This is exactly why I bought my KICKR and what ultimately led me to TR. I hurt my hip, went the physical therapy route and after a slew of false starts, ended having to have surgery. Before hand I decided I didn’t want to cash in all the hard work I had done on the bike in the preceding year so I bought my trainer, and hit Zwift a few times, which led to TrainerRoad. My initial thought was just to try to maintain some of what I ha already done, I didn’t really understand that I could actually improve…
In any case, I agree, once your doc clears you to sit up, put that bad boy in ERG mode and do some riding. Due to the nature of my injury, and my inability to get on and off the trainer by myself, I stuck to some basic aerobic stuff the first ten days, but then I started pushing a bit. My FTP was like 110 because of my hip, but I was able to train just the same. I would expect to lower your FTP and training intensity due to the inability to hold the bars solidly, but I don’t imagine you’d be off the bike much more than ten days, depending of course on what the doc says. I’d make sure they understand you’re talking about a stationary trainer ride, and not a road ride, but I’d also explain that it isn’t on an olds kool gym bike either you know?
Mine was super supportive of my plan, especially when I showed him some data and images of what I wanted to do, he gave me specific guidance on reducing my intensity and even advice that helped me mentally reset to the new lower FTP me.
For the record, I was completely no load bearing for ten days post op, then crutches with assistance for ten more, so it was about the 15th day that I got on the trainer with zero resistance and just pushed the pedals. I did this the first time at the Physical Therapist so they could observe what I was doing in detail. it was about 20 days before I was able to run some basic resistance work, like a 2 out 20. By 45 days I did a ramp test (again with my PT) and I was like 85 (), but it was progress. Im 45 so I feel your aging pain, and I would say its important to keep progress and performance in perspective. The mental part of understanding my limitations was the hardest for me after 25 years in the military of just pushing through everything. That got me in the boat I was in with my hip, so I made a real determined decision to heal correctly this time, regardless of what the numbers showed on the meter. I’m 7 months post op right now, and my FTP is back to 200 with another ramp test scheduled for Jan 5th.
You can do it, and I think you can do it on the trainer too if you do it smartly.