Cycling 1,200 Miles After Two Hip Replacements

craig petersen.jpg

When recently asked how he’s doing, Park Ridge resident Craig Petersen, 57, answered, “slightly more than fantastic!”

Asked what elicits such a positive response, Petersen pointed to his rally back to competitive sports after significant hip pain and two total hip replacements. He simply feels grateful to have his life back.

A life-long athlete who enjoys playing tennis and golf at the Park Ridge Country Club near his home, he began to worry about keeping up with his regular activities, including playing with his golf buddies, when hip pain on his left side hit him hard.

“It got to a pain level of a 9 out of 10,” Petersen explains. “I actually dreaded just walking.” His golf handicap of 5.9 began slipping, as did his enthusiasm for being active.

Realizing it was time for medical advice, he visited a local orthopedic specialist who administered a cortisone injection. It didn’t work.  He tried another physician who also administered an injection and that didn’t work either. The second physician recommended he consider a hip replacement to properly treat his osteoarthritis and control his pain.

More than 400,000 hip replacements are performed in the U.S. each year. Like Petersen, an estimated half are under age 65.

Dr. Tad GerlingerPetersen was introduced to Dr. Tad Gerlinger, a joint replacement specialist at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, the #4-ranked orthopedic program in the country. Right away, they shared a common goal to get Petersen back to an active life.

The surgery was a success and with Dr. Gerlinger’s blessing, Petersen was on the golf course working to get his handicap back down just 39 days post-surgery. After accomplishing that, he began to feel a familiar pain in his other hip.

“I went back to see Dr. Gerlinger and asked if he could promise me the same results as the first hip surgery,” Petersen says. “He said ‘yes’ so I did it right away this time after the pain started.”

After a second new hip, he discovered a new sport to master:  cycling. “A friend suggested I try cycling, so I borrowed a bike and was hooked,” he explains. Petersen promptly bought his own bike and soon built up to longer and longer distances. This year, with two new hips from ‘Dr. G’, Petersen achieved one of his post-surgery goals and rode in the Ragbrai ride, a 430-mile cycling event across the state of Iowa. He chose to ride the last five days of the event during which he rode more than 300 miles at a rate of 60 miles a day.

His current goal is to ride 1500 miles in a 100-day period, completed by the end of October.  And, with an enhanced golf swing, his golf handicap is a solid 6.4. This is life after a double hip replacement.

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The Power of Simulated Altitude Training for Athletes at all levels

Dr. Gregory Nicholson and Steve Kashul talk with Sharone Aharone about the power of simulated altitude training for pro athletes and well as weekend warriors. Sharone is a USA Triathlon Level III Elite coach and the Owner/Head Coach of Well-Fit Performance in Chicago Illinois.

Well-Fit Training Center is Chicago’s oldest and most widely known provider of Multi-sport coaching and personal training. Well-Fit was founded by Sharone Aharon, a former special forces commander and a secret service agent, in 1998 and operated on a “consulting” basis. The mission is to help people and coaches of all ages and abilities discover their inner potential and perform at their personal best. 

Sharone’s competitive and coaching history expands more than 30 years. Starting in 1988, Sharone has competed in some of the first triathlon races in Israel.  To date, he has competed in dozens of running events, qualified for the Boston Marathon, completed seven Ironman distance races, including three Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Sports Medicine Weekly on 670 The Score

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2018 Texas 4000 Team Rolls Into Chicago As Part of A 70-Day Journey to Alaska for 15th Annual Ride Benefiting Cancer Research

More than 60 college students participate in longest annual charity bike ride in the world.

This summer, more than 60 students from The University of Texas at Austin will ride from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, as part of the 15th Anniversary of Texas 4000 for Cancer, the longest annual charity bike ride in the world. The team will ride more than 4,000 miles over the course of 70 days beginning June 1st with the mission of fighting cancer by sharing hope, knowledge and charity at every stop along the route.

On June 1st, Texas 4000 supporters celebrated the ride’s ceremonial send off at Day Zero at the Robert B. Rowling Hall Auditorium on The University of Texas campus. Civic leaders, including philanthropist and long-time Texas 4000 supporter Luci Baines Johnson, delivered a motivational message to the group of volunteers, riders, family and friends. Two grant checks were awarded to the Dell Medical School and the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering.

