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reassure me -> life after injury?

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reassure me -> life after injury?

Old 04-22-08, 06:15 PM
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NeezyDeezy
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reassure me -> life after injury?

I have a diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome... Last fall, I rode from NYC to Canada in only a few days and maybe pushed gears higher than I should have. In any case, I had acute pain for weeks. I didn't ride at all for months, but pretty soon the pain associated with regular use of my knee (such as walking) subsided. Now that spring has rolled around, I decided enough time had passed and I started commuting to work (only six miles) again. I kept it in low gear and it felt great! The second day in, though, I started to feel the same pain when I'm sitting at my desk and my knee is bent. It's pretty bad, and I'm really worried about future riding (let along racing) prospects. I'm following up with my orthopedic surgeon again next week, and I know I shouldn't think anything until the doctor's visit, but this has gotten me pretty discouraged. I realize I have it better than most, but still.

I mention that only because I think what would make me feel better would be if you all have stories about how you've recovered from joint problems or any injury after you didn't think you'd be able to continue to ride. It sucks to be on the subway when the weather is so nice, so let me hear something to make me feel better! Thanks!
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Old 04-22-08, 06:19 PM
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Stretch all the muscles in your legs, active stretch before a ride, static stretch after, and don't forget the IT band and strengthen your hamstrings.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:20 PM
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+1
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Old 04-22-08, 06:40 PM
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Four shoulder surgeries (three major), brain surgery, and three separate cervical fusions in the past 7 years, as recently as March 20th. You can get better, find a doctor, or doctors, that you trust, get a plan of attack in place, then follow it. I am back on the trainer now, and if all goes well, on the road on June 20th. Don't let it get you down. Good luck with it!
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Old 04-22-08, 08:08 PM
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When your body is farked - its farked. I was encouraged to ignore a 'hot spot' for a long time to achieve short term gains. I was 20 and couldn't think past my next game. Neither could my club. I had no concept of 'the rest of my life'. I lost a career, a sport, gf, various friends and every shred of self respect I had garnered in life to that point.

Some of my mates now train for Hawaiian Ironmans and other epic events into which I cannot follow. Injuries can utterly change you as a person, your mindset and the very essence of how you see yourself and whether you think you have anything to offer.

In injury management there is no room for faith. Never ever trust any medical professional without putting the blow torch to them. If they get all uptight and cranky then walk out the door. If a surgeon (or any hack GP at the onset) isnt willing to engage you in the science and procedural alternatives to your plight then walk away. If they use a line 'We are going to fly somone down from QLD for this procedure - its cutting edge..." run for the farking hills. Trust me.

There are times when you get away with acting laissez-faire and there are moments in injury management which require deadly serious introspection. It is difficult to make a 19/20yo appreciate a prudent course of action when every second they lay idle they indulge in the mild paranoia of being 'left behind' by their peers.

There is always more time in life than you think. Unless there isn't. In which case there isn't. Was there a point to this post? I'm confused. You should be too.

Last edited by seppomadness; 04-22-08 at 08:19 PM.
 
Old 04-22-08, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyV View Post
...active stretch before a ride, static stretch after...
What do you mean by this? What's an active and static stretch?
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Old 04-22-08, 08:30 PM
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active stretching would be like walking about 20 yards or so doing high knees, walking on your toes, walking on your heels, leg kicks. static, done afterwards is just your typical stretching. sit down and stretch your hamstrings for 30 seconds, to the point of discomfort but not pain. stand up and touch your toes, make sure your back is straight and not rounded. the kind of stretching (i hope) you learned in high school gym class. Oh, and don't bounce while stretching!
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Old 04-22-08, 08:34 PM
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Ah, that makes sense, thanks.
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Old 04-22-08, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
Ah, that makes sense, thanks.
No problem, it's what I do.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:26 PM
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Don't despair. Get good advice from a medical professional who actually understands sports injuries and what they mean to the lives of people who want to be active. You have no reason at the moment for believing that you won't recover from this.

Here's my story: Anterior knee pain in weaker left leg develops in the spring of 1990, GP tells me "don't cycle more than 5 miles", I foolishly believe him, and give up riding, pain gets worse over the years as my muscles atrophy, 1995 physical therapist tells me "there's nothing I can do", muscle wastes away, 1999 difficulty walking upstairs some days, 2002 see physical therapist who takes an optimistic view "Let's see what's wrong with it, and what I can do to help", start doing stretching and simple muscle building, cycle 10 miles (almost collapse but not due to knee pain); 2002 see surgeon "There's basically nothing wrong with your knee. Build up the muscle to stabilize the patella and you probably won't have a problem"; dig road bike out of the basement; start riding again, gradually building up distance. Now I find myself saying "I used to have a knee problem". Have now completed many rides that I thought I would never be able to do. Today after school (I'm a teacher) I'll train on a 2,000 + ft. climb over 8 miles, this weekend I'm planning on a group ride with over 8,000 feet of climbing over 25 miles. After years of thinking that I wouldn't be able to ride again, I'm grateful for every turn of the pedals.

Don't give up.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:33 PM
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Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a relatively minor affliction and should not have kept you off your bicycle for more than a few days. It's easily fixed.

1) Make sure your bicycle is set up properly. The fact that you are having trouble with it again right away would suggest that your bicycle is not set up properly.

2) Do leg extensions at the gym (or squats or leg press) ... something to develop all four quads. Cycling only works three of the four quads and thus can pull your knee off balance. Doing weight training can bring your muscle strength back into balance. A few weeks of leg extensions and I had no more pain. And BTW - the leg extensions were suggested to my by a Sports Dr.

3) Are you wearing tights when you ride? Were you wearing tights when the problem started up? Tights give me minor flare-ups of patellofemoral pain syndrome because they put pressure on my knee cap. Short rides in tights are fine, but long rides in tights can, quite literally, be a pain. I have to wear very loose tights, or I have problems.

4) Read over this article: https://www.cptips.com/knee.htm
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Old 04-22-08, 09:40 PM
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Broke my wrist three years ago when the rear derailleur on my Gitane Tour de France threw the chain inside the freewheel and locked up the back wheel. Skidded about twenty yards then highsided me over the bars. I still don't believe the crazy angle my hand ended up.

The next six weeks were absolute depressing hell, as I tried to substitute walking and running for the morning ride - I despise both. Even stopped by the cops once, thinking I was a prowler.

Once the doc gave me the OK, first bike out was the Gitane. Well, when the horse throws you . . . . . There was no depression, etc., just an angry determination to get back on and ride.
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Old 04-23-08, 01:28 AM
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I had my first bout of patellofemoral pain in the summer of 2004 and it comes and goes probably depending on whether or not I've created conditions causative of PFPS, those including the muscle imbalances that cause patellofemoral maltracking. That's the way it'll be the rest of my life but riding, especially when I stay in the saddle, seems to be something I can tolerate if I just do what I have to to avoid or mitigate muscle imbalances.

See a good sports med doctor who will refer you to a good physical therapist; one or both will assess your muscle balance and what needs to be strengthened, what needs to be stretched. Then get yourself fitted or refitted on your bike, including cleat positioning.

You'll need to do your prescribed exercises for the rest of your life which isn't too bad given that they can be done at the gym or, if they're really tedious, they can be done at home in front of the TV. Just make them part of your routine.
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Old 04-23-08, 01:38 AM
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Be sure to be very clear to your doc and pt what activities you do/want to be able to do.

And think of the surgery Floyd came back from. There is life after most injury if you take the proper steps.
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