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knee cap pain...(6 posts)

knee cap pain...simpleguy
Jul 30, 2001 1:59 PM
I know I've seen this posted before...but what's the remedy for pain in the kneecap (I believe it's patellar tendonitis, right?) I have no problems with my left knee, it's fine - but my right one is progressively getting more and more sore...is it saddle height/ fore and aft? cleat position?

thanks ahead of time...
re: knee cap pain...LC
Jul 30, 2001 2:19 PM
It would be too much to ask someone who has never seen you on the bike to try to guess what is wrong. All of the things you mention could be it. The seat might be too high or too low to cause the same symptom? Try and go on a local club ride with some experienced cyclists and see if you can have someone watch you ride.
I'm not Dr. but...jtolleson
Jul 30, 2001 2:44 PM
I've also got several teammates with this problem and it has been diagnosed as chondromalacia (spelling?), where the knee cap doesn't track totally straight because the tendon wants to pull it slightly out of alignment during repetitive motion. Over time, the inside of the knee cap gets worn and rough, and inflammed.

There's bad news, bad news, and modestly good news. The first bad news is that if you've got it (it is more of a knee cap alignment issue than anything) that even a perfect bike fit won't help. The more bad news is that unlike tendonitis which can heal if you lay low, this never goes away.

The good news is that if it is mild, you can merely get it cleaned up with a scope, and they sell these little patellar knee straps with orthopedic supplies that will help a lot. If worse came to worse and you needed full-blown surgical repair, it has a very high success rate.

I'm sure that someone on here is a medical type and can supplement my lay summary.
re: knee cap pain...GregJ
Jul 30, 2001 9:34 PM
If you indeed have pateller tendonitis, it should clear up with some rest, I would start with 2 weeks, then do some short easy rides to see how it responds. Use some ice after the rides, ibuprofin may be helpful as well. It could be due to position but certainly not necessarily. I have had this condition a few times over the years, I never get it when I am riding consistantly and well. I have only had this condition when I have done a long ride like 80 miles or a century without building up weekly mileage ahead of time. Like maybe after a bit of time off the bike. Once I have gotten this condition, I have always needed to stay off the bike to make it disappear. The good news is in 20 years of cycling it has never become chronic and I think maybe I have had it only 3 or 4 times. You may want to try some massage of the muscles and tendons involved, I think when it is not too painful. Anyway, this is what has worked for me.
PFS perhaps??Becky
Jul 31, 2001 3:47 AM
After a couple weeks of unexplained pain around the patella, my doc diagnosed something called patello-femoral syndrome. Like a previous poster mentioned, the patella doesn't track properly over the femur, causing pain. However, this is *not* chondromalacia- the difference being that the cartilage under my kneecap is still intact. Evidently, in chondromalacia, that cartilage begins to disappear. Anyway, PFS is less severe. A routine of ice, Relafen, basic PT-type exercises at home and an open-patella knee brace have helped thus far. Being off the bike is killing me though!!
Simpleguy, if it's getting worse, see a doctor. Better to catch something serious now than to find yourself laid up and off the bike for weeks or more. Best of luck to you!
see an orthopedic surgeonpeloton
Jul 31, 2001 8:09 AM
An orthopedic surgeon is who you need to see here. A general practicioner will usually refer knee pains and problems of the like to a specialist like this. No one on the board can see your alignment, or all the factors involved with your knee pain. You may have tendinitis, chondomalacia, or a host of other problems. It may or may not be a big deal. Point is, the only person who can diagnose you is a doctor. See an orthopedic (one with a specialty in sports med would be ideal), and get the real answer and the tools to deal with it. Good luck.