Accidents happen all the time, and a lot of cyclists may face knee or ankle injuries. One of the hardest ones to recover from is knee replacement surgery, which can affect your leg’s performance.
But just because things have changed doesn’t mean you can’t try to go back to normal. It will take hard work and patience to return you to form. Here is a simple walkthrough of what you can expect post-surgery:
How to Start Cycling Again After Knee Replacement Surgery
Phase 1: Physical Therapy
After a successful surgery, the hospital will require you to rest for one full day. Sometime within the day, a physical therapist will start you on a regimen. They will help you stand, walk, sit, and make some very basic motions that won’t strain your body through the help of passive motion machines.
For the next two weeks or so, you will need to visit your physical therapist regularly to start the recovery process. Expect some minor discomfort as your leg adjusts to the range of motion required for you to move around.
Phase 2: Stationary Biking
After two weeks, or when your physical therapist sees that your range of motion is improving, you can start getting back into cycling with a stationary bike. Make sure to get a confirmation from your PT first before hopping right back in.
The stationary bike has to be at an optimal height. You can ask for assistance getting on the first few times. Don’t go full throttle right away. Start with some slow pedaling and increase it every time you feel an improvement.
Once you’re able to bend your knee at 90 degrees, you can fully turn the cranks. Completing a full revolution is only half the battle. Once you achieve that, you can start adding a bit of resistance for strength and endurance building. Listen to your body in this process. If it’s starting to hurt in your knee, lower the resistance.
Phase 3: Outdoor Cycling with Your eBike
Six weeks or so later, after using a stationary bike, you can ask your doctor if you’re clear to bike outdoors again. If it’s a resounding yes, then get ready to hop on your bike.
The advantage of eBikes is that they can help you adjust your bike to an assistance setting. The less difficult it becomes, the more you can control your bike. As an important final reminder, check in with your doctors when they ask you to stay within the recommended exercise for you and don’t go too far.
It may be tempting to get back on your eBike, but that’s not something you can get back into right away post-surgery. Recovery is always a process, but you will slowly but surely get back on the right (biking) track of living an active lifestyle with some patience and work.
The most important thing to do is trust the process and don’t rush into things if you need more time for rehabilitation. Everyone’s body recovers and heals at different capacities, so listen to your body and heed the advice of medical professionals.
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