Motorcycle Riding after Hip Replacement

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by custmmc, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. custmmc

    custmmc Been here awhile

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    I am not sure where to post this? Please move to proper location.

    I am a 42 y.o. male, who is a candidate for a hip replacement. (An inattentive driver struck my motorcycle head-on.) I was an active dirt rider and occasional racer, but have been told to give up competitive/aggressive motorcycle riding. Since the accident, I have been on a couple of short (dual sport) rides, but these rides were difficult and painful (at least I was out of the house). My original injury was a Broken Left Femoral Head, but during surgery to remove the problematic hardware I ended up with an infection in the hip which caused severe cartilage damage and now <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:stockticker>AVN</st1:stockticker> (Avascular Necrosis?) I am told that the replacement hip should last for approximately ten years (if physical activity is limited) and can only be rebuilt once. After that time I will be in a wheelchair.

    I have put off the surgery for as long as possible, but can no longer stand the pain and limited lifestyle. Something has got to change. I am currently scheduled for hip replacement in December, but would like to know if there are any other dirt riders who had undergone a hip replacement?
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    How old were you at time of replacement, and what is current condition? Do you still ride/race? How soon after surgery? How often?
    <o:p></o:p>
    Do you have any suggestions/recommendations relative to living with a replacement hip?
    <o:p></o:p>
    Thanks in advance for any information!
    Ron<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. VelvtRide

    VelvtRide i can haz a motrsykle?

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    Augie, an inmate here, has had a hip replacement just recently. I don't know if he's done any dirt riding, but I know he was having a hard time riding on pavement before his surgery.

    Face Plant or Thumpers might be a good place for this. Good luck on your surgery!
    #2
  3. fasteddy

    fasteddy Been here awhile

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    Hi Ron,

    Your story sounds as if I had written it!! Only difference is that I was hit head on while in a car in 1999. I was 42 at the time. I had many injuries, hours of surgeries, weeks of hospital stay and months of rehab, then AVN Avascular Necrosis) set in. I had my left hip replaced in Feb of 2001 with a ceramic on ceramic joint. My doctors also said, "we've given you a new hip but we really don't want you to use it as you might wear it out".
    My motorcycle background is one of offroad competition (enduros "A" license in the states, Masters (AA) in Canada) I did this pretty heavily up into my late thirties when I started to do some recreational trail riding instead. The thought of not riding/racing again was almost worse than the accident itself.
    I decided quite early on that life is too fucking short to be just waiting around sitting on the couch watching TV waiting for the hip to wear out. I'll deal with what ever happens in the future but for now I'm going to live life as close to normal as I can. I had also come to the conclusion that offroad competition was over for me, but I could try this Adventure riding thing, seemed like a good compromise, crashing and falling frequency would be less for sure, a calculated risk so to speak.
    So 3 months after my hip replacement I found myself on a KLR 650 reaquainting myself with riding, a month later I was part of a group of Canadians who were the first to the complete the Michigan U.P. Dual Sport Safari. Now I only rode 3 of the 5 days it took us to do the ride but was back in the saddle.
    Since then I've been heavily involved in Adventure riding, for five of the past years I've ran/owned an GPS Motorcycle Adventure tour company, (Rally Connex). I've gotten a little more secure off road and besides my KTM 640 Adventure I have an KTM 250 exc with which I am doing real trail rides again. I've even entered a couple of just for fun enduros, although I did find it hard not to be a racer again once I got into the first section!!
    I plan to ride as long as I'm physically able and my hope is that that will be a long time.
    Good luck on your decision and make sure you explore all options when it comes to types/materials of hip replacements as they can make a difference in hip longevity.
    Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.


    Ed.......




    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Let's try this in the Perfect Line riding forum.. you'll get more views and responses.
    #4
  5. RoyB

    RoyB Dartmouth, Massacusetts

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    I have a riding buddy who is on his second set of hips and a complete set of knees. He's in his seventies and rides a Yamaha F600 sport bike!

    He spends nearly 200 days a year riding. Back and forth from NE to Arizona every fall and spring, sleeping in cemeteries and behind churches......

    Simply amazing! He was also told "to take it easy"..........No way!

