Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Bike Riding?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am mentally ready to ride my bike on the trails again. (Straight paths - not bumpy mountains). I am 5 months post-op microdisc/lami L5-S1.

The problem is the scar tissue surrounding the nerve root AND a new herniation at the L4-L5. I had a set of injections done last month - which helped the pain levels.

I just do not want to screw myself up again. I was riding a lot last summer when I blew out the L5-S1. I am worried about the L4-L5 doing the same.

But, I really really wanna ride my bike! image

Walking is booorrriinnnggg. }:)
(Yes, I know, so is recovering from surgery) ;)


  • I haven't been on my bike since last July when my left leg started to hurt. Not sure I oculd yet,... only been 6 weeks. (sigh)
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    How about on of those new bikes that you actually sit in a full seat .... reclining recombant.

    I would not jepodize your surgery(ies).

    Find a bike that gives you the full low back support you NEED.

    Prayers for you and all,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I've been asking my PT about the bike every time I see her.
    She says it's a NO-NO b/c of too much flex on the spine.At least for now.
  • I know how you feel. I raced mountain and road bikes for many years, then the whole bad back issue surfaced. I had PLIF L5/S1 in Sept of 06' which pretty much ended any cycling for a while. I got back on my road bike about 5 months after surgery, riding easy. It hurt, but not too bad. The mountain bike is what killed me. Something about the geometry of my bike just didn't mesh with my back. It took me about a year to get back on the MTB. I am racing again though.

    My only advice is to try riding, take it easy, and go from there.
  • Good morning. I had my 12 week check-up from my L-2-S-1 fusions. He said all the screws (12) and the rods were in place. No fusing as yet. He said 6-12 months. I have to continue to ware my brace 24/7. I can attempt to drive short distances, I can swim in my sisters pool without the brace and best of all I can fly to my daughters. YEA! In the house I walk most of the time with out the walker. The Dr. said I can walk outside with a cane but be careful. Distance he still wants me using the walker. My good leg still has lots of nerve pain but is getting better. So all is well in my world.
  • Holy Crow those suckers don't come cheap do they!
  • image On getting to see your daughter! :)

    Hey G! Those PT people are meanie heads. }:)

    I would hate to invest in an expensive bike that I might not use/be able to use. I just have a regular mountain bike. I live right next to a paved bike trail. I walk on it a lot, but that is so boring! :(
  • around the lake.Didn't you say you live near the Mistake by the Lake?hehe
  • STEP AWAY from the bike...lol :D

    But really though just be careful,

    Christina :)
  • Mistake ON the lake! :D You are a wiseguy! That is a good idea actually - I do not live real close to the big lake, but there is a small one close to the house.

    I knew the answer to my question when I asked it... I was just hoping someone would say, "You will be fine!" :P

  • You have had to give up so much to get this far, it's natural to want NORMAL again. Hang in there, baby steps and you will be back riding again.
  • Sureeeeeeeeeee....go ahead and ride your bike....YOU'LL BE FINE!...
    That make you feel good? *smile* ;)

    Okay now that you feel good, nahhhh, I think riding your bike would be hard on your back girl...stick to walking, your doctors tell you to walk, walk, walk, anyway.
    In time you'll be able to peddle everywhere.

    God Bless,

    Christina :)
  • It will come,.....things are just a lot slower than our surgeons inform us. After all, they didn't have the surgery. And I really think they base their "recovery discussion" on a 20-YO. It wasn't until I found this web-site, that I figured out the truth. (oh, and of course my own experience) I'm a pretty tough woman, can do just about anything, but this one has had me down for 24 weeks now.

    I had a three level fusion on Feb. 8th. It's been a long rough hard road to say the least, and I still have a long ways to go. It took me forever to realize that, a lot of talks with myself, as I'm not one to just lay around and eat "bon-bons"! But this surgery kinda just KNOCKED me down, I had no choice but to learn to like "bon-bons" :)

    OK back to the subject. Fusion didn't show up on my x-rays until my 20th week, then it's about 85%, but I was on a cloud that day looking at the x-rays. I wasn't allowed until that moment to even begin PT, I was only allowed to walk, walk, walk.... And couldn't do that very well until about my 8-9 week Post-op. Then it was just my driveway, up and down, until I worked myself s l o w l y into 1-1/2 miles. I still do that everyday. Walking really promotes healing, and pretty quickly you'll notice a difference "weekly", not dailey.

