Hip Labrum Tear - post surgery

#1
Hi! I'm new to this community - my first post! :)

I am looking into E-biking as a way to get some movement in my life. I have been dealing with a hip issue for what seems like forever, and it still continues. For about 2 years, I went to a million docs/specialists - I'll spare all the failures - but eventually I received a diagnosis of a severe torn labrum in my hip. My hip sockets are exceptionally deep, which caused the rubbing/tearing. Surgery was recommended as the only option. I was 41 at the time, too young for hip replacement (their words).

I proceeded with the surgery Aug. 2nd 2018. I felt like the surgery was a success about April of 2019 and pretty suddenly after that, I'm dealing with pretty extreme pain again. I've had a cortisone shot in my hip with no difference and am currently awaiting another follow up with my surgeon, ironically scheduled for August 2nd 2019, 1 year after my surgery.

So it's been approximately 3 years of little to no movement with an ice bag attached to my hip and fistfuls of Ibuprofen to attempt to manage the pain. I've become extremely sedentary and I'm looking to move a little more in an effort to gain benefits from exercise and perhaps lose a little weight. I've certainly packed some on with very little activity over the last several years.

That was an extremely long story to ask if anyone has dealt with similar hip issues and found E-Biking to be helpful or harmful? I'm worried that in an effort to help myself, I may make the situation worse - but it feels like it's low impact enough to be helpful. Thought I'd reach out and see if any real-world experience is out there.

Thanks!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
#2
With that extensive damage to the hip, I'd have to recommend lap swimming as an aerobic exercise. I know a couple 98 and 97 in good health that swim at the Y 4 times a week. It's expensive, but low stress. $70 a month Y fees plus they have a nice newish car that costs them maybe $6000 a year plus milage costs. Swimming you don't even have to move the leg with the hip damage if you don't want to, or kick with the knee-calf only.
I can't say that biking with any sort of pedal movement can be good for the hip. An e-bike with throttle control would get you outside, but also would an electric motor scooter. A flat floor scooter might be easier to mount than a bike also. The unlicensed ones are a lot cheaper to run than a car. Wear bright clothes for safety; I wear a green construction vest & a yellow helmet. I hate the noise & stink of gas scooters, but the Vespa and clones due have a nice flat floor and comfy seat. Beware the cheap gas scooters seem to disappear after 2 years. Unrepairable maybe?
I have no cartlege in the knees due to Army training in combat boots, so the bike helps me gain the endomorphine of aerobic exercise, and actually makes them feel better. I pedal without electricity for the first 2.5 hours of most errands, to stress the heart. But my hips are totally okay at age 69. See Dr. Ken Cooper, one of the Aerobics books, for various methods to heart health. Even polka dancing works as long as you hit the heart rate targets for the proper sustained time. His work has been confirmed by studies by the UK health service on bbcnews.com Aerobic exercise has no benefit as far as I know for tendons & bones, except load bearing exercise can help inhibit osteoporosis in people that have that tendency. A report in bbcnews last year said that Surrey road bikers that put in 80 miles a week age 70-90 had the same # of T cells (repair cells) as 29 year olds. Having lots of white blood cells flowing around repairing cells is a good thing, but they haven't repaired my deteriorated shoulder tendon I ripped off in an accident.
There are hand crank only trikes for the disabled, and you should have no problem steering one since your legs are mobile, just not reliable. Doing that just with your arms should get your heart rate up. They tend to be very low, however; I'd be afraid to ride one on a street with cars. I can ride the bike doing daily errands, which makes the discipline of 4 x a week exercise a little less onerous.
If you look through the trikes section of bikes by types, you'll see a couple of low trike electric conversions. I'd start manual though, unless you live in an especilly hilly area.
Best of luck finding a routine that works for you.
 
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#3
Thanks for the reply!

Swimming is always a great low impact exercise! I wish I enjoyed it... I really rather loathe it. it's a super hassle for me to get to the pool and the public schedule never aligns with mine. The trick for me sticking with exercise is to find something I enjoy - and swimming just isn't it. I don't stick with it.

While the scooter option certainly does sound fun, I was hoping for a little more exercise thus the e-bike thought. But you raise a good point about pedal movement and hips, which is my concern. My doc tells me that the surgery was successful - not sure why there's still pain. I will absolutely ask him about biking at my next appointment and if it is helpful or harmful.

