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Knee pain epidemic???(7 posts)

Knee pain epidemic???team_sheepshead
Jan 29, 2003 1:59 PM
First Robbie McEwen drops out of the Tour Down Under with knee pain, then it happens to me! :) The similarities end there, believe me.

Have been suffering knee pain for 2 weeks. At first I figured my new cleats were misaligned/tight. Tried to break them in slowly but it didn't help. Haven't ridden at all for 12 days (17-degree weather had nothing to do with it, right?) and still have pain.

Pain is in left knee; it aches in a circle around my kneecap. Sometimes above, sometimes below. Feels very tight.

Today M.D. diagnosed me with bursitis. Gave me NSAIDs, heat pack and referral to sports ortho. Has anyone had bursitis? I'm not looking for a diagnosis over the Web, just curious about fellow riders' pain.

re: Knee pain epidemic???jlewd
Jan 29, 2003 2:21 PM
Yes, I, in fact, have been afflicted with bursitis. It happened before cycling consumed my life, and my doctor said that it was a result of using my knees too much. He said that it was a common affliction of housewives from the 1800's because they were on their hands and knees scrubbing too much! I am neither a housewife nor live in the 1800' "go figure."

The bursae is the lining in the knee that's filled with liquid, and bursitis is the condition in which it becomes inflamed and irritated from the same repetitive movement or motion.

Unfortunately for me, my only options were to leave it be, or have it drained in a surgical way. I opted to have it drained, so now I have a scar, and the only other time in which I really notice it is when I am on long trans-continental flights, and my knee stays bent in the same position for several hours straight -- then it becomes sore. Otherwise, I don't notice the missing fluid.
re: Acute or chronic?team_sheepshead
Jan 29, 2003 2:46 PM
Thanks very much for the reply. My M.D. implied that this was an acute condition that would improve over time. Are you saying bursitis is chronic? Again, I am still not sure convinced this is bursitis because I had no knee problems before these new cleats two weeks ago. Second opinion is coming Friday morning.
re: Acute or chronic?Raven1911
Jan 29, 2003 7:40 PM
I doubt it is bursitis. I too developed knee pain shortly after adjusting my new cleats. I went from a 6 deg float to a fixed cleat and had knee pain for a 3-4 week period, but it went away and I have no problems now. I ride on average 4-6 days a week at 1.5 hours minimum and 3.5 hours a day on weekends. It did not prevent me from riding, but was painful. It did go away and I would suggest that yours will too. I just think your knee needs a neural adjustment period and the pain will subside.

I am a physical therapist and see alot of bursitis and such. Even if the bursa is removed or drained surgically it will regrow and could possibly come back. But bursitis is usually a chronic problem, not usually acute and develop all of a sudden in an two week period. I would keep riding as long as your pain does not get worse. Take your ibuprofen and rest. Re-adjust your cleats, if needed, and try again. If possible look at your old cleats or try to find a fit that resembled your old cleat. Once you go to a new foot position on the bike your knee will definitely know it! Patience my son, patience...

Been there . . .soup
Jan 30, 2003 5:54 AM
Are you the fella who switched from SPDs to Looks? Is that when your pain started? I did the same thing a couple of years ago-- I went from old style Ultegra SPDs to Looks with the red cleats. Probably didn't go easy enough at first. Ouch! Right lateral/posterior knee pain. Didn't hurt so much to ride, but afterwards was very painful.

I tried ice, rest, NSAIDs, adjusting my position innumerable times/ways, and continued with the Looks-- all to no avail. Ultimately, I switch back to the SPDs, iced regularly and took it easy for a while (two weeks in my case) and things worked themselves out. Been afraid to re-try the Looks. My wife loves them. I'm now on Speedplays.

For me, the "float" of Looks is significantly more restrictive than that of SPDs or Speedplays. Looks pivot from the toe rather than around the ball of your foot. There is also resistance with the Looks that does not exist with the SPDs or Speedplays.

All that said-- Ice, Ice, Ice. It really works for me anytime I have tendonitis/bursitis/over-use type pain. (I seem to be prone to overuse injuries). Ice your knee regularly after your workouts and an additional one or two times a day. That's how I work mine out.

Good luck. Team-sheephead-- as in the fish?

Mine is gone. Here's Gray's illustration of the knee.Tig
Jan 30, 2003 6:40 AM
I had knee pain next to the knee cap towards the inner direction (retinacula tendon and capsular ligament). I took it easy for a few days until the pain went away and would then ride, but the pain kept coming back after an hour of moderate riding. I took a whole week off and it has healed up well. Yesterday's fixed gear ride proved to me that the knee is strong again. You may need to see a doc if rest doesn't help it.

Gray's Anatomy online is excellent:
Thanks to allteam_sheepshead
Jan 30, 2003 10:21 AM
first, let me say that the people in these dicusssions rock. most other boards are filled with clowns and posers, but i always get good advice here. so thanks for your input.

yes, i am the guy who went from spds to look 396s. i immediately noticed the spring tension was much greater than the spds, but decided to try to ride through it for a week. that is when the pain started.

i guess i am very reluctant to get back on the bike as long as i feel pain. i have been riding for years and have never had knee problems, so i want to be cautious. with my body i sort of know the difference between normal pain from overuse and abnormal pain. this is abnormal.

my wife, a former physical therapist (upper extremities), doesn't think it is bursitis b/c there is very little swelling. for now i am doing to stick with the ice and the NSAIDS (600 mg motrin) and see the sports doc tomorrow. i'll report back.

once again, thanks to all.

so does anyone want to buy a slightly used pair of look pedals?? :)

and team_sheepshead as in sheepshead cycles in brooklyn, ny. great shop, bad website.