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by Carl Moler

carl knees beforeOn the left is an X-ray of my knees before surgery... it is called the "Swaying in the Wind" look... no cartilage on the outside of the right knee joint... bone on bone... lots of pain... left knee little cartilage on the inside of the knee joint plus a number of bone spurs under the kneecap... not a lot of fun... was getting harder to climb on bike rides...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

carl knees afterOn the right are my new titanium implants and straight legs... also a poly button behind my kneecaps for knee ball to rub on...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

carl sideknee afterThe X-ray to the left shows a side view of one of the knees...

...now 5 months and 1 week after surgery... I have been riding over 200 miles a week for over a month and a half... got in my first ride at 6 weeks... actually could ride pretty normally at 3 months... now just a little pain in the right knee when I stand out of the saddle and climb... getting better every week...

A number of people have inquired about the surgery and ask for some details so here they are... just got the CD with the X-Rays from Dr. Steven Barnett's Office... He and his assistant Treanna Mathers are incredibly talented at what they do... check it out at The Orthopaedic Specialty Institute in Orange County, California... I know I had some reservations about how such radical surgery would affect my bicycle riding and quite frankly put it off for a long time due to those concerns... and there is not a lot of information out there regarding how seriously one can ride after such surgery ... FYI ...I have been a serious cyclist for 20+ years and have raced in the Masters National championships five times and won a National Jersey twice. I have also completed the Race Across America in 2010 and 2011 in the team category... I bring up these facts not to brag but to demonstrate what I mean about riding seriously after this surgery. I expect to be back to whatever level I was able to be at before the surgery within a month or so... and also have been told I will keep noticing improvement in the knees for up to a year after surgery... I may even think about giving the RAAM (Race Across America) another shot in the future...

The hip replacement is a non-issue regarding cycling...(I had my left hip replaced last October by Dr. Barnett as well) the Anterior (through the front) Approach means a cyclist can be back on the bike relatively soon with little trauma to deal with... the Posterior (through the backside) Approach does damage to important muscles in the buttocks and creates the possibility of a dislocation when one bends over forward... obviously this presents a problem for a cyclist... and requires a number of months of rehab before cycling is possible... (I have hip x-rays for anyone interested in seeing what a hip implant looks like)

I hope that answers any questions that cyclists or other active people who are contemplating hip or knee surgery may have... I know the pain I was in and put it off as long as I could... obviously there are downsides to surgery and implants but when the positives far outweigh the negatives it is nice to know that there is a good option to having to deal with the pain while riding and to limping around in agony... but be advised that you have to be serious about rehabilitation and rehabilitation is certainly not accomplished without a period of discomfort and pain ... I also strongly recommend the importance of finding a surgeon and a physical therapist that are really good at what they do... a special thanks goes to Rob Ortmayer and his staff at Yorba Linda Physical Therapy for all their help with the rehabilitation process for both the hip and knee surgeries...

By the way I get asked often whether the amount and intensity of my cycling for the last 25 years caused the joint problems... the answer is that the cycling I have done actually allowed me to postpone the surgery for years ... my bad knees were a product of football and rugby injuries and the wear and tear of running for training... cycling is a non-load bearing exercise and therefore very good for people who have knee problems... at least of the Degenerative Arthritis type... I had 5 knee surgeries between the ages of 30 and 40... I started cycling when I was 35 and got serious at 39... I am now 62... my knees feel better than they have since I was in my 30's... Feel free to email me with any other questions you might have...

 

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