got back from getting the results of my MRI and looks like I'm in the same boat as you guys.

Any info / feedback welcome!

posted by Super Domestique [1670 posts]
14th November 2013 - 12:39



What about hip replacement? Any had that but kept cycling?

posted by Super Domestique [1670 posts]
19th November 2013 - 10:22


Hi Hypo & All

Long story short... I'd been suffering from a progressively bad lower back for a few years. My golf swing had gone to pot - lost 30 yards off my 3 wood. The only relief was when riding my bike (25m each way commute). Pains got dramatically worse and moved into my thighs and groin so got it checked out. Advanced Osteoarthritis in both hips, my surgeon described them as 'hopeless and miserable'. I was told to stop riding in case of an accident and 3 weeks later it was taking me 10 minutes to get out of bed and down the stairs.

On 29/11/12 I had my right hip replaced and on 29/01/13 I had my left one done. Mid April I went out for an exploratory ride on a Sunday morning. The following day I split the journey to work 50:50 bike and train. By June I was back up to full distance. My knees no longer splay out and I can spin at higher cadence in comfort. Oh, and I'm smashing my 3 wood 250 yards. Happy days.

I was knocked for six when I received the diagnosis. I went to see a spinal surgeon as I thought I had a bad back and when he broke the bad news to me I had visions of hobbling around on walking sticks for the rest of my life. He referred me on to a specialist hip surgeon. I was 45 years old when I had the surgery. I had large diameter ceramic on ceramic total hip replacements as this was what was recommended by my surgeon.

My surgeon was very positive from the start. He said I'd recover well as all the parts that were important to my hips were strong due to the cycling. During my final sign-off 6 months after my second op he said I could ride bikes as I like, but I'd already figured this out for myself.

It's only now that I realise how bad my hips had become. My flexibility and range of movement are dramatically improved and I feel fitter and stronger than I have for many years.

Don't despair fellas.

posted by Bikemonkey [3 posts]
19th November 2013 - 23:25


Just make sure its not a metal on metal prosthesis. A THR may be a better long term prospect and should not interfere with cycling.

posted by trisc [6 posts]
20th November 2013 - 10:57


I cracked my pelvis over forty years ago. Whilst in hospital my right hip joint became infected but the doctors ignored the pain which became excruciating. The result was a badly damaged joint with some leg shortening.
My walking was severely affected, and after a couple of years I got on an old ladies bike and found that cycling, which is non weight bearing, allowed me to build up my leg and thigh muscles, and gently exercise the joint.
This was a revelation. My cycling went from strength to strength and within a few years I cycled to the Alps at 100 m.p.d. and climbed a minor peak.
Naturally I have been devoted to cycling ever since. It has been my health and pleasure. It has been my life and strength. I have astonished the able bodied but sedentary.
In the end the damaged joint became painful and I had a full replacement. Then the residual infection flared up so the artificial joint had to be replaced. I was back on the bike as soon as possible, with the surgeon's blessing. Cycling was a major part of my rehabilitation.
I'm very disappointed that an unrelated problem has made sitting on a saddle painful. I am trying a recumbent, but I just don't find it the same. Its a replacement sure, but sitting on a saddle, spinning away, was a part of my life I will always miss.
So, I would say, get on your bike, listen to what your body tells you, and let Dr.Bike work his healing. Check with your surgeon too, of course.

felixcat's picture

posted by felixcat [344 posts]
20th November 2013 - 11:32


Thanks for the feedback.

It's been tough getting my head round being told my right hip is shot and that's the reason for a year of groin pain.

Arthoscopy is / was an option but I've been told I'm far along so 1 in 5 chance it'll make it worse.

posted by Super Domestique [1670 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:18


I presume that by "resurfacing" you mean something like the Birmingham procedure, which is a partial hip replacement - they don't cut the hip bones out, just fit a cup into your pelvis and a cap on the top of your leg socket. When I was 42 I discovered that I had arthritis in one hip (most likely due to an accident when I was a child). They cleaned out the calcium deposits at the time and told me I'd need the resurfacing done in a year or two. Seven years later, every time I go in for a review they say no need to do it yet - not much pain evident so keep on going. The fact that I cycle 5 or more days a week is I think a big factor in the avoidance of needing surgery. I would presume that, so long as the surgery is successful, that cycling would be fine. I do recall though that there is a period of time after the surgery during which you are not supposed to stress or stretch the joint during which time cycling might not be advised - but your surgeon would tell you.

posted by Sakurashinmachi [48 posts]
21st November 2013 - 14:08


Thanks for all the feedback chaps.

posted by Super Domestique [1670 posts]
21st November 2013 - 20:54