Cartilage Damage

simonscan
simonscan Posts: 35
edited May 2013 in Road beginners
Just been to see my GP today as I was suffering from pains in my right knee, and he diagnosed me as having "Cartilage Damage", just told me to rest for a week, no cycling & take Ibuprofen.
What I'd like to know is - Is this something serious?
Will I be able to cycle again, and not have this problem recurring?

Comments

  • CambsNewbie
    CambsNewbie Posts: 564
    simonscan wrote:
    Just been to see my GP today as I was suffering from pains in my right knee, and he diagnosed me as having "Cartilage Damage", just told me to rest for a week, no cycling & take Ibuprofen.
    What I'd like to know is - Is this something serious?
    Will I be able to cycle again, and not have this problem recurring?

    Didn't you ask your doctor these questions as you were there?

    Without knowing you I'm going to say yes, yes and maybe. But I failed A level biology so what do I know? :D
  • wishitwasallflat
    wishitwasallflat Posts: 2,927
    Cartilage Damage is certainly a possibility but could not be reliably diagnosed without (at least) an XRay - its no bad idea to take brufen and rest for a week (make sure to take it on a full stomach though) regardless of what the problem is as if it is something simple it will settle (don't overdo it and build up gradually when you return).

    Impossible to give any diagnosis though without a proper exam but in the meantime don't be overly worried chances are it will settle with a little rest and anti-inflamms and if it doesn't go back and ask for a referal to a Physio.

    PS - I am a physio
  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    Sounds like questions for a medical rather than a cycling forum...

    I used to have bother with my right knee (never consulted a member of the medical profession about it though), it still gives me some pain if I go for a longish (10mile or more) walk and used to sometimes hurt when cycling.

    Since changing to clipless pedals (SPDs) I have had no problems cycling (I still feel it on long walks) and I am convinced that the pain comes from twisting the knee slightly. Clipless pedals hold my leg and knee square stopping me from twisting it. I probably should have someone study my gait when walking to see if I twist it at all.

    Anyway, from my experience I would say any twisting of the knee is bad so check your pedal / cleat set up. If I do twist mine it can takes weeks to settle down but cycling seems to be good for it.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW - never sure about Physios - saw one once for neck pain and didn't do much good (no offence ;-))
  • simonscan
    simonscan Posts: 35
    Just to state, nothing has changed on my bike setup or how my cleats are positioned. I've never had problems like this before with my knees.
    It all started after I did a cycle ride of around 75miles nearly 2 weeks ago, it was a very windy sunday, I was just constantly cycling into head wind, so I'm thinking overuse or something....
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,248
    simonscan wrote:
    Just to state, nothing has changed on my bike setup or how my cleats are positioned. I've never had problems like this before with my knees.
    It all started after I did a cycle ride of around 75miles nearly 2 weeks ago, it was a very windy sunday, I was just constantly cycling into head wind, so I'm thinking overuse or something....

    More than damage is probably inflammation, so yes, rest, ibuprofen (you can use the local anti-inflammatory cream = voltarol instead of swallowing pills) and I would use an ice pack too. If ignored it can become serious, right now it probably isn't
    If the syntoms persist get referred to a specialist.
    If you press on the patella, does it hurt?
    left the forum March 2023
  • simonscan
    simonscan Posts: 35
    Thanks for your replies, got myself some Ibuprofen tablets from my GP, plus some gel called "Movelat Relief Gel".
    Ugo to answer your question, Yes it hurts on my Patella when pressed, very sensitive around the bottom half of my Kneecap, sometimes can be hard to bend my leg, feeling like my skin is been stretched over my knee.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Thing is, just resting the body is usually a rubbish way of healing it. The body is designed to do stuff so doing nothing just means that it could shut down/tighten up or even waste away. I would recommend going to a decent physio who should do a proper diagnosis, treat as appropriate (perhaps ultrasound or one of the other options) and then give you a decent stretching/strengthening programme so that you can actively encourage the area to get better, rather than just popping some pills and hoping for the best. He/she will also monitor progress and help with a 'return to activity' programme.

    Physios do cost money (£40-50 a session) but the good ones are worth it when compared to dropping £2k on a bike, for example.
  • wishitwasallflat
    wishitwasallflat Posts: 2,927
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    Thing is, just resting the body is usually a rubbish way of healing it. The body is designed to do stuff so doing nothing just means that it could shut down/tighten up or even waste away. I would recommend going to a decent physio who should do a proper diagnosis, treat as appropriate (perhaps ultrasound or one of the other options) and then give you a decent stretching/strengthening programme so that you can actively encourage the area to get better, rather than just popping some pills and hoping for the best. He/she will also monitor progress and help with a 'return to activity' programme.

    Physios do cost money (£40-50 a session) but the good ones are worth it when compared to dropping £2k on a bike, for example.

    This is good advice!
  • sumitkaria
    sumitkaria Posts: 32
    im a doctor and not quite sure about the term cartilage damage. you need a proper clinical assessment of the knee. the only real test to identify internal knee ligament/meniscal/cartilage damage is an MRI. whether or not any abnormality has a surgical treatment is a different matter.
    so i guess if things are ongoing perhaps gently suggest that you want an MRI
  • izza
    izza Posts: 1,561
    sumitkaria wrote:
    im a doctor and not quite sure about the term cartilage damage. you need a proper clinical assessment of the knee. the only real test to identify internal knee ligament/meniscal/cartilage damage is an MRI. whether or not any abnormality has a surgical treatment is a different matter.
    so i guess if things are ongoing perhaps gently suggest that you want an MRI

    +1

    I am not a doctor but have had reconstruction surgery on both knees.

    I snapped my ACL's in separate incidents and in so doing the cartilages got torn as the bones moved violently in ways they were not supposed to - ouch!

    For a GP To merely say 'cartialge damage' covers a multitude of things. Yes take Ibrurofen, yes rest up and take weight off the cartilage will be a temporary solution. However, if there is a tear or overlapping cartilage then the problem could reappear as soon as you stop resting/taking drugs. Get the selling down and then a specialist and MRI scan will tell you more.

    Long term - shouldn't affect your cycling. I had 3/4 of my cartilage removed and was told any dreams of keeping up with Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe and (being frank) the late Jimmy Saville on a marathon were frankly beyond me. However, as a low imact sport cycling is perfect and I have cycled three time from London to Paris and am going up Stelvio in three weeks.
  • +1, i have about 25% cartilage left in my right knee after snapping my acl playing 5 a side. that was 4 years ago, and i still jog, and hike long distances and get a bit of gip, so reckon its probably deterioted even more, but cycling bar the odd ache if it gets cold has no problem and is the best, bar swimming exercise for it as its low impact. get an mri scan to be sure. anything else would be guesswork