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how to start again cycling / bike after knee replacement surgery

How to Start Again Cycling / Bike After Knee Replacement Surgery

One of the common questions we hear from people undergoing knee replacement surgery is about whether they are able to go cycling or driving after the knee replacement surgery. Most patients are worried about getting back to their lifestyle after knee replacement surgery.


In this blog, we will inform you about when and how to start cycling after knee replacement surgery. In fact, cycling is considered to be a great form of exercise for joints. Under the guidance of your ysiotherapist and orthopedic doctor, you will be able to ride a bicycle after knee replacement surgery.


Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee Replacement Surgery or Knee Arthroplasty is a process that involves cutting away the damaged parts of the bone and cartilage from your knee and replacing it with an artificial joint also known as a prosthesis. The prosthesis is usually made of alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymers.


Knee replacement surgery helps in relieving pain in highly damaged knees. It also restores the mobility and function of your knees. Your knee replacement surgeon will suggest certain exercises and physiotherapy so that your knees regain their normal mobility and functioning.


A step-by-step guide to start bicycling

Cycling is regarded as the best form of exercise after knee replacement surgery. Although cycling involves higher knee joint activity, it is still regarded as a low-impact exercise because it causes less strain on your knee joint compared to other forms of exercise.


To prevent damaging your new artificial knee, you must ride the proper bike with precautions. You might be suggested some further instructions by your orthopedic surgeon and physiotherapists to start bicycling again.


Follow the following tips to regain your cycling ability in no time after knee replacement surgery:


Step 1 – Starting bicycling

Bicycling is considered the best form of exercise after knee replacement surgery as it encourages the production of synovial fluid which helps in lubricating the joints. Cycling also helps in strengthening the core muscles of your knees.


There are very rare chances of injuries and damage after knee replacement surgery but it may vary from patient to patient. Always stay in touch with your orthopedic surgeon after the surgery for proper guidance and care.


You may be advised to go riding a stationary bicycle after 2- 3 weeks of the surgery to regain your knee’s mobility and flexibility. Make sure that you are taking enough rest to prevent further damage to your knee joint.


Follow some steps as mentioned below to reduce stress on your knees during cycling:


  • Start slowly – Start the process of cycling slowly and step-by-step. Hold your leg for 30 secs in a bending position when you paddle. Release it, and hold it once again.
  • Remember to check the seat height – When you are in the seated position, adjust the seat height to a comfortable level so that your feet touch the ground. If the knees are resting on the pedals, make sure they are slightly bent when the pedals are in the lowest position.
  • Start pedaling in the reverse direction – Pedaling in reverse can help your knees bend to their extreme position which is helpful for regaining the flexibility of the knees. When you start pedaling in reverse for the first time, take help from your physiotherapist and cycle slowly.
  • Continue pedaling back – Continue the backside pedaling for a few days as asked by your physiotherapist. It is recommended not to pedal in the front direction of the knees until you are comfortable.

Also Read: How to Prevent Knee Replacement Surgery

Step 2 – Progressing on the Bike

Once you are able to pedal slowly and smoothly, you can increase the speed of your pedaling under the guidance of your physiotherapist. After 2-3 weeks of the surgery, start putting a slight resistance while pedaling. Your therapist will guide you for applying the right amount of resistance while pedaling.


Small Resistance while pedaling will help you in strengthening the muscles around your knees. You might also experience discomfort and pain while applying resistance to your knees, which is normal after knee replacement surgery but if the pain persists or increases during the process, immediately consult your orthopedic surgeon.


It will take approximately 3-4 weeks to completely ride a stationary bicycle again. Always remember that everyone is different and the time taken to ride a bicycle can vary from one person to another. It depends on your age, lifestyle and type of knee replacement surgery.


Step 3 – Attain full range of motion

After a few weeks of practicing slowly on a stationary cycle, your physiotherapist will ask you to practice cycling in your fastest motion. Your orthopedic surgeon or physiotherapist will also check your pedaling speed, knee flexibility and resistance again to fully insure that you are good to go for riding a bicycle outdoors. They will also advise you to wear knee pads or knee braces so that you won’t hurt yourself in any case.


Make sure that you wear knee pads or knee guards and comfortable orthopedic cushion shoes before going on cycling outdoors. Always consult your orthopedic doctor if you feel any kind of pain or discomfort in your knees at any stage of starting bicycling again.


Step 4 – Outdoor Cycling

Approximately after 5 weeks of practicing under your doctor’s guidance and physiotherapists, you are ready to go outdoors for cycling. Once you begin cycling outside, go slowly and cautiously, and always stop if you experience pain in your knees.


It is recommended to ride a bicycle with taking several breaks in between so that you don’t apply much pressure to your knees and legs. You can directly contact us at +91 8800200400 if you face any difficulty or pain while riding a bicycle.


Also Read: Best Exercises for Knee Pain Relief Stretches at Home

How we can Help?

If you are facing pain in your knees or looking for a good knee replacement surgery, we have the solution. Cure My Knee is a next-generation healthcare system that helps a patient experience hassle-free surgery from booking an appointment to post-surgery follow-ups and consultations. We have 15+ experienced knee replacement surgeons that provide you with the best treatment plan.


Cycling is an important exercise after knee replacement surgery to help you regain your mobility. Always remember that other exercises and physiotherapies are as necessary as cycling. Also read Best Exercises for Knee or Patella Fractures to know about various types of exercise you can perform for faster recovery after knee replacement surgery.


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