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Giving up because of iffy knees?

Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
edited September 2008 in Health, fitness & training
Right, my knees have been iffy for a fair few years. My left knee has been operated on twice - the first time (10 years ago) was just a plain swish and clean arthroscopy, the second (7 years ago) was supposed to be similar, except that they found that one of my ligaments had disolved, was causing my knee cap to slip side to side, and was chipping off bits of bone - so they severed the opposing ligament too, to make the 'pull' even. The right knee also started playing up around that time as well.

Where I work now has private healthcare, so I'm hoping to get both knees sorted out. I've been biking for nearly a year now, and I'm really struggling to do it 'properly' - I can't do the attack position because my knees can't take the strain, I can't power uphills, and on rides I'm nomming Ibubrofen at an alarming rate. Despite this, I've really taken to mountain biking, and was hoping that, by getting my knees sorted, I could possibly move towards getting some level of technical skill.

However, I saw my GP for the first time today, and as soon as I said I did mountain biking, she started laughing. She then told me that I'd have to give it up, and that the consultant would advise me on 'suitable' activities and exercise.

I'm hoping that she was just being either ignorant or a bit pessimistic, but I thought I'd ask here: have many people had extensive knee problems requiring surgery and physiotheraphy, and been able to get back on a bike and ride properly? Or am I likely to be doomed to being inept and saddle-bound (sod giving it up completely, it's the only form of exercise I enjoy!)?

Posts

  • gazvenngazvenn Posts: 121
    do you ride with any sort of knee brace? as mate of mine screwed up his knee a bit a while ago, kept popping out of place, and he got a brace and rode with that for a while but i'm guessing its no where near as serious as yours sounds.
  • RykardRykard Posts: 582
    Try to get to see a consultant who is receptive to sports etc. Years ago I played basketball and kept getting knocks as you do, one GP I saw always said 'rest it for a couple of weeks' etc , when i got to see the one who had a leaning to sports medicine things changed, he taught me how to strap up correctly and do preventative exercises.

    Hope you get sorted.

    Rich
    Cheers
    Rich

    A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
  • Papa SmurfPapa Smurf Posts: 776
    I have trouble with my ligaments too, in the sense that they just dont work. I basically have knees that have never been used because most of the muscles, have never been used :?
    When I went for physio and to the specialist they advised me to 'tone down' my riding (i was commuting 12 miles a day at the time) but not give it up mostly because if it wasn't for riding, I wouldn't be able to walk at all.

    I would say do alot of research into it and find out whether abit of gentle exercise on a bike is good for you or whether, untill you've had a proper consulation, to either ride very little or give it up- for a while at least.
    And dont worry about what your GP said, they're doctors.. Not knee specialists. (Mine did the exact same thing as yours).
    Oh and look into knee exercises too, don't quote me on this as they may not be good for you personally, but for me I had to do some very painfull exercises everyday to stop my knee cap from moving in every possible direction.
  • Ask to be referred to a physio that specialises in sports - they can assess you properly & hopefully then give you appropriate advice...........
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    I'm off to see a specialist on Tuesday - he specialises in both knee and sports injuries, and lists his interests as including triathlons, so hopefully he'll be a bit more sympathetic to my interests!
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Sounds much better - stick to a specialist. Your average doc probably won't realise the specific stresses caused by anything but the most popular sports. I actually took up Mountain Biking because dodgy knees meant that I could no longer fell run - your situation sounds much more serious though. With full suspension and knee support I would've thought that MTB'ing doesn't strain the knee much more than road cycling. Pushing a lower gear (spinning) may be advisable on climbs. See what the specialist says.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    passout wrote:
    I actually took up Mountain Biking because dodgy knees meant that I could no longer fell run - your situation sounds much more serious though.

    Heh, I had to give up Tae Kwon Do. :(
    With full suspension and knee support I would've thought that MTB'ing doesn't strain the knee much more than road cycling. Pushing a lower gear (spinning) may be advisable on climbs. See what the specialist says.

    Full suspension - I knew I needed a new bike! :D I keep on meaning to try out an Orange Diva, Trek Fuel and a small Commencal Meta, not got around to it though. :| As for climbs, I already tend to go in granny gear, so I don't find that as much of a problem, nor getting my weight back on descents - it's more general moving my weight around and off the saddle whilst pedalling.
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    On a similar note, I was having a look at plush suspension designs, the sort that are meant to smooth out a ride at the expense of pedaling efficiency. The best designs seem to be single pivot bikes, something like this.

    http://www.ExpensiveBikeShop.com/ProModelTurbo.html
    Full suspension - I knew I needed a new bike!

    Agreed! :P I'm having my Rebas back though, I warn you now!
  • CpsCps Posts: 356
    One of these would help on the uppity bits

    http://www.electricbikesales.co.uk/shop ... ductId=585
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    I've seen the consultant, and I'm feeling a lot more optimistic now. He was actually surprised to find that I'd had a lateral release in a previous op, I got the distinct impression he thought it was unnecessary looking at my notes. He's said that, although exceedingly crunchy, my kneecaps are 'tracking' correctly, and that with a proper clean-out and decent physio, I should be a lot better - and that I certainly don't have to give up mountain biking, I just have to a) make sure my saddle isn't too low, and b) take it easy for the first few weeks of getting back onto the bike. I get both knees swished at the end of September.

    Yay! \o/
  • That sounds more promising! Good luck. :D
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