    Whatever you decide....Good Luck!
    #5
  6. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    Why can't someone invent/design a ball joint for a hip where the wearing surfaces are replaced but the joint connections are left intact?

    The man at 40 who said his antificial hip had a 10 year life span and after that he was going to be in a wheelchair is not a good option and offers an opportunity for someone to design a better device/product.

    Good luck all.
    #6
  7. smokinjoe

    smokinjoe hippie kicker

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    I haven't had anything that you've mentioned, however, doctors are talking about a shoulder (right and I'm right handed) replacement. My problem is, that I only have one life, and I want to enjoy it the best I can. If it's going to last 10 yrs, that puts you at about 52. Then a rebuild, another 10 yrs, 62. Who knows, they might have something better in 10 yrs if you have to get it rebuilt. In my foggled pea-sized brain, to give a guy a new hip and tell him not to use it is like putting a person in an iron lung and telling them not to breathe! If you can deal with the pain, I'd be riding, but that's me!!:D
    #7
  8. bmwotis

    bmwotis Festus

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    I had total right hip replacment in dec 06 when I was 51, due to severe arthritis. I had been in severe pain for 4 years prior. The new hip has changed my life! I am not a dirt rider, totally street so I can't comment on offroad, but I commute to work daily on an 1150gs and am getting back into road cycling (used to race road bikes). The doc has given me no restrictions, except offroad, afraid of putting the leg down too hard and dislocating the new hp. It's almost been a year and I feel great. It still gets sore after a hard road ride ( bicycle) but the difference is that the pain goes away the next day. yo

    if you need more info, feel free to pm me and i'll give you the details of the operation, hardware, etc.

    Good luck
    #8
  9. custmmc

    custmmc Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all of your replies!

    I am sending out PMs for more details.

    I just now got back to the computer after some guys from my former work took me to a car show. I managed to get around at the car show on a Schwinn/Currie electric scooter, and it worked out great. It was good to be out of the house, and the weather was perfect. I am already paying for my increased activity with a much higher pain level.

    The decision to have the hip surgery comes from the fact that the pain level has taken the joy out of riding motorcycles. I have got to do something, but I am concerned about the durability of the replacement. I would hope that the hip will last longer than advertised, and the ten year number is just to protect the liability of the doctor. This is why I am trying to get more information from people who have lived with the replacement hip for a few years. It would be pretty easy to give up if 20 years of light activity is all I could get out of a replacement hip.

    Again, Thanks for the replies, and please pass this along to anyone you think might have more information. I am grasping for some information that will help me continue the struggle.

    Ron
    #9
  10. Singletrack Mind

    Singletrack Mind DNS DNF DNR

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    This may be obvious, but maybe not...

    To minimize your risk of leg (hip) injury off-road,
    keep your feet on the pegs.

    I haven't twisted any knees since I changed my style.

    Good luck with your hip and have at it. :ricky
    #10
  11. MANXMAN

    MANXMAN Overlander

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    Ron,

    Your words were my words just over a year ago. Of all the activities that I had to give up due to the pain, motorcycling was the hardest to do. I had a hip replacement in Aug of last year, healed up through the winter and flew to New Zealand in Feb for a 3 week ride. I had no pain at all and was able to fulfill a life long dream. Riding was impossibly painfull before the surgery.

    My decision was based on the fact that life could be over long before my hip wears out. I could not see a future with the amount of pain I was having. I am looking after it with low impact exercise, keeping my weight down and not doing things that the doctors said I shouldn't.

    The trade-off for having lost things like my favorite sport, squash, is that I can ride.

    I hope you do it and enjoy the next 10-15 years pain free. My doctor tells me that it is very likely that by that time there will be a new method and a second replacement will be possible.

    Please feel free to contact me if I can help in any way,
    Manxman
    #11
  12. Drifter

    Drifter Long timer

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    #12
  13. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

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    I talked to a guy last summer who was having a hip replacement, and had picked up a Burgman to ride until he felt up to swinging a leg over the seat.
    #13
  14. jstcrashnthru

    jstcrashnthru Livin' the dream

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    We do over 2500 orthopedic surgeries a year at the facility where I work. Many of our patients get well over 10 years out of a hip. Especially the healthy, active ones. You're probably not going to be bashing your new hip like you did the original, but you should be able to go back to 90% of what you were doing before. As far as replacing it once and then you're done? I'd have to call bullshit on that one. Some of our patients are on their third hip. It isn't pretty replacing it for the second time. But a good surgeon can do it.