The Texas 4000 team will be rolling through Chicago on June 29, 2018, just 28 days after departing from Austin, Texas on their way to Anchorage, Alaska. Texas 4000 is more than an endurance ride for cancer. It combines leadership development, physical training, cancer awareness outreach, volunteer opportunities and philanthropic commitment.

All students undergo an application process to be part of the 18-month program and once selected, each student is required to raise $4,500, ride 2,000 training miles with his/her team, volunteer more than 50 hours in the community, and play an active role in planning every aspect of the ride to Alaska by attending weekly meetings and taking leadership positions within the team.

Over the years, more than 750 students have made the trek from Austin to Anchorage, collectively raising more than $8.4 million in the fight against cancer since the ride began in 2004.

The riders will take one of three different routes to Alaska:

Sierra Route: These riders head northwest from Austin and cycle through the Southwest to California, then north along the West Coast and into Canada. Major cities along the route include: Santa Fe, NM; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, B.C.
Rockies Route: These riders cycle north from Austin and cut over to the Rocky Mountains. They’ll ride through the western U.S. before crossing the Canadian border into Alberta. Major cities along the route include: Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Denver, CO; Calgary, AB.
Ozarks Route: These riders travel east from Austin, then cut northeast through the American Midwest before crossing the Canadian border and cycling across four Canadian provinces. Major cities along the route include: Houston, TX; St. Louis, MO; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Madison, WI; Winnipeg, MB; Edmonton, AB.
In Canada, the three groups will reunite and ride the final 10 days together to Anchorage, Alaska.

On each of the three routes, the riders will make stops along the way to present grants to cancer research and support service organizations such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Young Adult Cancer Canada, Brent’s Place and Texas Children’s Hospital.

“These young men and women are inspirational leaders in the fight against cancer,” said Scott Crews, Executive Director of Texas 4000. “Because cancer has touched them or someone they know, they are committed to raising funds for cancer research and support services, helping to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Shortly after their return to Austin, the riders will celebrate their journey at the Tribute Gala on Friday, August 24, at the Hyatt Regency. Tickets and sponsorships are available on the Texas 4000 website.

About Texas 4000
Texas 4000 for Cancer is a nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate student leaders and engage communities in the fight against cancer. Each year a team of dedicated University of Texas at Austin students complete a more than 4,000-mile bike ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska sharing Hope, Knowledge, and Charity along the way. Over the course of their 18-month involvement with Texas 4000, riders train, fundraise, volunteer in the community, and serve in leadership roles to help plan every aspect of the summer ride.Texas 4000

The leadership development program culminates in Texas 4000’s capstone event, a 70-day summer ride – the longest annual charity bike ride in the world. Since 2004, 751 students have completed the ride, raising over $8.4 million and logging 4,270,000 miles – fighting cancer every mile. Find us at, or

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Preventing Cycling Arm and Hand Injuries

By Janet Apgar, OTR/L, CHT, ASTYM-cert for Athletico Physical Therapy

preventing cycling arm and hand injuries

As spring brings warmer weather and adds daylight hours, biking fever spreads!

Although biking is fun and can be good for your health, cyclists should still keep a few things about their bodies in mind before hitting those trails to prevent injury. Given its whole body involvement, cycling can involve a few injuries including ones to the upper body. In fact, one survey found that approximately 31 percent of cyclists reported overuse hand problems. So, whether your biking dreams entail off-road adventures or long-distance road cycling, it is important to take precautions to protect your arms and hands from injury, which can arise from one or more of these three causes: improper positioning, sustained positioning or trauma from a fall or collision.

Improper Positioning

Even after buying the correct sized bike and having the seat aligned, a misfit between the cyclist and the bike can occur affecting not only the spine and legs, but also the arms. Symptoms that may signal poor positioning can include numbness and tingling in the ring and small fingers, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, and middle fingers, clumsiness with tasks involving hand coordination and pain in the arms, wrist, hands and back.

Some common positioning mistakes that can lead to numbness, tingling and wrist and thumb/hand pain include hands being positioned wider than shoulder-width apart and the wrists being angled too far back, forward or inward. These can be addressed by changing handle bars from straight to angled or using aero bars. Wearing padded gloves can also absorb the shock and vibration of the ride as well as allow for a looser grip.

Pain in the back and hands can stem from riding with rounded back and shoulders or with elbows locked in extension and can involve handle bars that are too low or too high in relation to the seat or tight hamstrings.

