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Thread: Risk vs. Reward

  1. #1

    Risk vs. Reward

    Several months ago I was on a tour with a fellow who had two knee replacements. Although I admired him for his resolve to continue his "sport", I wondered whether it was prudent to continue such a high risk activity.
    Now, I am faced with a similar problem. In the near future I will need a hip replacement. I have talked to people who have had this procedeure done and have gotten mixed opinions about how fragile these things are. Some say a minor parking lot tumble could undo everything, some say that is not the case.
    I know this is a personal decision, but I would like to hear some other opinions. Maybe someone out there is dealing with this now or perhaps a MD might have some imput.
    I've been involved with motorcycles for about 30 years now. My wife and I enjoy long range motorcycle tours and vacations. I'm not looking forward to a lifetime of golf and gardening, not just yet anyway.

  2. #2
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    In personal terms, I have pondered the same questions ... providing I live to get old enough to make it a real issue.

    My observation is that joint replacement results for individuals vary greatly.

    My neighbor across the street had a total hip replacement that "popped out" three times. Excruciating pain -- ambulance ride, overnight hospital stay. Ultimately, it was redone and has not popped out as of late.

    Another person I know had hip replacement and has not had problems. Finally, a friend (now deceased) had a knee replacement and never had a problem. After the proscribed physical therapy, etc., he resumed his walking routine with gusto. Cancer got him.

    Can a parking lot tumble tear it all loose? Probably, and probably not. I think it all comes down to the individual as a patient, the doctor's work, and other variables.

    When I was on a Gold Wing, several of the trike riders I knew were on a trike specifically because of the issues you have raised. They bemoaned having to give up two wheels, but were nonetheless grateful they were still able to ride.

    Maybe the answer has to do more with your own tolerance for risk. Again, an individual issue.

    Now, how would I personally respond?

    Today, my wife and I were moving a piano and some other stuff in a box type van and we drove over a stretch of straight highway that we know well. Her brother almost always roars down that stretch on his GL 1800 Wing at 100 mph. And a time or two, I've been with him.

    As we passed the stretch, she commented, "I would love to go 100 mph in a car -- but I am afraid that as soon as I did, I would hit something and get killed."

    The difference in us is that I have been 100 mph so many times I've lost count. That's why I ride a motorcycle for fun, and she refinishes furniture.

    Whether you feel lucky or not, I suggest at least waiting until the anesthesia is out of your system!
    Current ride - '01 GL1800; Gone away: 5 BMW's, 4 Honda's, 3 Suzuki's

    Lifelong wheel addict…

  3. #3
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Cleveland TN.

    Lightbulb Options on cycles

    Kasey you should look in to the idea of getting a Bmw with a sidecar or as Rick M. has stated possibly a Trike. I have a couple of friends who because of back troubles decided to go for the 3 wheelers rather than giving up cycling. They still log 30K miles or more each year and have more room to haul additional gear for extended trips.

  4. #4
    A friend of mine just wrapped up PT for his second
    hip replacement in just over a year. He is 43.

    The type of replacement he had done is called a resurfacing.
    The difference between the traditional replacement
    is that the femural head is shapped and a "ball" placed on it.
    The pelvis is shapped and a cup inserted. This type of
    replacement leaves more bone mass than a traditional
    replacement. It is also classified as "investigational" by the

    For as long as I've known him, he could not hike any distance
    without pain. His main excercise was and continues to be
    mountain biking and he's back doing the trails we've done
    before--mind you they are difficult at times.

    My understanding is that traditional hip replacements must be
    re-visited as often as every 5-10 years and realisticly, they are
    limited to two or three repair/replacements. If you are young,
    you probably want to excercise reasonable care once the
    procedure is done. Keep in mind that if you can pop the hip
    out in a low speed tumble, you can probably do it slipping in a
    bathtub or falling while out for a walk.

    Talk to your Doc. Make sure he or she understands what
    you want to do as far as activities. Ask questions about the
    procedures available and which one makes sense for you.
    My buddy mentioned an internet group where he learned a lot
    about what was available and what to expect.

    Best wishes and good luck with your decision.


  5. #5
    Don't forget your towel
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Talk to your Doc, he/she ought to be able to get you the information you need. In 5 years as an EMT in Seattle I have seen a lot of broken hips (and other parts) but only one dislocated replacement hip and he did it while sitting on the toilet (or so he says...) we tried really hard down in the ER to pop it back but had to send him up for surgery. So it does happen, but hard to say how often.

    Someone who admittedly is a certifiable sidecar nut once told me that two wheeled bikes were for kids, "real men ride sidecars"
    They are fun to drive but take more upper body strength than one might think.


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