Knee Injuries


My right knee ‘blew-up’ last week (see photo attached). It was very painful suddenly one evening before I went to bed & could hardly walk on it the next morning.

I went to the doctor who said that it was Prepatellar bursitis & prescribed Naproxen (anti-inflammatory pain killer) - I didn’t want antibiotics as I didn’t believe it to be infected. Before visiting the doctor, I tried cycling on it and it felt fine whilst on the bike, but hurt as soon as I got off.

I rested it for a few days and the swelling has gone down a lot (but still painful to kneel-down on it). I have recommenced cycling and that seems fine. Have also recommenced strength exercises but whilst avoiding exercises that entail kneeling on that knee for the moment.

So my questions to you, my esteemed Sufferlandrians are:
Have any of you experienced Prepatellar bursitis (more commonly known as Housemaid’s Knee? If so how long did you have it for? What treatments did you use? Did you make a full recovery? Has it proved to be a recurring injury? Do you have to compensate in the type of training that you do?

Thanks for your insights and help.

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@Chrispenfold,
So bummed to see an injury report! I have had bursitis in the knee myself, a couple times after falling. Luckily (though it doesn’t feel like it), bursitis is basically just irritation and inflammation of the bursa which sits beneath the patella. Most effective treatment is rest, ice and anti-inflammatories. In my cases, they took 2-3 weeks to heal completely, but they were REALLY bad. Avoid any movements that cause irritation or pain, ice after any training you do to reduce irritation that it may have caused, even if you don’t have increased pain, and if after a couple weeks you don’t see any progress, try taking a few days or a week of complete rest to give it the rest it probably truly needs. My cases were not recurring injuries, because they were due to acute injuries- falls on rocks, etc. I wouldn’t expect yours to recur either, unless it’s happening as a result of a poor bike fit or something like that, which will continue to cause irritation until the fit is improved. Once it heals, you should be able to resume training as usual. Although you may want to try and figure out why it happened in the first place so you can avoid it coming back -if it wasn’t a fall or something like that. When was the last time you had a bike fit, and has anything changed since then- injuries, flexibility, etc. Was it a sudden increase in training load? Muscular imbalance? Weak hamstrings or glutes could cause the quads to over-work and get too tight, which will pull on the patella and maybe cause some tracking issues which could irritate the bursa. Just food for thought.

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Thanks for your detailed reply @Coach.Suzie.S I had a bike fit 3 years ago and don’t think that anything has changed since then.
As to why it’s happened - good question! My cycling training has been peaking at about 250 miles a week over the past few weeks (I started Suff training plans back in Jan = 3 weeks on & 1 off, and have ridden about 4600 miles since then) and I’ve been doing Suff Intermediate Strength training for the past 28 weeks. I was also doing some outdoor painting & decorating last week with some kneeling that could have exacerbated the situation. So I guess it could be a combination of all of that…not really sudden…but maybe an overload? What do you think?

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@Coach.Suzie.S Would you recommend taking anti-inflammatories after training as well as ice?..even if it’s not really painful? Although the inflammation has gone down a lot, it’s not particularly painful…unless I kneel on it…but I can feel that there is still some heat in it (as compared to my left knee).

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@Chrispenfold,
Yes, I would take some anti-inflammatories after training, as well as icing the knee. Maybe the training load isn’t too much, but kneeling on it last week was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. Sometimes I’ll get a weird tweak if I go out and do yard work or something after doing a long or hard training session earlier in the day. Our bodies are pretty resilient, but I wonder if sometimes we don’t realize we’ve stressed our bodies as much as we really have, and something seemingly insignificant (like yard work, painting, etc.) is just enough to cause a little overuse injury. Maybe it’s just your body’s way of asking for some recovery time! If you’ve been training 3 weeks on, 1 week off consistently since January without any additional recovery time, I’d say you’re due for a week or two of focused recovery. It’s almost August, so that’s 7 full months of stress that has accumulated. That’s a lot. We find that taking a mid-season break is always a good thing. AKA back it way off and give your body lots of rest. You won’t lose much if any fitness and your body will heal and be able to respond to training better when you start up again. How do you feel about that?

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I was originally training for the Etape du Tour sportive that was supposed to be happening in the 1st week July. Because of COVID, that was postponed until September but has now been cancelled/postponed until next year. So I’m not really following a training plan at the moment…just enjoying summer cycling outdoors and trying to maintain my fitness levels…I don’t want to lose what I’ve worked so hard to achieve. But I think that you are probably right @Coach.Suzie. My body is telling me to take a break and deep-down I know that is probably the right decision…so I will…thank you

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I know it’s hard to do, and you will feel sluggish on hard efforts for the first week back to intensity, but it will be worth it!
You’re welcome! :slight_smile:

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hang in there! I went hiking the other week and the next day… I couldn’t ride a bike with 2 legs. I had started off on an trip to get ice cream, and had to turn around and pedal home with one leg (except the 50m elevation hill). It was something with my kneecap - which I cannot recall ever having as an issue from hiking before. I iced it a TON and elevated it.

Now, after my workouts (which started off with a recovery ride in suff, where I could bale out at any time), I ice / elevate still. Today, during SUF Idol, it popped. That tells me that there is still some inflammation :grimacing:

Take it slowly and carefully. We only get one set of original knees :slight_smile:

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Thanks Emily - will do

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Yup good call.

And yeah … all our life we have been mountaineering … now We hardly go every time I do (ok, not as bad as a full kneecap disaster) I can hardly use my legs for about 6 days… no stairs at all … somehow my wife just carries in as normal.

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@Coach.Suzie.S @Coach.Simon.B you’re both posting some really helpful recovery info at the moment. It’s not something I pushed as a subject in my time with @Coach.Jeff.H on my year of custom plans last year and it is becoming more and more of a focus as you all post this ‘data’.

Have SUF ever thought about doing a ‘one and done’ paid for ‘service’ for people to discuss purely the coaching aspects side of this kind of thing (not necessarily with the custom plan)?
Just a thought.

Edit: I prob need to move this post to a new thread?

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The need is recognized! Its in the works, stay tuned…

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Bookmarked :slight_smile:

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