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Cycling with a knee injury

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Cycling with a knee injury

Old 05-18-21, 11:48 PM
  #1  
LarrySellerz
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Cycling with a knee injury

Sup yall. last Sunday I was hit by a car and my left knee is pretty messed up. The doc said I probably have a minor ligament tear that wont require surgery. She said that I should be able to ride as long as I take it pretty easy and don't feel sharp pains. Ive tried riding and my knee hurts a bit but its not that bad. The tear is a lateral one (outside of knee)

How have you guys dealt with cycling with knee injuries? I need to go 7 miles each way for work, which I intend on starting again tomorrow (took 2 day off.) I kind of feel like I can just start cycling pretty hard while my knee is healing. The doc said if its not better in a month I should get a MRI, and I feel like its fine. Ive had worse knee injuries and frankly I feel like cycling is decent rehab for knee injuries. Are there any stretches or something of that nature that I could do? I just met a squad at work who cycles and they invited me to go out tomorrow so I want to be ready.

If you recently sprained your knee would you hold off on grinding on a big gear? part of my training plan is switching from grinding to spinning. Sorry if this is in the wrong subforum

Last edited by LarrySellerz; 05-19-21 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 05-19-21, 05:36 AM
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Can you get a referral to a sports medicine physical therapist? That's probably your best option to determine what is safe and effective activity while your knee heals.
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Old 05-19-21, 05:45 AM
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I agree. You need medical professionals to tell you. We don't know how severe your injury is. Then if you experience pain, take it as a warning sign.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:13 AM
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I've had some knee injuries. Cracked patella, torn meniscus, repetitive motion issues. I also have arthritis from the injuries and scarring over the years.

If I want advice I always go to the doctor for it. Looking for it on the forums is not in your best interest.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:39 AM
  #5  
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Get a second opinion and MRI if your insurance covers it or you can cover it.
BF does not count as a 2nd opinion. I cannot see how being hit by a car would cause only a sprain?
What do you mean hit by a car? Knocked you off your bike awkwardly? Hit your knee directly?
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Old 05-19-21, 07:46 AM
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Not an MD, so my opinion should be read with suspicion. But if your doc told you to take it easy, and your knee hurts when you bike, it doesn't sound like you're healed enough to be riding. Riding hard sounds like a great way to injure your knee further, so you WILL need the MRI and WILL be more likely to need surgery (which may keep you off your bike for 6 weeks to 6 months).

But you'll do what you want to do, and deal with the consequences.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:57 AM
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I think the OP should dial it up to 400W and drope some hamers. He said he’s ready. HTFU.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:35 AM
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As mentioned above, medical advice on the forum is always suspect, but I will say:

1) Doctors don’t realize what “take it easy” means to an enthusiast and what they’re thinking is probably easier than whatever you’re thinking.

2) Pain is the body’s way of telling you you’re hurting something, so keep that in mind as you ride.

3) If you must commute by bike, give yourself extra time to get there so you don’t feel the need to rush through any pain.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:49 AM
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As someone who has ridden with injuries, my personal rules are:
  1. if it hurts, stop doing it
  2. moving is better than not moving
  3. be mindful of how you're stressing the injured part(s)
  4. if it swells up, give it a rest
  5. NSAIDs are your friends
When I broke my hip, doc said no walking or biking for 12 weeks. I was on the trainer after 5 weeks, on the road after 6 weeks. I carried a folding cane in my jersey pocket, and I needed help getting on and off the bike. But I recovered well.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:54 AM
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The doc was pretty young and she admitted that she isn’t the most experienced in physical exams, but she said since I could “duck walk” while squatting im probably OK and don’t need an mri.

also the car turned into me slowly while I was going like 17 mph and all the momentum went into my peddle (and knee I guess) and knocked me off the bike. The peddle is toast

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Old 05-19-21, 09:55 AM
  #11  
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My son has knee issues too that MRI's can't find. Probably because none of the MRI's here can take a picture with his leg bent enough to show the issue.

So for him it really is about keeping the load off the legs. Using gear ratios that are ridiculously easy and spinning a fast cadence are easier on his knees than slower cadences well within the range of power he can put into his legs. Also weight. He added quite a few pounds this winter as did I and his knees bother him on climbs that never bothered him before.

I've been wondering if a nine speed road bike with a triple front might give him a better range of gearing. Not sure I'd ever convince him to try such old technology though.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I've been wondering if a nine speed road bike with a triple front might give him a better range of gearing. Not sure I'd ever convince him to try such old technology though.
Don't do it.

An Ultegra compact double can get you a 1:1 gear ratio (34:34) these days. Easily.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Don't do it.

An Ultegra compact double can get you a 1:1 gear ratio (34:34) these days. Easily.
I don't think that .0625 difference in gearing from the 34F:32R that he currently has is going to help much.

