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  1. #1
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    Mystery Knee pains

    I know this isn't Webmd but wondering if anyone has any ideas or what's causing this. I didn't know where to post this so where else but my favorite section of the forum! lol. I did a 90 mile race two weekends ago and roughly 60 miles into the race one of my knees steady got worse. Mind you I've never had any knee pain or any type of injuries in my entire life. I still finished the race as I didn't feel like dropping out this far into it. Now two weeks later and being what I thought was completely healed. I decided to ride to school as I felt back to normal and no pains last weekend riding around.

    Now fast forward to today. My commute to school is 40 miles round trip with no big climbs and only for about 2 miles is there any type of incline if you want to call it that. Rode to school and everything felt all hunky doorie once I got there. Though come time to ride home no more then 100 yards into the ride it started hurting like during the race. Enough for me to throw in the towel and call my wife and spare the remaining 15 miles or so. Not only does my original knee hurt but the ball of my other foot hurts now. I'm only 32 but feel and probably smell like I'm 92 with the bengay I'm lathering on.

    Now I just switched to Speedplay from a Look style pedal and today was just on a standard platform pedal with no clips and some New Balance running shoes. My wife said she's setting up an appt with a chiropractor to see whats wrong. The pain is basically everything around my entire knee predomently the Lateral and Medial Collateral ligaments. I almost stopped at a department store to pick up one of those neoprene knee braces to see if that would help but didn't want to make it worse. Anyone had soemthing like this happen to them? It's pretty frustrating when the weather is perfect I've got multiple decent bikes to ride now and can't because of a bum knee or maybe pedals that don't like me.

  2. #2
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    1. you tore your meniscus and it folded up,
    2. scar tissue build up in your knee
    3. small tear of the acl or mcl
    I've had more than my share of knee pain, these three things are what caused that kind of pain for me. you might need an mri. God I hate mri's
    Even a turkey can fly in a hurricane

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    My left knee gives me occasional problems also. One day I slightly hyper-extended it messing around on a skimboard and it hasn't been the same since. I drive for a living and if I don't get to move it around every once in a while, it becomes 'uncomfortable' all day. I'm hoping cycling doesn't damage it more (yeah right)
    Don't throw away that old crusty saddle, recover it!!!

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  4. #4
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    I have actually found that of the cardio exercises available cycling does my knee much less harm than anything else. In fact my knee pain is significantly lessened when I am in good cycling shape
    Even a turkey can fly in a hurricane

  5. #5
    Senior Member Alan Edwards's Avatar
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    WOW sounds like my knee 20 years ago, tore the meniscus and could walk but not cycle. Had orthoscopic surgery to clean out the torn bits and give it a flat spot to heal back, took 4 week of recovery. That was at the age of 19, now I'm 43. My mother, age 64, had a newer version of the same surgery last year and recovered in a couple days. Don't wait if you have insurance, see a Doctor NOW. If not I would suggest motion exercises that move the knee through the full motion at different times of the day. Knee joints are avascular (no blood) and heal by regeneration fueled by diffusion (vary slow).
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    We are going to give you twenty different memories of our own knee problems.

    We are not doctors, and that's where you should go.

    I would also stop by a really good "fit" shop and talk about the pedals you switched to from your Looks.

    I had nothing but "h....cious" knee pain when I tried Speedplay pedals, and we had to redial in fit parameters to make them work for me.

    In the end, I stopped the experiment and went back to the pedals I had been using for almost thirty years.

    I'd make the appointments.
    Last edited by gomango; 09-01-11 at 03:57 AM.

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    If you're racing I'm assuming your bike's pretty damn well fitted to you.
    However, your new pedals might have thrown off your riding form just enough to make your knees go bad. Unlikely, yes, but could be a cause. This is something to fix back up when you're back up and riding again.

    For the time being, take it easy and do some swimming. Swimming and cycling are pretty much the lowest-impact excersices you can do for your body. Stop immediately if the pain comes back, though.

  8. #8
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    I'm still going to see my doctor as I wasn't expecting to hear my diagnosis online. I've never went under the knife for anything besides wisdom teeth and getting fixed. lol. Well I guess I'll hope for the best. Thanks folks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Did the Look cleats float? If not your feet were more than likely mis-positioned in the pedals which lead to kneee isuues. Personaly, I need alot fo float in my clipless pedals or I get knee pain.

    If this thread is still around after the weekend I'll go into extreme detail on how to set up cleats for clipless pedals.....
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  10. #10
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    Surprisingly the Looks didn't have much float at all compared to the Speedplays. That's one reason I picked up the Speedplays because of all the hoopla surrounding the amount of float they offer. I'm going in tomorrow but will swap my Look Keo Classics back on. I find it more difficult to clip into the SP's also even with them being double sided. We have a few shops that are pretty good at fitting also so I'll check that out also. I was just going off of my fitting measurements on my custom bike I built in my framebuilding course with Doug Fattic. I experienced the knee pain on both my custom built and fitted bike and my new Salsa Vaya I bought this weekend. Though the Salsa has just basic platform pedals.

