I was off of my bike all last season with knee issues. It started with IT band syndrome, which was tenable, but I then started to expeience an entirely different type of pain in the same knee. After 20 miles or so of training paced cycling on varying gradients I would start to have pain in my left knee. Below, I have attached a picture of a left knee, with a red circe indicating where I experience this pain
I saw a doctor who suggesed I get an MRI to rule our a meniscus tear. My insurance is not great, and the MRI would have cost me $2000. I did not get the MRI, instead opting to take the season off and hopefully heal on my own. After a year, I am IT band syndrome free and have been out a total of 4 times this year with ride of 6.5 miles, 12 miles, 22 miles, and most recently 30 miles (my regular average distance is 35-40 miles) all with a week in between (due to weather in WI, and work). During my last ride of 30 miles I started to experience that same knee pain right around the 20-22 mile mark.
Here are some descriptions of the pain...
-Always happens around 20 miles into a ride
-once the pain begins it is most noticable on the downstroke and the pain increases with the intensity of the stoke, making climbing out of the saddle and sprinting painful.
-The pain can be described as a "tightening pain" and almost feels like a bubble or knot in my knee
-when stretching my quad post-ride, I can really feel it, as if my quad is directly connected to the culprit
-I am entirley pain free when I am off the bike, accept when walking down stairs immediately after a ride. Its seems to only flair up afer 20 miles of riding.
Has anyone experienced this before? Any tips as to what it could be? I have flat feet, and have been told by a personal trainer that one of my legs is slightly longer than the other. I think it would be weird if these were the causes seeing as those physical characteristics have always been the same since I started cycling, and have never caused problems in previous years. Could this be a meniscus tear? Would the MRI be worth it?
Any information you could provide would be much appreciated, I just want to be healthy and enjoying cycling again....
Thanks in adance!