    For what it's worth, the new hip and knee technologies are light years ahead of where they were just 5-6 years ago. Poly free, metal on metal, ingrowing components, kewl stuff. :D
    #14
  15. MilleArp

    MilleArp IPA junkie

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    Am very interested in this thread !

    Mid-40's here and in the past have had L4-L5 disc done, couple L leg surgeries, L hernia (laproscopic), and,
    am now due for possible fusion of L5-S1
    AND
    R hip socket replacement.
    Pretty sure the back issues caused the hip issues, longterm.
    Bone scan and X-rays show the obvious wear in the hip socket.

    Surgery sux, but the pain is bad enough in the hip to where it wakes me at night, haven't had a good nights sleep in, oh, over a year?

    But, still can't bring myself to have more surgery... HOWEVER, al that I've heard is how much happier those are that get it done.
    Guess my concern is longevity and replacability.

    .
    #15
  16. ianbh

    ianbh Been here awhile

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    I had my right hip replaced in10/97 and the left hip replaced the following year. Life is a lot better without the constant pain. I ride dirt a little with my grandson but have never been that aggressive off road. I do ride rather aggresively on the street (at least for a 66 year old geezer). I have stepped off a time or two at speed on each hip with no problems.
    As far as the new hip only lasting 10 years, that's what my surgeon told me in the years before I finally had the surgery at age 55. I think they just want you to wait as long as you can stand it. After the first surgery he told me it would be good for about 20 years. I think the new ceramic hips replacements are almost lifetime.
    I quit running to lengthen the life of the replacement, martial arts and skiing as I thought those might lead to the hip dislocating. Once they come out, it's easier to happen again. Good luck. Ian, Iowa
    #16
  17. Lep

    Lep Been here awhile

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    I can't speak from personal experience but a 75yo friend just had his second hip replaced and he tells me the experience was markedly easier in every way than his first replacement. As others have said the technology and the techniques improve constantly.

    The replacement released him from constant nagging pain and difficulty sleeping. He rides a R110RT and although he doesn't ride often he rides it well. No off-road but he is considering buying an 1150GS Adventure so he may have some dirt road plans in mind He rides a push-bike and plays bowls for exercise.

    Good luck with your operation and I hope you have many years of safe riding in your future.
    #17
  18. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    I'm 43, and I'll be having a hip resurfacing procedure done in either December or January. I was hit by a car while riding in 1988, and my hip has finally degenerated to the point that the pain is constant and excruciating. I work in a nasty blue-collar job, too, which doesn't really help.
    The resurfacing procedure leaves the femoral head intact with a cobalt/chrome stell cap glued on it, and a matching socket is fitted to the acetabulum (pelvis). I'll run metal-to-metal, with yearly kidney exams to check for metal ions in the blood.
    The doctors at UC Davis have told me that after a full year of properly rehabbing I'll be able to do anything that I could before I was injured.
    Check out www.birminghamhipresurfacing.com for the details. Not everyone is a condidate for this type of procedure, but it sure looks promising. I'll keep everyone here informed of my progress.
    Good luck to everyone out there who is going through this type of pain. There is relief available!!
    #18
  19. jstcrashnthru

    jstcrashnthru Livin' the dream

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    Birmingham's are nice. But only a very small percentage of hip patients qualify for them. We've just started doing them again after a several year hiatus. The technology has finally caught up with the theory and they are much better than they used to be. They're good for younger, realatively active, and otherwise healthy patients. It still leaves the femoral head intact and makes it easier to do a total hip later if/when the Birmingham wears out.
    #19
  20. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    That's what made it so attractive to me. I've still got a lot of hiking and backpacking to do. My doctor at Davis told me that it's possible to make this last a lifetime if it's rehabbed properly and well cared-for after recovery. I suppose we'll see..........
    #20