    The ride yesterday with the Salsa felt great and didn't notice any pains during the ride. Then after my classes which last five hours on my commute home I noticed it almost as soon as I jumped on. Though no pains during class or walking around on breaks. Well I guess I'll hopefully find out tomorrow and it's nothing too extreme. I haven't gotten too much riding time in this year and now I feel I've got my best selection of rides I've ever had all which are ready to ride.
    Last edited by Henry III; 09-01-11 at 07:29 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member RavingManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Did the Look cleats float? If not your feet were more than likely mis-positioned in the pedals which lead to kneee isuues. Personaly, I need alot fo float in my clipless pedals or I get knee pain.

    If this thread is still around after the weekend I'll go into extreme detail on how to set up cleats for clipless pedals.....
    I think there are many of us that would appreciate that, Jim.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    This is scary. Of course, all we can do is speculate but it must have been caused by the pedal system switch. Logical, but maybe simplistic. Wish you the best of luck with the doc.

  13. #13
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gomango View Post
    We are not doctors, and that's where you should go.
    Some of us probably are but still, no excuse not to go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
    I'm still going to see my doctor as I wasn't expecting to hear my diagnosis online. I've never went under the knife for anything besides wisdom teeth and getting fixed. lol. Well I guess I'll hope for the best. Thanks folks.
    I had surgery on my left knee last summer.

    Torn cartilage, frayed Meniscus, etc.

    It has taken about a full year of spinning, distance riding, and intervals to get back where I was last summer.

    The only part that has driven me nuts was the weight gain when I couldn't work out.

    Even if you have to have something cleaned up in the knee, I doubt it would be a death sentence for riding.

    A royal pain maybe, but a doctor's visit will set you on the right path.

    I would really look into the alignment of your cleats though, as that easily could have strained some ligaments.

    Especially with the distances you are riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
    Some of us probably are but still, no excuse not to go.
    Yes, but I don't rely on online "sources" when it comes to medical manners.

  16. #16
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    Lots of speculation that we can offer as others have said. And, a ton of variables. I've had three knee surgeries (meniscus tears) and have only 20% of my right meniscus left. I also am developing arthritis and have chondromalacia (softening of the underside of the knee cap). It all makes for a lot of pain on different days.

    I've found spinning is critical - 95-110 cadence is good for me. If I go lower and push too big a gear for too long the throbbing in the knee caps is unbearable. Saddle position is something I've had to tweak also - mine needs to be positioned back a little back to eliminate pain in the rear of the knee. I've found the method of setting saddle height in Greg Lemond's book (really from Cyrile Guimard) works well for me.

    One of the key things I've noticed when changing pedals is the cleat/pedal combination can mess with the relation of saddle height to bend of the knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I've had to move the saddle up or down a little depending on the change.

    I'm to the point where most of my bikes work well for me - but, that doesn't mean the knee pain doesn't creep up periodically (like this week).
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Do check the fit of your bike as it can be the cause of knee injuries. thing is, the art of fitting your bike to your body by yourself can get tricky.
    I remember getting severe right knee pains for months in college from riding my bike. The usual theory back then was that people get them from having their saddles too high, so I started lowering mine in increments to find the ideal height that will minimize stress on my knee. Thing was, it only got worse the lower I made it and the pains didn't go away even after giving myself long breaks from riding.....So running out of ideas on how to solve the knee problem, I went against convention and rasied my saddle higher than how I had it originally.........the riding knee pains went away totally within a month!

    Chombi

  18. #18
    Ride More seedsbelize's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchbikefan View Post
    I have actually found that of the cardio exercises available cycling does my knee much less harm than anything else. In fact my knee pain is significantly lessened when I am in good cycling shape
    +1

    Life is is too short to care what others think of your bike.

  19. #19
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    Henry III, what size crank arms were you using? Hint: shorter crank arms are better for your knees.

  20. #20
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    On my first century attempt (at age 46) my left knee locked up on me about around mile 53 & I was SAG'd back in. I had to walk stiff-legged for a day (hurt bad, too). Stayed off the bike a few weeks. Went on a short ride - issue returned within 10 miles.

    Solution: I started taking daily doses of gelatin (a fellow rider's suggestion) - yes, you can buy powdered Knox gelatin in a big ol' can in your xmart's supplement aisle. I took it for about 6 weeks before I made any attempt at serious riding. I continued with "maintenance" doses for about a year. My knee has never locked up on me again. It's been 7 years. I've been through multiple bikes & saddles, and therefore saddle positions, in the meantime. Anytime I start to feel anything in either knee, which is maybe once a year, I'll take the gelatin for a few days. I also take MSM and flax oil on pretty much a daily basis. No, I've never seen a doctor for this.

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  21. #21
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    Well got back from school and the doctors office this morning. They told me they need to amputate the opposite leg. You know when you stub your toe and then someone tells you stud the other and you'll forget the original toe hurting. lol. Seriously though. Doc told me nothing is torn or damaged so that's good to know. She said I should check out a physical therapist for a few visits and then I might just have to ride with a neoprene knee brace.

    As for the confusion with the pedals. After I switch to the Speedplays my knee started giving me problems. Then yesterday I rode with just nonclipless pedals and then on my ride back home it started giving me the same pain. I'll switch back to my Look Keos and see how that goes. I'm not sure I like all the float in the Speedplays to be quite honest. It's like pedaling on blocks of ice and my feet are just moving around. These are the model with no float adjustment on cleat.

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