Banged kneecap leading to kneecap soreness

Last Saturday on the club spin I hit a (not called) pothole and banged my knee off either my handlebar/ clubmate/ clubmates bike (I was concentrating on staying upright).

It was enough for a small cut, but no swelling or external bruising. I had tried to ignore the soreness, putting it down to the cut, but after ploughing on regardless with training and rides over the weekend the knee remains sore. It actually gets better after warming up on the bike.

Today’s a rest day, and I’ve ditched my run plan for tomorrow and training for the rest of the week, and am going to try and supplement with some core/ strength work in the hope that non-repetitive stuff will be ok.

I guess what I’m struggling with a bit is it’s sore, rather than pain (4 or 5 max out of 10), seems to ease after warming up. Is it something I need to mind or if it’s just from the bang rather than overuse, could/ should I carry on regardless? fwiw it didn’t stop me doing a 100km on Saturday and Kaweah yesterday. It’s actually more discomfort afterwards than on the bike.

I really know the answer, but obviously hoping to be told carry on. :roll_eyes: :grinning: Anyone any experience to point me in the direction of what I might’ve done, or if it’s to rest until soreness completely gone? I’ve managed to avoid bike related injuries (non crash related) up to now!

My instinct says that if it improves with movement, and you know that the cause of the pain is external, then keep riding through it. Like a soccer player running off a knock.

I am not a physio though.

Yeah, that’s what Ive gone with so far. I tried to avoid ibruprofen, due to the whole post training effect on muscles, but going to get some this morning and see does that help. Wednesday my next scheduled ride/ workout, so I think I’ll try and rest up until that. I can’t really avoid walking though - work/ life/ family!

Google is pointing me to Patellofemoral pain/ runners knee (although it’s only sore going upstairs, it’s fine walking on the flat and downstairs), but all the recovery advice is pointed towards overuse/ muscle imbalance rather than an external factor or hit.

I am not a doctor so…you know, don’t listen to me and stuff…

It’s a direct impact injury, not a twist or a strain. If that’s the case you’re probably fine to work through it, particularly if the pain doesn’t get worse as you progress through your workout

Listen to your body - go try a workout and don’t be afraid to shut it down if things get bad

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I once banged my knee in a very slow speed get-off but directly impacted my left knee. The pain was excruciating at night when I made certain movements and dull during the day when i was up and around. The doctor (which I am not and you should consult) told me that I had bruised the bursa underneath the kneecap. Bursitis sucks and takes a LONG time to fully go away. His recommendation was to take large doses of anti inflammatories for a few weeks and then ride as the pain would allow. It still took several months to subside. Anyways, that’s one mans experience. Did I mention that i am NOT a doctor!?


Bruising your knee is surprisingly easy, surprisingly painful, and surprisingly invisible.

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Thanks. I know the answer is go to the doctor. I’ll make a provisional appointment for the end of the week if the rest/ RICE/ ibruprofen approach doesn’t work in the meantime.

Irritating thing, as well as the ache, is that it’s not really affecting performance at this stage. So the temptation is to carry on even though my head is saying ease back. It’s more in the “sore” spectrum rather than the “painful” - the pain itself isn’t enough to stop me doing anything (yet).

So I’ll jump on this one too, last December I was ice skating with my kids and took a little tumble, seemed like nothing too bad at the time but I did land directly on my knee. The next morning I could barely move that leg. Once warmed and loosened it would dull as you describe, and I could pretty much get through my day with a limited range of motion. Ortho said it was a bursa injury as described above, though 'bruised" wasn’t the exact term we used.

BL- it took almost 6 months to return to fully normal. For a while I was convinced it was something more severe because of the nature and intensity of the pain, but in the end, its all back to normal now.

The PT said that its reasonably easy to force the knee cap far enough out of place to damage the bursa underneath it, which you could have reasonably done given the description you gave of the events.

Best of luck with your doctor visit, and hopefully yours doesn’t take as long as mine.

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And were they happy for you to carry on riding/ training through the pain, or was it rest?

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Crap. I can’t believe I left that part out, yeah the PT plan was no heavy lifting, or twisting motions (the bursa supplies the interjoint lubrication fluid as I’m sure you know) but I could ride as pain allowed. When I was actually riding, it didn’t hurt at all, though it would often be rather sore afterward. Stairs man…stairs were the bane of my existence…