knee arthritis (new)

Mattk50

MattK50
Location
Herts
Hi,

Looking for some advice. I twisted my knee a few months back and been under the consultant for a crushed cartilage and ligament strain. The pain in between my bones seem to be easing although jumping/running is still painful. However, I have another pain out of the side of my knee which is worrying me more. I just thought it was the pain moving about. So I had an x-ray and the consultant said I have arthritis and may have worsened it. I said I always had a bit of a 'niggle' there and couldn't press the inside of my knee hard without tenderness but it only niggled me after long rides. I'm just a bit worried that I won't be able to cycle again. Can any other knee arthritis sufferers give me some advice?

Matt
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
How is your weight? I was obese 10 years ago and my knees got so painful that I struggled to get up from my armchair, and I couldn't walk downstairs facing forwards (it was less painful descending backwards).

I lost over 27 kgs (4+ stone) and the pain just disappeared. I get little more than the occasional twinge now. The same goes for my hip joints.

I think there is minor degradation in my joints but it is not too much of a problem as long as I keep my weight down.

I find cycling much easier on my joints than walking as long as I use very low gears on steep hills and am careful getting on and off the bike. Swinging my leg high causes problems so I lower the bike to the side to make it easier.

I think keeping moving is better for the joints than sitting down all the time so do your best to keep on cycling. I hope you manage to!
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I’ve got tri compartmental arthritis in my left knee, had arthroscopy with micro fracture 4 weeks ago to try to patch up the holes in the cartilage and to improve rom. Both physio and surgeon are encouraging me to cycle (the best for knees), swim and non impact gym stuff. No running for me for many years, I have very little meniscus cartilage, so little shock absorption between the bare bones.

As above , weight loss can be helpful as well as keeping all the muscles strong and flexible (quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, core). I’ll need a replacement at some point but hopefully good muscles will stave off for as long as possible!

there are various injections that can help but generally not on the NHS (other than steroid which is to be avoided until the arthritis is bad as the steroid can damage cartilage cells)
 
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dickyknees

Guru
Location
Anglesey
All of the above and make sure your bike fits correctly.

Arthroscopy, glucosamine and steroid injections were not successful. Cycling, Pilates and some physio kept them going until it was too much.

Carry on cycling.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Make sure also that you take Vitamin D (and get plenty of sunshine in summer) and have plenty of calcium in diet. I also take 1000mg omega 3 daily.

when my knee was less worn, I did get relief from Hylaluronic acid injections (privately) lubricating the joint.

get an exercise and strength programme from a physio with lots of knee experience :okay: (find one into cycling too if you can)
 
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OP
Mattk50

Mattk50

MattK50
Location
Herts
Thanks for your input. Overweight, I'm 82 kgs and should be about 75kg, BMI 26. So still carrying my winter extra weight due to not cycling yet because of knee injury.

The specialist showed me the hole in my cartilage (penny sized) but said there's nothing they can do about it. Extract of arthritis summary below. Specialist says I can start static cycling again but not feeling the love to set up the trainer only for a few mins cycling. The thought of extending my leg on the bike makes me mentally wince! I'm not sure why cycling doesn't then aggravate the arthritis or damage the cartilage hole even more? The physio is suggesting acupuncture might help but surely the pain is there for a reason and shouldn't be redirected?

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vickster

Legendary Member
See a physio :okay: they can explain the biomechanics. Doesn’t sound like your kneecap cartilage is damaged which is what would be most impacted by cycling (mine is worn grade 3/4 but cycling doesn’t seem to aggravate it specifically)

a penny size is fairly small (assuming it’s on the femur or tibia?) and if it’s not on a weight bearing surface should be ok (My areas of wear are rather bigger)
Lack of fluid is good. Ice the knee every day to keep any inflammation under control, and alternate with heat for stiffness. Get stretching, Pilates an option

How old are you?
 
OP
Mattk50

Mattk50

MattK50
Location
Herts
I'm back at the physio this week. I'm 52. The cartilage was pretty narrowed between the two bones and homed in on this hole as well. He said the kneecap was ok. This was another part of his diagnosis. It's all so technical.

1621164308407.png
 
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vickster

Legendary Member
Indeed, but make sure your bike is set up well and you use the gears well.
Try to get into a pool and do some hydrotherapy and swimming, fantastic for rehab :okay:

unfortunately like me, you probably have a replacement in your future. But certainly a niggle and soreness when pressed doesn’t warrant yet!

Work with the physio on your rom, i have had a similar range for a while now and my surgeon says to work on stretching out the muscles (there’s no physical block as under anaesthetic he pushed it to full rom).
I’ll get sports massage too once I’m a bit further on from the surgery (still rather tender and swollen)
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Exercise is likely to be less harmful than no exercise. I habe arthritis in my foot, and a few days without a couple of miles walked starts to cause me real problems.
 
OP
Mattk50

Mattk50

MattK50
Location
Herts
Today was the day, 1st time in months. Rigged up the bike and snapr in the kitchen and cycled for 5 minutes. The good news is the forward momentum cycling didn't seem to hurt at all (might wake up in pain in the night and all that but hope not) but was peddling only at 80 rpm with gentle resistance. The bad news was any other movement i.e. left to right gave me a sharp pain in the left of my knee (the bit where the arthritis is now) and a tiny pain in the kneecap. So even the slightest shuffle in the saddle, losing concentration in the rhythm and even getting on and off jarred. Not sure whether I feel relieved or not, it's progress I guess :-(
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Try a knee support or brace to stop lateral movement? Ask your physio for advice. Donjoy or Ossur are the gold standard :okay:
Also, try some Voltaren 2.32% gel on the sore areas (assuming no allergies, contraindications etc) and also an ice pack for inflammation or heat for stiffness
 
OP
Mattk50

Mattk50

MattK50
Location
Herts
Thanks. I'm at the physio tomorrow. I will ask her. I've cycled a bit every day since sunday and now up to 15 minutes, nothing too strenuous but getting more sore out the front of my knee. I've learnt to keep more still in the saddle but of course this isn't possible once the time in the saddle increases.
 
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