Someday, maybe

For those of you following along at home, today marked 4 months — exactly — since I broke my femur while training on the velodrome. And one month (and a couple days) since I last saw the doctor and was given the OK to start putting weight on my leg.

Today I had another appointment.

Like last time, I took note of the progression: today I drove myself, got out of the car and walked inside using only a cane. I’ve ridden the trainer every day since I last saw him. I had planned to ask him about riding out on the road again, but even if that didn’t work out I would still be grateful having come this far.

Every time I’ve see the doctor I feel like I learn a little bit more about the situation. Or rather, I feel like the doctor chooses to reveal a little more about it. It can be a bit maddening — afterward, because right then I just want to know.

The ‘bad’ news is that as a result of the surgery my hip is aligned somewhat differently now — a little narrower — and that affects how the muscles work. I might have a bit of a limp, hard to say now. There’s also likely scar tissue which makes the hip feel very strange when pedaling, and that might not ever go away.

Then I asked the question: what about riding out on the road again. He said, “well, I’d tell you not to ride again, ever, but I know you guys probably won’t do that.”

The danger is that if I were to break that bone again, it could be very messy to fix a second time. But he said I’m not any more likely to break it now than before.

So … basically … I can ride when I feel able. Personally … I will need to be confident that I can unclip, put my foot down, and then be able to swing my leg over the saddle and get on and off. I’m not quite there yet.

But maybe I will get to ride in shorts yet this year and feel the sun on my legs.



Filed under accident, cycling, recovery

6 responses to “Someday, maybe

  1. Jim

    Let me be the first to offer to ride with you.
    Maybe some swag in the offing.

  2. Jim

    I had pretty much given up on riding on the road with intent, until 4 months ago you reminded me just how much I missed it. So I have started riding again with a heart rate monitor and the desire to be a little bit faster than the previous ride. So far so good.
    Your pursuit of healing has been a true inspiration.
    Swinging a leg over the saddle with plenty of room to spare is gone, now I have to clip in, push off, and then swing, just like riding a bike…
    I’ve ridden behind you enough to know that you can handle a bike and pick what side you put your foot down.
    So what if your hip’s a little stiff. It’s nothing that a seat tube angle and stem height can’t fix.
    You are doing great, Brian. Ride when it feels right, just like when you decide to attack. You seem to be never wrong.

    • Brian

      Thanks Jim. That’s one of the nicest comments anyone’s made to this blog. Glad to hear you’re on the road again.

      Interestingly … I got off the trainer this afternoon, and instead of doing the cyclocross style dismount I tried unclipping and seeing if I could swing my leg over, with one foot on the ground.

      Couldn’t quite do it, but it wasn’t too far off. Maybe if I lean the bike over it might be possible. I decided that was the first thing to try, before even riding. I figure I have to be able to get off without tipping over.

  3. Jim

    I was thinking about your scar tissue issue. I’d make sure it’s not your labrum (hip lip). Also I’d get an app that’s either a goniometer or something that will measure degrees and keep track of them compared to the other side and over time. Was there any change in leg length?

    • Brian

      The PT measured my leg length a couple weeks ago, and as measured they were almost exactly the same. But I told her one “felt” longer (the repaired one). She said that can just be a result of muscle imbalance or hips being tilted differently.

      I’ve got pretty good range of motion. And the scar tissue, if that’s what it is, doesn’t hurt — it just feels “weird”. It’s been getting steadily better though — everything’s been getting steadily better. So as long as that keeps happening I’m ok with it.

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