Weight really seems to be the big issue right now. He has had the knee issues for years. But riding hasn't been an issue since I swapped out his 11-28 for an 11-32 four years ago. This year his weight is the only thing that's changed. I'm hoping that changes in the good direction.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:42 AM
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I ride a 21 speed and the granny gear comes in handy more than I thought it would.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:46 AM
  #15  
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Something that would concern me in this would be actually being able to do proper stretching for a tear in a ligament. Seems like without doing stretches you could develop an IT band issue which can cause (a different kind) of knee pain, lower back, and hip pain. Ask pointed questions to this doctor to be certain you are not going to increase your injury by stretching.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:34 PM
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I would recommend you take a break for a little while.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
So you got hit by a car eh? Were you politely signaling to leave the bike lane when you got hit?
I put myself in a bad position, I was riding at night without lights, drunk, on the sidewalk at a decent clip. A car pulled up to turn, and I saw that my line was going to close soon so I accelerated instead of slowing down, expecting him to look both ways before turning. I misjudged the situation and he hit me when I was going like 17 mph. He was super freaked out and apologetic and I felt really bad for him, like yeah he should have looked but I never should have been there. Salty cause my bike needs work, I spilled my Chinese food, and my knee hurts, but I kinda deserved it if Im gonna be honest

End of story, is that I didn't follow my rule #1, which is ALWAYS yield to traffic. Instead of opted for rule #2 which is that you have to commit. I need to add a rule #3 which is don't ride drunk. Im used to riding drunk and can handle my bike fine, but recently i've been watching hotline videos of sweet messengers riding like maniacs through traffic and now Im just way too spicy after ive been drinking.

Also on that road with the "bike lane" that you shared, I could see why you wouldnt want to merge with traffic. I don't like merging with traffic that is going 20+ mph faster than me, feels unsafe, and you said they were fast on that road.

Last edited by LarrySellerz; 05-19-21 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 05-19-21, 11:20 PM
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Someone above said it. When a doctor says resume your normal activities, they are not addressing a drunk bike rider doing 17mph at night. Or someone who gets hit by a car, gets a knee injury but wants to ride with a new squad from work. I'd go easy. Also, so you don't stress the knee, really loosen the cleat release on that side so that it does not require much force.
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Old 05-20-21, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
I think the OP should dial it up to 400W and drope some hamers. He said he’s ready. HTFU.
this would also be my advice. He’ll be ready for the Cat 6 Nationals in no time!
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Old 05-20-21, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
. Im used to riding drunk and can handle my bike fine, .
yeah ...... i do lots of things well when im drunk too. A sweet buzz makes me more relaxed and better able to manage both bikes and a 4000 pound car. Drunk Motocross is the best though. I tell the track owner to kill the lights and let me ride the track backwards at night. Its a hootand a group of us from work are getting together to do it tonight. Ialso dont wear a helmet because it restricts my heads upand down motion enough that i cant see well. Alsoits tough to sip on my tall boy with a full face on






OP - Im just having fun. Iv raced road, track and the aforementioned motocross for over 30 years. I cannot even begin to count the number of times Ive hit the deck in the time span.

I am also the very recent recipient of an artificial knee at the somewhat young age of 49 due to pushing recovery times, ignoring small aches pains and stresses, and thinking i know best because after all, the doctor cant possibly know how i feel.

id honestly take the car to work for a couple of weeks if you have one, but if the bike is your primary transportation— soft pedal for a while
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Old 05-20-21, 08:28 AM
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“ look out that window Larry! Do you see what happens when you F a stranger in the A?”
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Old 05-20-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
The doc said I probably have a minor ligament tear that wont require surgery. She said that I should be able to ride as long as I take it pretty easy and don't feel sharp pains. Ive tried riding and my knee hurts a bit but its not that bad. The tear is a lateral one (outside of knee)

How have you guys dealt with cycling with knee injuries?
You doc's advice sounds good.

My knees locked up after extended periods of idleness due to aircraft carrier steel decks. The doctor suggested cycling physical therapy which led me to buying a Super Mirage. It really helped but the key was exercising the joints with moderation.

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Old 05-20-21, 11:14 AM
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Your doctor said you could probably ride, if you took it easy, and didn't feel any sharp pains. Did you feel sharp pains? If so, stop. If you want to ride a little, put it in a very easy gear, and ride on a flat street, spinning easily so that you are not putting any stress on the joint, and only if you do not feel any sharp pains. Other than that, take it easy, lie on the couch, and read or book or watch TV.
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Old 05-20-21, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
So you got hit by a car eh? Were you politely signaling to leave the bike lane when you got hit?
Wow, you really did go there!

Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
I put myself in a bad position, I was riding at night without lights, drunk, on the sidewalk at a decent clip. A car pulled up to turn, and I saw that my line was going to close soon so I accelerated instead of slowing down, expecting him to look both ways before turning. I misjudged the situation and he hit me when I was going like 17 mph. He was super freaked out and apologetic and I felt really bad for him, like yeah he should have looked but I never should have been there. Salty cause my bike needs work, I spilled my Chinese food, and my knee hurts, but I kinda deserved it if Im gonna be honest
I thought that was a snarky sarcastic response, but now I'm starting to think you really mean it!

I like your rules though, and the order they're in, because it hurts all the same no matter who was right and who was wrong.
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Old 05-20-21, 01:34 PM
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I started having knee pain in 2017, after lots of sprint training which is what I "believe" caused the pain initially (maybe patellar femoral syndrome? maybe chondromalacia?, maybe frayed tendon?) A $750 out of pocket MRI was inconclusive to "Dr. Sports Knee". So all the obvious stuff was ruled out, and 2-per-week PT for several months was also fruitless.

The pain has never gone away fully, but last season 2020, and this one 2021, I've babied it a lot more than before, and don't go much above 300 watts at peak, and try to stay below 180-200W sustained (as opposed to 600-800 watts peak, and 250-300W sustained in previous years when it was feeling good so I pushed it and probably re-injured it, year after year like that). But following this "<250W peak" regimen has it feeling better than it has in the last 4 years.
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