    I was just given the OK on my 22nd week that I could start riding a stationary bike, and ONLY for 5 minutes, and ONLY at it's easiest speed. You're really working those muscles and stuff back there!!! I can feel my instrumentation back there when I do it.

    I can't imagine riding my mountain bike for reals though. I live in the mountains, and their are no level roads, that would kill me!!!

    But ya, just give it some more time, you'll be back on that bike in no time. You're still pretty early on. Take it easy, don't push it. I know your mind is saying, "You can do this", but listen to your body....
  • PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE be careful on this one. I was 6 mths. post op with 70% fusion on my L5 S1. My surgeon told me I could do anything I wanted. I balanced and exercised on the pilates ball to gain strength and then hit the stationary bike (NOT a recumbant AND a very good one with a gel seat) My L4 dic was mildly herniated and we knew it but I had no symptoms from it and we had decided to be conservative with the surgery and leave it. After riding the bike for 8 short minutes, I blew my L4 disc. The surgeon AFTERWARDS-UGH said that biking is very hard on your spine even if you try to keep your back straight (which isn't easy long term). A recumbant bike is the only bike a spiney should use (in his opinion). Soooo.....here I am recovering from the L4 fusion. So please, please, please, talk to your surgeon extensively about it before you try k??
  • Walking is fun
    Walking is fun
    Walking is fun

    OK - I get it now. ;) :P

  • I don't have a car and don't particularly like overcrowded public transport. I ride everywhere. I mean rode everywhere. I will someday soon again ride everywhere.

    I had a t12-l2 fusion in July 07 to stabilise an l1 burst fracture, I had no chronic pain prior or after so not sure if riding has ever contributed to much but my hapiness.

    At about 4 months post-op I sloooowly built up from stationary bike in the gym for 10 mins on alternating days, to just cruisy rides of 20 minutes on the bike paths then back up to commuting to university everyday and occasional mtb trails if/when i wanted. I guess the trick is to stretch, stretch stretch and then stretch some more. And to listen to you body; if you feel sore, rest etc etc...

    From what I've read, there isn't too much movement at or around L1 and there is significantly more lower down in the Lumbar spine, so I don't know how well our stories relate, but maybe you will need to take things a little slower.

    In terms of comfort whilst riding 'seats' have little to do with the position of your back. The most comfortable ones are actually thinner, as they train you to sit on bone, not flesh. The problem with big cushy 'comfortable' looking seats is that for a ride over 20 minutes you are preventing circulation of blood into your ass/glutes - hence they get sore/go numb. Over time, you can adapt to thin seats to be able to literally sit on them for hours. You never really train your bum into not getting sore with the massive seats though.

    'Geometry' of the frame is what will determine your anatomical ride position ie how long the top tube is, the seat tube/post, the downtube - the three that make up the middle big triangle of the bike. For racing/track riders, they almost have their backside above their head to get into an aerodynamic position, this is 'aggressive' and is fine if you can bend forward from the hips, but horrible if you cant. Speed is likely to not be much of a concern so I'd suggest an upright 'relaxed' position so it is easy to keep your back straight - most mountain bikes have this sort of geometry. And if you cange over the tires you can get a quick comfortable commuter. Recumbents are not bikes. period. :P nah, i'm sure they are fun, but personally, i'd rather walk...

    Apologies for the epic length, but bikes are kinda my thing. And as I had my hardware removed 5 weeks ago I'm still not allowed to ride. So i live vicariously, and through writing...

    Good luck and I hope you get back on when you feel right and have been cleared to, just take it easy and don't over do it :)
  • Oh my patience is being so very tested with this spinal fusion stuff. I had L5/S1 fused.. 1rst time didn't work.. then the next time they did a 2 part sugery and replaced my 2 screws with 4 rods and artificial and cadaver bone.... my last visit to my surgeon is showing another delayed or non union... heading in for more tests..and as an added benefit... L3/L4 are compromised too.. showing herniations... and all I am dreaming about is riding my bike, my horse, going on a hike and just to the store.. but the pain is intense again. It blows my mind how very difficult a spinal injury can be to heal... Ok, I am happy to just be walking.. but man, I miss riding too. I am very frustrated today and really just wanted to vent. I am YOUNG, and I am a fit person.. this has really flubbed up my world. WHEN is a good time frame for a solid fuse to allow you to ride a bike.....not what the docs say, but what the patients know as a general rule? I am whining and my pain level is burning me up!!! X( ok... this was just a vent...
Sign In or Register to comment.