Getting back on the bike after a nasty hip fracture

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by Oldharry, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Oldharry

    Oldharry New Member

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    I'm an old guy, just turned 70.Live and breathe cycling clocking up 150 miles a week on the road.
    I came off 7 weeks ago, and because I already had a replacement hip, the impact of the crash caused the hip to fracture and also needed a new hip replacement.
    I soon bounced back to health and starting on recovering my fitness on a trainer. Hopefully I will be back on the bike very soon.
    However I'm now very nervous of coming off again. I have looked around for forms of hip protection, don't really like the look of the mountain bike/ skiing heavy padded shorts and I want the protection around the hip joint.
    Can anyone suggest where I could look to find padding which I could insert inside my shorts around my hip area?
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION ...

    Consider a pair of HARDSHELL knee pads ...

    Put your hand over your knee ...

    Now, put your hand over your hip ...

    Put your hand over your knee, again ...
    I think it could work; but, I don't know how they will make your current shorts fit.




     
  3. Oldharry

    Oldharry New Member

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    My latest thinking is-- sowing several layers of bubble wrap inside a cloth pad which I can slip inside my shorts and around my hip, which hopefully will not look too stupid.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure a pad would help to prevent a broken hip, I mean you're talking about almost your entire body weight being whipped onto concrete and landing on your hip, I doubt a pad would prevent the hip from being damaged in that type of situation. I have lower back fusion done 7 or so years ago and the doc said if I have a bike accident and land on that area I could have permanent life altering damage, to which I thought, big deal! I like to ride bikes and I'm not going to let something like that stop me or worry me, so I ride without any protection back there and I do so without fear. I think fear is what makes accidents happen, you think about it too much and sort of like a self prophecy it comes to past, so I refuse to think about it and I think that works better then a pad!
     
  5. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Member

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    I fractured my femur in a crash some years ago and it took me a long time to recover. I also thought about riding with a pad but aside from my ice hockey pants, I couldn't think of anything.

    After awhile, you just stop thinking about it and you'll ride like it never happened. Until the next crash....

    It's great that you're 70+ and out on your bike. I'll hit 64 soon and I want to keep going as long as I can...and as long as I can be reasonably fast.
     
  6. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    I broke my hip in a bike accident 20 years ago. I was back riding in 10 1/2 weeks and never looked back (I did not need a replacement, so the healing time was longer). I don't worry about it at all, as I refuse to let that kind of fear take the fun out of riding.

    I agree that there's not much you can do to protect your hips from a road accident. I've thought of using armored shorts when I'm riding off-road in the snow in the winter, primarily to prevent bruising in minor falls. There's no way I'd consider it on the road, as I'm sure it would be very uncomfortable.
     
  7. phillman5

    phillman5 New Member

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    Ditto here but other bones. When I played HS football in the 70's, under our pants we wore sort of a girdle, at least thats what they called them, they had pockets for several pads. One being on the hip. The pad were hard plastic to spread any impacts, and was coated with 3/8" foam. Something like that might work, talk to your local high school football coach.
     
  8. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    The problem is that pads for other sports are not designed to work in the normal riding position. Additionally, anything that's rigid is going to create a problem when you're pedaling (friction, chafing, restricted movement). There are bike-specific products, but they're designed for downhill racing, where there's not much pedaling going on. G-Form does make some cycling-specific shorts with hip and tailbone pads, but I can't vouch for their comfort for road use.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I am (and, was) under the impression that the desired hip pad is mostly for psychological comfort ...

    A "hardshell" will provide some weight distribution in the case of unintended contact.

     
  10. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    Think about it. The hip is not a simple hinge joint like a knee or elbow. They are relatively easy to protect, since the pad only needs to hinge in one direction and can easily move with the joint. But with a hip, any rigid pad put on the outside is going to cause chafing when pedaling, particularly if it's actually large enough to provide decent protection. It's the equivalent of putting a rigid pad on the side of a knee or elbow, which wouldn't work, either.

    IMO, "pyschological comfort" is a not only a bad idea, it's potentially dangerous unless the pads provides some real protection. Would "OldHarry" take risks with pads on that he wouldn't without them? If so, they would actually increase the likelihood of another injury, which is the exact opposite of the intent.

    My read of his post is that he's looking for something that's protective, not just cosmetic.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I so not think about my lower back that the doctor told me NOT to ride my bike for 6 MONTHS AFTER surgery...I started riding my bike, starting out with a 1 mile ride, 3 WEEKS after surgery! by the time 6 months came around I was averaging 50 miles a day with a 100 mile Saturday ride...I never told my doc I was riding during all that time I wasn't suppose to be! It actually felt good on my back to be riding so I thought why not keep doing it? The back healed just fine.
     
  12. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    Unfortunately, some surgeons simply don't understand how best to work with people with an active/athletic lifestyle and don't appreciate how well we know our bodies. They just treat everyone like they're sedentary couch potatoes and prescribe a very conservative recovery plan.

    I was lucky in that my surgeon was an athlete and understood. He didn't pull any punches and told me exactly what could happen if I pushed too hard, too early, but also said to let the pain be my guide. If it hurts too much, don't do it. I was back walking unaided before my last checkup, which was when I was supposed to be cleared to get back on the bike, but he was surprised that I hadn't been riding other than on a trainer.

    FWIW, I had the screws removed ~9 months post-surgery and I'm really glad that I did. Recovering from that was nothing by comparison.
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    My doc that did my back was a cyclist, and he knew I was also a cyclist, but supposedly due to the nature of the injury he didn't want any stress on it, but I think that came more from a liability aspect and not how he may have really thought. But I did let the pain tell me when I had enough, kind of common sense, but even when it got sore from riding the major portion of the pain actually would subside for as short as an hour when I first started riding to as long as 3 hours after 6 months (this means that when I stopped riding the pain was reduced till about 1 to 3 hours would expire then it would slowly come back.) Now I can ride all day if I want because I don't have any pain...unless I lift to much weight or push a lawn mower for a couple of hours, then it gets sore.

    I left my screws in because the doc said in case I ever do fall off my bike or fall in general the rods would support the back in that area better then without. Those things aren't bothering me so I just left them in.
     
  14. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    It sounds like you were smart about your recovery. What I was cautioned against is that some athletes are so driven that they refuse to rest enough to allow proper healing and doing more damage. I'm neither that driven or that stupid. ;-)

    With a femoral neck fracture, the screw heads typically end up protruding from the bone somewhat and will rub on the inside of the IT band as you ride. I found it really irritating and the surgery to remove them was little more than a 1" incision and backing them out with a drill (stainless steel, of course) . One head did strip however, so he had to grab it with Vice Grips and twist it out. I kept the screws as a reminder to not do stupid things on a bike. So far that's worked pretty well...
     
  15. Oldharry

    Oldharry New Member

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  16. Oldharry

    Oldharry New Member

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    I have found some good bib shorts (7 IDP hydro bib) which appear to have very good protection around the hip. I'm going to give them a try
     
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