Return from Knee Surgery

I am a masters track sprint cyclist and had knee surgery 10 weeks ago - microfracturing on the lateral femoral condyle for traumatic cartilage damage. I had been given ok to pedal by ortho surgeon with no load and can no spin for 60mins at 90rpm ( very low watts). No direct load in legs in gym yet. My power balance is about 10% difference between legs. I am about to get another MRI to see if I have enough replacement scar tissue to start loading. If yes, I have a couple of questions:

  1. On the bike - what is best way to return to load to get a. Improved power balance and b. Ability to return to specific training load? Do I start with specific sessions or just varied road rides?
  2. In the gym - start with single leg or double leg for strength rebuild?
    Appreciate any suggestions or examples ( noting I am a health care specialist and experienced cyclist - just never had a knee injury before!)

Having had 5 knee surgeries and come back, I would recommend talking to your doctor about what you can do and how fast you can start loading, and starting recovery with a PT.

At least for me, the early days were always single leg exercises to build back up the strength in all the muscles that support / stabilize the knee joint & working on getting back full range of motion.

1 Like

I’m retired from health care.
I agree with AlphaDigCycling. Talk to the ortho and work with a PT. The PT being more important if the two. Way back in the day the ortho docs had to prescribe the actual physical therapy program you would. How much weight, reps, range of motion etc. Nowadays its more likely in the US at least the the ortho will simply prescribe something like 6 weeks physical therapy and let the PT determine the the details.
There may be some communication between the ortho and the PT but its usually very little.

second the comments below: get professional advice from a PT!! crucial for the gym. They will know what is best!

Bike: start easy, and I wouldn’t do any workout aside from endurance until you feel 100%.