Q: My husband had surgery in September and was off his bike for six weeks. Since he restarted training both hips have taken to give way when he gets off his bike and he just can only just about walk.

The symptoms go within two hours of getting off his bike. He has consulted his GP, who said it was muscle wastage. But when we go on holiday, it does not affect him in the same way. What could cause this problem, and what can we do to solve it?

Sharon, West Midlands

A: I assume you mean your husband has undergone major surgery, but unfortunately you do not tell me the nature of the operation.

The problem sounds significant, and warrants a further look. The possibilities are many, from arthritis to a spinal problem (spinal stenosis), and various other neurological conditions.

Your husband needs a firm diagnosis. So I suggest you revisit your GP and kindly request a specialist referral if he/she is unsure of the nature of the problem. Muscle wastage can point towards a significant underlying condition. Only once the diagnosis is made can your husband begin to receive treatment for his problem.

Andrew Meilak

(Sports and exercise doctor. First-cat roadman and club doctor at Millwall Football Club)