Hip Replacement Surgery

A friend of mine, a Cat 1 racer, had her hip replaced at age 45 due to hip dysplasia leading to increased pain and labrum tears etc… Six months post-replacement and she was pretty much as strong as she had been, and a year later she joined me on a 10k century. Assuming there are no complications with your surgery, I don’t think you should have any issues if you follow appropriate rehab etc…

Hip Dysplasia is what my issue is as well… This is great to hear and encouraging. Thank you!

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Thanks to everyone for your replies, I was anxious about the surgery however absolutely no issues and easy procedure. If you have the pain get it done. Thanks again.

Lots of encouraging information in this thread! I (M 41) had a stupid little MTB crash a little over a week ago that resulted in a seriously displaced femoral neck fracture. Had to get a helicopter rescue from the trail and the whole nine yards (was a pretty gnarly ordeal). Due to the severity of the break, THR was immediately suggested that night in the ER following x-rays – which obviously came as a bit of a shock! I had to wait an additional day for surgery and during that time a trauma surgeon discussed with me the alternative option: reconstruction. However, the recovery from that sounded horrendous and long, as well as carrying the risk of AVN. So, I opted for THR and had the surgery last Thursday.

Because the doctor wanted a better look at the femur due to possible other fractures, we opted for the posterior approach. Thankfully no additional plating or anything was needed and cuts to muscle were minimized. Surgery was deemed a success and I was set to be discharged the following day. However, for two consecutive days during the discharge process I had bouts of lightheadedness and orthostatic hypotension. These were chalked up to dehydration and probably exacerbated by my high fitness. I finally got out Sunday afternoon.

Since returning home I’m feeling better everyday. I’m using a walker for safety, but can walk fairly normally unassisted. I’ll probably switch to a cane soon. I’ve hardly had to resort to painkillers for the last four days, pain and discomfort are adequately treated with acetaminophen, ice, and rest. It’s only during the middle of the night where I struggle to get comfortable and feel the need for anything stronger. I’m a side-sleeper and adjusting to back-sleeping has been a bit challenging, as well as finding just the right leg angle and knee bend to relax.

My hope is that I can get back on the trainer at 4 weeks and riding easy road and gravel around 6 weeks. I’m not setting any event goals or milestones yet. Thankfully, I’d already had a good start to the race season, exceeding my goals at True Grit and Co2uT 125, winning my category at a local road race, and nabbing 3rd at Grand Junction Rides n’ Vibes Dirty 30 just three days before the spill. I even got two KOMs and power PRs on the ride where I crashed. I was supposed to be in Durango now for the Iron Horse Classic and I had other races lined up for the following two weeks, so that’s a bit depressing. But, in the end, in the grand scheme of things, this should just be a bump in the road!

I’ll try to report back as I return to training.


Damn! I didn’t have THR. My recovery was long and painful. Then came the rehab which was also long. It was a process to say the least. I have friends who had THR. They were walking the next day or two days later. So, recovery is indeed much faster.

Check w/your doc about when you can start light rides on the trainer. I would imagine if you can walk, then the trainer should be okay if easy.

I too had to learn to sleep on my back. Total misery! Only tip is lots of pillows to get you and your leg/hip comfy enough that you can sleep on your back.

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Back on the bike sooner than expected…well, sort of. Started riding the upright stationary trainer at the rec center 11 days post-op. Had my two-week follow-up today and the doctor confirmed that was fine, and as long as I stay mindful of my movement restrictions and listen to my body I can do pretty much whatever I feel like recovery-wise. I’ll still hold off riding the normal trainer for a week or two and I’ll make some fit tweaks so that I’m not bending past 90º or putting my hip at risk getting off and on.

So far, so good.


