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Old 05-18-11, 08:23 PM   #1
Bill
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deeply frustrated

I have been battling with a weak knee for several months now. I finally talked to a ortho doc. He suggested that I rest it completely for two weeks, use anti-inflammatories and moist heat. He suggested an exercise I should do. The diagnosis was patellar tendonitis with pateller femoral pain. The pain is a soreness right in the middle of the knee cap. I followed his instructions, swimming a bit but not kicking. Things got a little better, but the soreness remained. The weakness was better, but not perfect. I went riding for the first time on Monday--a lousy 9 miles. Things got worse again. I feel like this will never go away.
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Old 05-18-11, 08:30 PM   #2
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How is your flexibility? Do you stretch?

I had pretty bad tendinitis over the winter, was limited to maybe 5 easy miles a day. I saw a massage therapist who worked out some adhesions and gave me some stretching exercises to do. A couple of months later I did a century, no problem. I even rode home afterward.
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Old 05-19-11, 03:30 PM   #3
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I do some stretching. Have been doing some for a long time.
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Old 05-19-11, 03:31 PM   #4
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What muscles are you stretching?
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Old 05-19-11, 03:43 PM   #5
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What muscles are you stretching?
Hamstrings and quads. I stop a few miles into my commute and stretch. Warm muscles stretch differently than cold ones. I also use "resistance stretching" which involves techniques to "fool" the muscles into relaxing by flexing them. It gives a slightly different (and enhanced) result compared to plain old stretching, but I could not explain how it works. For example, as I stretch one quad, I try to straighten my leg as I pull my foot up along side my butt -- I let my arms win the tug-of-war.

In my particular case I did not have enough range of motion. Once I got into the normal range my tendinitis pretty much went away.

I also was icing my knees twice a day, using anti-inflammatories, keeping my fluids up, and getting rest. Before I saw the massage therapist it was a losing battle, but then when I started stretching a lot I saw rapid progress.

Bob Anderson is an author the therapist recommended. But I improved so fast I never did buy the book.

That said, there are lots of reasons a person can get tendinitis. This just happened to be the key for me.
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Old 05-19-11, 07:13 PM   #6
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My Doc recommended heat, not cold.
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Old 05-19-11, 07:25 PM   #7
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tendinitis by definition is inflamed tendons. take an anti-inflammatory... ibuprofen take an 800 mg dosage the first time and then follow it every 4 hours with another 600 mg. do that for a few days combined with rest and heat/ice... it will feel better.
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Old 05-20-11, 04:10 AM   #8
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How is your riding position on the bike, are you a masher or spinner? Lowering the saddle(slightly) and not using tight toe clips/clipless pedals, as well as riding 1-2 gears lower has been my work around for knee pain. I have one knee that was trashed in a race crash 35 years ago and it still occasionally give me the fits.

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Old 05-20-11, 04:13 AM   #9
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I am prob a masher, but since I have had this pain I have been spinning more. Doesn't seem to make any difference.
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Old 05-20-11, 09:23 AM   #10
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Did you get xrays?
What does it feel like when you move your knee? Does it feel like "gritty"?
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Old 05-20-11, 10:48 AM   #11
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I have been battling with a weak knee for several months now. I finally talked to a ortho doc. He suggested that I rest it completely for two weeks, use anti-inflammatories and moist heat. He suggested an exercise I should do. The diagnosis was patellar tendonitis with pateller femoral pain. The pain is a soreness right in the middle of the knee cap. I followed his instructions, swimming a bit but not kicking. Things got a little better, but the soreness remained. The weakness was better, but not perfect. I went riding for the first time on Monday--a lousy 9 miles. Things got worse again. I feel like this will never go away.
Injuries like this take a looooooooooooooooooooooooong time to heal and even longer to return to "normal" so patients while you follow your doctors advice is the best course of action.

Get in a hurry and you will be cursed with a weak joint that can become permanently injured for life.

If you still want to ride take it real easy and don't push. Baby that injured knee or pay later big time.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-20-11, 04:34 PM   #12
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A second opinion (from a real doctor, not people on the internet) might be a good idea. If second doc tells you the same thing, ask if physical therapy is an option.
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Old 05-20-11, 04:59 PM   #13
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Bill, I feel your pain...literally.
Have the same thing. Went to a sports injury specialist who as a first course of action referred me to a physio. After about 2 weeks of daily stretching, quads, hip muscles, calf, glutes it felt much much better...almost like new. No exercise at all during this time. Got back on the bike yesterday at physio's endorsement and did about 7 miles. Have general soreness in the knee area now and expect the patellar pain will return if I go out again.

I had the feeling this could happen so while dissappointed...I'm not completely surprised. Just interested in what the physio will say next. I'm guessing I'll be going back to the specialist for the next step...not sure what that is. I intend to keep up the stretching though.
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Old 05-21-11, 06:10 AM   #14
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Had a terrible day with the injury today. And it had nothing to do with exercise. It was killing me after riding in a car for 6 hours. It's a lot better today after sleeping. Something about bending the knee that is making it hurt. I don't get it. I am trying to bombard it with anti-inflammatories. I will speak to the doc soon. PT may be next--iontopherisis (spelling?).
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Old 05-21-11, 07:24 PM   #15
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I get tender knees occasionally, caused by kneecap tracking. When I do, I sit on the edge of my bed and let my legs dangle. Slowly straighten the knee, then slowly back down. 2-3 sets of ten. It's pretty stress-free, no weights necessary. Like a lot of PT, the repetitions are more important than the resistance. Try it for a few nights, and if it doesn't work you can still see the doc.
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Old 06-12-11, 05:58 AM   #16
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Bill, thought I'd give an update on my own battle. Maybe it will give you some encouragement.

I also would get pain in the knee when driving and even when sitting sometimes. After my last cycle my knee cap hurt the next day. I went back to the physio and he seemed surprised. He just did some more stretches and some massage on my glut. When I did my quad stretches later at home I would get a quite intense burning sensation just above the knee for the first few stretches. I continued to cycle about 10 miles every second day with very light gearing (no higher than 4th) and didn't feel much pain but the burning sensation remained when stretching.
When I went back to the physio earlier this week I told him about this. He then did some pretty intense massage on this area and up the quad. The pain was almost unbearable. Since then the burning sensation has completely gone and I can stretch pretty well now on my bad leg, almost as good as my other leg. Since then I've been out on two 10 mile cycles and I've pushed it really hard both times and my kneee feels fine. I almost can't believe it. I keep expecting the pain to return but so far it hasn't. I'm optimistic for the first time in ages.

So I suggest you get a thorough check done on your flexibility if you haven't already and if you can pinpoint areas that cause difficulty it might be the answer to getting over this thing.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:39 AM   #17
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"Tendonitis" of any kind can take a long, long time to just get better but never really heal completely. This may be why you're not progressing as you think you should.

As an example.........
I injured my left elbow tendon 10 year ago and it still bothers me from time to time plus it is still weaker than it was. I don't think it will ever be 100% again.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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