What is the right position then? The ideal riding position involves a neutral back, slight elbow bend, hands shoulder width apart and wrists in mid-position. Changes in handle bar height and angle (as mentioned above) as well as addition of ergonomic grips, added bar ends, adjustable height or adjustable angle handle bars can all assist to achieve the correct positioning.

If the above necessary positioning modifications are made and the affected body part is rested early enough, the symptoms should resolve within a couple of days. However, if symptoms involve coordination problems with the fingers or have been longstanding, it may take weeks to months to recover and may possibly require seeing a physician that is a hand specialist and/or an Occupational Therapist.

Sustained Positioning

Even with the best bike fit, sustained positioning while riding has the inherent risk of continuous pressure and requires constant shock absorption on the part of vital structures including: blood vessels, nerves, joints and muscles. This can lead to tissue breakdown and inflammation.

This can be especially prevalent with road bikes as their speed and aerodynamics require the trunk to be angled 60-75 degrees forward toward the bars (i.e., the cyclist is not as upright as the off road mountain biker or hybrid biker). This position requires strong overall core and upper body conditioning to go faster and/or longer distances. Addressing these areas as part of an overall fitness regimen can help prevent issues while riding.

Another way to counteract pain from sustained positioning is frequently moving the body parts that are typically static during a ride. This can be achieved by changing hand holds every three to five minutes and stretching on breaks or after the ride.

Here are a couple examples of stretches. Perform each stretch for five to ten seconds, repeating five to ten times during each break from riding. Notice that while both stretches involve the hands, they are stretched in opposite directions during each one.



While the injuries that occur with bike falls and collisions are as varied as the impacts, two common bones broken are the clavicle (collar bone) and the scaphoid (wrist bone near the thumb). Extending the arm to break a fall focuses forces on these bones leading to injury during impact. Along with potential fractures, the clavicle is also prone to sprain or separation, which could require at a minimum sling usage or surgery depending on severity.

A scaphoid fracture can be easily missed as the telltale sign of this fracture, pain in the thumb side of the wrist, might not be felt as severely initially as other injuries. It is important to be vigilant of an injury in this area, however, as a design flaw in the blood supply to the scaphoid can lead to serious issues including avascular necrosis (failure of bone to heal) and long term functional impairment if not treated early. This is why it is important to not ignore wrist pain after a bike fall.

While prevention of falls and broken bones may not be entirely possible, if the biker holds on to the handle bars while falling, the entire body can absorb the blow of the impact rather than focusing the impact on these two bones in the outstretched arm. Wearing a helmet can also make the need to protect the head less of an issue during a fall.

Enjoying the Ride

By being aware of some of the most common arm and hand-related bike injuries, you can take the necessary steps to prevent these injuries from occurring during your rides. Should an injury occur, schedule an appointment at a nearby Athletico location so that our Occupational Therapists can help you heal in time for the next ride.


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H.C. Martensen works in the AlloSource tissue processing core where he is faced with the powerful realities and possibilities of tissue donation and transplantation every day. He also has the utmost confidence in the allografts that he and his tissue bank colleagues produce, so much so that he recently requested one for his own transplant.

Over the summer H.C. returned to his former university, Colorado College in Colorado Springs, for an alumni soccer game. He played on the team in college, and since then remained very athletic, participating in triathlons and skiing. However, at the time of the game, it had been a while since he’d played soccer. Following a cutting motion on the field he felt his leg let go below the knee. H.C. instantly knew what had occurred, not only because of his work, but also because a close friend had sustained a torn ACL just
three days prior.

Shortly thereafter a surgeon confirmed it – H.C.’s ACL and lateral meniscus were torn
and he needed surgery and an allograft transplant. Although the surgeon did not
historically use allografts from AlloSource, H.C. made a special request to have his
graft come from the tissue bank. His surgery required a patella ligament bone-tendon-bone graft, which he received from a 33-year-old male donor.

“Just a few years older than me,” H.C. said. “It added to the perspective that I’ve had.

I’m presented with the reality of the business we’re in everyday. Seeing young donors come in is hard. Now that I’ve personally benefitted I’m further grateful for the gift of donation and even more aware of what we do.”

Since his surgery in June, H.C.’s recovery has been progressing very well and he just
completed his final functional evaluation in physical therapy. Although his knee isn’t yet 100%, he knows it shouldn’t be back to normal this soon after the injury, and his road to recovery has been swifter than other patients with similar injuries. Of course, H.C. intends to make the most of his gift of life – he will be training for triathlons.

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