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I was wondering if anybody has any suggestions to a problem I am having with my legs. When I was in school I broke my left lef in the femur. It was totally healed. Ever since that time I have not been able to recover my muscle mass in that leg. It really becomes a problem about this time of the season because my right leg starts getting stonger . I have tried lifting weights for this leg only during the winter but as soon as I start riding seriuosly it seems that my right leg tries to do more work. I went to a Orthopedic surgeon and had a set of full lenght leg x-rays to see if there was a discrepency in my leg lenght. there is in the amount of about 1cm. I have used shims under my cleats to compensate but it seems to be having no effect. The really fustrating thing is because my right leg is so much stronger it has a tendency to cramp on longer rides,I guess because it's doing more work. At this point I don't know what to do. Would a cycling coach be able to help me or A PT.
 

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Get a professional fit

I broke my left femur at the hip joint 6 years ago (and had the hardware removed 2 years later). My leg length difference is about 14mm. I suffered the same problem you describe. I finally headed in to see Adny Pruitt about it and they said "no" to shims. They did a professional bike fit analysis and found that if they shift one cleat all the way forward and the other all the way back, then set the seat height, angle, and fore/aft position accordingly, then I was well balanced. Sure enough, within 2 years my legs were balanced, strength-wise, but the calf muscles still look very different. They have measured the strength of each and they are pretty darn close.
 

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Hi,

I have a somewhat similar problem too. I had left knee surgery 3 years ago and before surgery was on crutches for a month. Like you, my left leg significantly atrophied(sp?). After surgery I had 6 weeks of PT, then I was on my own. I made a real effort to always use my left leg more, for almost everything, as I wanted the muscle to come back and I wanted it to me just as strong as my right leg. Well, although it still doesn't have quite as much muscle mass as my right, I think it's just as strong or stronger now! I still, for some reason - probably b/c I 'trained it that way', use it more while cycling. I recently tested this out via a Computrainer, as one of the screens shows, via bar graphs, the power output of your pedal stroke. Sure enough, I'm applying significanlty more power while on my left leg's downstroke. I thought this was probably the case, as my left leg is usually more sore the day or two following a race or hard effort. So now I'm trying to be more aware of this while riding and trying to make sure I use my right leg more, in hopes of balancing them out.

Consider getting on a CompuTrainer to see if you're doing the same. Best of luck.
 
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