I am surprised your knees with no cartilage feels better with pedaling! That's amazing - good for you. Thank you for the post!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
#4
I also loathe swimming. My nose fills up with ****, I spend all my time hacking & blowing. Bleah. Salt water is okay but you can't swim laps in the ocean. Nor could I afford to live there. And not having a car, if I took taxis to he Y (no bus available) it would be a $40 round trip every time I went, which doesn't fit with my budget.
Best of luck finding something aerobic to do. Read the Aerobics book, the endomorphine from heart health is called "runner's high" in popular culture, but I haven't jogged since 1985. I do have the endomorphine though. My broken chin in the 2017 fall from the bike hardly hurt at all. If I twist my knee with weight on it, say walking across a grassy field, or attempting to dance at the high school reunion, I'm back on the ibuprofen/naproxen within an hour or two.
US physicians seem really hesitant to dicuss any exercise but supervised physical therapy, whereas the UK medical service is all over the benefits of regular cardio exercise. Read bbcnews.com for reports on that. Definitely ease into any cardio, with pulse of 70 bpm for a week before trying for 75 bpm next week, etc until you get up to your target as specified by Dr. Cooper. (His minimum duration was 25 minutes for any cardio benefit). His original studies were done on healthy Air Force people, but the British have studied aerobics on 70 and 80 year olds with good results as long as it is gradual. Beware a new exercise fad of intense short burst exercise, (180 bpm 4 minutes) taught for example by my local gym. One better have an extremely healthy 30 year old or younger heart to try that. Works great on 30 year old TV presenters, but hasn't to my knowledge been tried on the aged.
Best of luck finding an exercise routine and perhaps transportation that works for you.
 
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Marci jo

Active Member
#5
Hmmm, a tough situation. How is your stability? Maybe a trike, like the above suggestion. Is it possible to rent something in your area before committing to something that may or may not work?
Hoping the best for you.
 
#6
My stability seems to be fine... Honestly, if it weren't for the pain, I wouldn't have an issue. No limp, no real physcial limitations other than pain (which I guess is a limitation). I can walk, but it hurts, but no balance issues. I can stand, but after about 10 mins or so it hurts - basically anything holding my weight after a few minutes is painful. I have test drove a couple bikes and it seems to be okay - but haven't put any miles under my belt. I should look into renting, that's a great idea! Thanks!
 

MikeDD

Active Member
#7
My wife has MS, she cannot lift her right leg. Her Liberty Trike allows exercise at low speeds, and the throttle always brings her home. The range is over 15 miles, depending on grades. The coaster brake is a big plus, and you can drive it through doors.
 
#8
I had a THR to deal with a labral tear, 3 years ago. Every pedal stroke had become painful. I was riding an unassisted bike at that time and it was becoming more and more painful and restrictive. I am somewhat older than you (68 at the time) and the surgeon felt that an operation to just fix the tear would not have been successful long term. The hip replacement solved the problem and I was getting back to normal after 12 months or so. (I have subsequently been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease, affecting both legs, this being the reason for purchasing an eroad bike - but that is another story). I'm not sure that an ebike would have helped with the labral tear issue other than making it easier to carry on for longer, as it was simply the action of pedalling that caused irritation and pain - I could hear and feel the tear click with every turn of the pedals .
Good luck with your follow up!
 
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#9
I had a THR to deal with a labral tear, 3 years ago. Every pedal stroke had become painful. I was riding an unassisted bike at that time and it was becoming more and more painful and restrictive. I am somewhat older than you (68 at the time) and the surgeon felt that an operation to just fix the tear would not have been successful long term. The hip replacement solved the problem and I was getting back to normal after 12 months or so. (I have subsequently been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease, affecting both legs, this being the reason for purchasing an eroad bike - but that is another story). I'm not sure that an ebike would have helped with the labral tear issue other than making it easier to carry on for longer, as it was simply the action of pedalling that caused irritation and pain - I could hear and feel the tear click with every turn of the pedals .
Good luck with your follow up!
Thank you for your experience! The doc tells my the surgery was successful in repairing the tear, but the pain leads me to believe otherwise. I am pretty sure I’m on my way to a THR such as you, which frankly, I wanted in the first place. I’m frustrated to still be dealing with it!

I went ahead and bought a bike. I’m hopeful that it will provide some exercise - if nothing else, it will be there after a replacement. Haha

Thanks again!