Glad you’re doing well! I always chuckle when you hear a pro athlete’s agent say “they had successful X surgery” hours after surgery. You don’t know if it’s “successful” until weeks to months out when people return to work/sport. It’s like saying you’ve successfully started a business the day you open the doors before the first sale

Just mind your hip precautions and should do peachy on a stationary bike. Off topic, but super funny… we have print outs in our office of “safe post op hip replacement sexual positions”. Always fun hearing how a hip popped out haha

I had a total replacement just over 3 years ago. (Yes, in the pandemic. They lost my best mask)

The prep was interesting. The product was the Mako Hip, and I had to get a detailed radiological series done that included a measuring rod in the images. The hospital doing the procedure wanted over $3,500 for the series, and I was able to get the name of an offsite, and ‘out of plan’ site that would do the whole series for less than $1,000 AND I was able to verify they were ‘certified’ by Mako to do the scans. Got it done three days before the procedure, and the data was shipped down to Mako that same day, all included. I guess the hospital figured I’d pay that much for ‘convenience’?

The day of the procedure was great. The nurse shaved my entire leg because I guess it looked nice? (I’m not kidding! She seemed to enjoy it, and my wife laughed)

The operation went flawlessly. I was in and out on something like 4 hours, and spent the next little while in recovery, and then was shipped to a room where I was urged to get out and walk. I was instructed on using a walker, and cane (and was told that I was one of the youngest patients they ever had for the surgery again).

I spent the next hour and a half or so doing laps around the floor they had me on, and going through ‘Oc-Med’ exercises on how to do things after the procedure like walking, and sitting, sleeping, etc. (Like be careful, you can dislocate the hip joint and need to be whisked back to the operating room to reset it, and it’s painful) I was doing laps around the floor as I said, and felt terrific. I got home, and we did a once around to see if anything had to be moved or adjusted. I felt fine. Expected a nice snooze and everything to be fantastic come morning. Until around 2a that is. Then I had the worst cramping I have ever had in my entire right hip! OMG!! I had pain killers onboard and even popped one that was supposed to tranq a hippo, and the pain was excruciating. No one ever warned me about that, so SURPRISE! By 9 or 10a the pain was manageable, and the first day with the new hip had begun.

I was told to walk as much as possible, and did my best. Why is because the Mako hip replacement requires the muscles to hold the joint together. Early in the post-op phase, a patient can easily dislocate the new hip. I certainly did not want to do that.

I had my first followup at one week. I had already been on the bike the previous 2 days, but at zone ZERO, and using my slippers on the tops of the SPD-SL pedals because clipping in/out was really painful and I didn’t want to risk dislocation, etc.

The surgeon asked me if I had been on the bike yet, and I guess the look at my wife was the clue. ‘Just be very careful! NO riding outside, and nothing where you could fall off the bike!’, and NO BIG WATTS!'. Turns out he say my Strava account. Oops…

I got better on the bike, and with walking so much, got stronger pretty quickly. At the second followup he said I was the best patient he had ever had. (SHRUG) I progressed back to the shoes and pedals after about a month or so.

I had to adapt my stretching routine to avoid any possibility of stressing the hip, and again risking dislocation.

I was back riding like normal in probably 2 months.

The one thing that he stressed before surgery was to KEEP RIDING! I was told to not stop riding at all, and to keep doing what I was doing. (Although he did tell my wife, in the post-op conference, that I was ‘more muscular than he thought’, and would have a harder time through the next 24 hours post-op. Yeah, true that, it was incredible pain…

The surgeon finally said that it hurt so bad because it was like him stretching my muscles over my shoulder to get to the joint. Yeah, a silly thing to say, but they were stretched farther than they had ever been stretched.

So, now, I LOVE IT!! No pain, no noise, and it’s stronger than ever.

Only one issue arose, post-op. The ‘robot’ that he used, when they were pounding the joint parts in used a ‘perfect’ orientation, and as a result my right leg was somehow assembled with a normal knee geometry, so my early riding in the pedals was getting used to my knee banging the top tube, and seat post clamp area, which it never did before. It caused different wear on my knee, so I was experiencing some, at time surprising, knee pain. Aleve and lots of ice packs eventually helped me get over that.

