Unfortunately, in November 2017, John was involved in a cycling accident. This resulted in a fractured left hip, which required surgical repair with three 4 inch screws to stabilise the neck of the femur. Being a 40 something (he said it was okay to reveal this) John was rather disturbed to learn from the surgical team that the average age for this type of break was 80!
I met John in January 2018 for rehabilitative treatment, following the green light from his surgeon. It was at this point John, being a keen cyclist, told me he wanted to be ready for a group cycling holiday in Mallorca that had been booked for 19th April before the accident. At first I thought this was a little optimistic considering John was still on crutches at this point, but not unachievable with a lot of hard work. Plus it is always good to set yourself a goal!
Treatment began with gentle soft tissue massage to increase blood flow to the muscles and hip joint with the aim of encouraging tissue healing following the trauma from both the fracture and surgery.
Then I gradually introduced mobilisation techniques to the hip and assessed the biomechanics of the back, pelvis, knee, ankle and foot, which could place extra stress on the hip. With each week the lower limb mobility and hip flexibility improved.
Alongside treatment we started John’s rehabilitative exercise programme to address the extensive wasting of the quads, hamstrings and glute muscles as a result of only being able to partially weight bear for the previous 2 months.
We began with some non-weight bearing exercises with the aid of a resistance band to begin strengthening these muscles until we had the go-ahead from John’s consultant to fully weight-bear at the beginning of February.
We then introduced some low-impact weight bearing exercises, (such as squats, wall sits, gluteal bridges, step ups) to continue strengthening and started John on a spin bike.
Rehab was going really well until we hit a glitch – a check-up X-Ray showed that one of the screws originally inserted to stabilize the fracture was too long and at risk of impinging the hip joint. It would require another operation at the beginning of March (7 weeks before the Mallorca trip!) to replace the screw with a smaller one.
Fortunately, John recovered from his second operation very quickly and after only a few days on crutches was allowed to continue training.
We then added more weight resisted, functional movement based exercises to John’s rehab programme (such as monster walks, medicine ball squat throws, weighted lunges) whilst he also continued to up the miles on the bike.
April soon came around and the great news is that with John’s determination and hard work he went on his holiday, cycling up to 70 miles each day and climbing some epic mountain passes!
A double bonus is that when John came for a treatment after his holiday the hip felt fine!
Our next goal is to get John fit for a rocky, walking holiday in Wales.