Now the fallout: In the first 2 to 3 years it is strongly recommended that antibiotics be taken before any dental procedure. The chances of an infection in the new joint area is real, and if not handled right can cause all kinds of badness, including possibly abandoning the new joint. Now there is a small pitched battle between my dentist and the surgeon’s office. They tell me I’m good without taking more antibiotics, and the dentist is ready to die on the hill of requiring me to keep taking them. I just had a prostatectomy and that surgeon was mildly concerned and I don’t know if they did anything special as far as loading and antibiotics. I did not have anything in a doggie bag so I am thinking they weren’t as concerned as my dentist.

Pre-op, I was having pain walking and if I did long rides. Post-op, I still have some muscle aches after a long ride, but the aching hip pain is gone.

I had concerns before the operation, and since everyone did their job right, it’s been the best surgery I’ve ever had, so far. The old hip was stopping me from doing some of the things I liked to do, and now I’m good. I call that a win, and recommend it to anyone that is experiencing hip issues.

As far as longetivity? Well, when I asked the surgeon, post-op, if the new equipment had a mileage warranty, he gave me a shitty look. My wife laughed.

Will it need to be ‘revised’? Potentially. That is why they don’t like to do them on ‘young people’, because they really might outlive the joint and have to have it revised once or twice.

If you need it? Do it! Just ‘Be good!’…

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My wife had total hip replacement this past December at age 31 due to a lifetime of figure skating that had led to severe arthritis. She is now just a few weeks out from the Leadville 100 MTB and at an all time high FTP. She was an advanced racer before her replacement but the procedure seems to have unlocked a new level for her. The pain is gone that she once experienced cycling and she is stronger then ever.

If anyone is one the fence, I’d suggest getting it after watching what it’s done do my wife. All positive!


Quick update: I started riding outside 6 weeks from surgery, that was a little over a week ago. Here’s been my timeline:

First gym bike ride: 11 days out
First indoor trainer ride: 4.5 weeks (mountain bike with hi-rise handlebars)
First outdoor ride: 6 weeks (road and gravel, both on gravel bike)

So far, so good (mostly). Been tip-toeing the line of pushing the recovery pace without overdoing it, but I may have pushed a little far over this past holiday weekend. Feeling pretty good after a couple 20-35 mile rides on Thursday and Friday, I went for my longest ride yet on Saturday – 53 miles of mostly gravel. There was a bit too much bumpy mountain forest road descending than I hoped for, but I was feeling good through ~40 miles when all of the sudden I started to get very sharp stabbing pains in my hip. I took the last 13 miles – which fortunately were mostly downhill – pretty easy and pushed any climbs with my other leg. The pain stopped pretty much as soon as I got off the bike. I spent the rest of the day babying it with ice and other recovery methods. I took Sunday (yesterday) off the bike, but logged around 10,000 steps doing yard work and other chores. No pain has returned.

I’m going out on a flat road ride tonight to test the waters. Wish me luck! Hopefully the pain was just my body telling me to back off a little bit and I haven’t slowed my recovery.

I have my 8-week follow-up on Wednesday.

Here’s what my TP has looked like since May (accident was 5/16)

Post op pain? I think it’s long lasting issues from the trauma from the surgery. The muscles are severely stretched for a longer than ever expected amount of time. After ‘that first night’ and the muscle cramp of my life, I do find that side to be a little more ‘bitchy’ at times. Not that I can blame it, that was a hell of an assault on it. I have to spend more time stretching that side too. The opposite side gets bitchy too as it was carrying more load pre-op, but it’s not generally as vociferous.

Not sorry I had it done, but the continuing minor issues has been interesting. I did progress quite a bit post-op to be sure… I have a friend who is on fence about getting it done (for like 5 years! :roll_eyes:) and I just keep telling her to ‘DO IT, I know a great surgeon’. Once the muscle tone returns, it’s good as new. Better if you experienced joint pain.

EDIT: My last follow-up, he was impressed. Said I was the best patient he’d ever had (sure :roll_eyes:) and was cleared for ‘normal life’. The ‘team’ was fascinated as I was one of the youngest and definitely fittest patient. It helps to be fit going into that surgery!

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