Knee Arthritis and cycling

Any Orthopedics on here or cyclist dealing with Arthritis behind the knee cap that can provide some insight to this new diagnosis for me? And what changes and things I should consider now with this diagnosis.


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I have the same, hyaluronic acid shots made a world of difference. My knees never really hurt but I felt them all the time after a ride, and the days following.

Yes mine never hurt during the ride unless somehow I got into too much felxion at the top of the pedal stroke. Always after and a few days later going up and down steps and squatting. One suggestion I have been told is shorter crank arms to open the knee angle up at the top of the pedal stroke. Going to my fitter to see what he thinks about that.

The Dr did recommend that shot also. But I am going to try the crank arms and strengthening exercises also at the hip and legs in the gym. I neglected those the last few years and now that I am 40 things such as past wear and tear from college athletics seem to be catching up to me

+ 1 for shorter cranks.

I run 165mm on both road and TT bike, and currently looking a new bike which has 172.5mm, took it for a 90 minute ride yesterday, and the knee’s definitely noticed that extra length.
(Saddle height was the same from the bottom of the cranks, and same offsets etc)

You could also consider looking into some dietary changes if you haven’t already, lower inflammatory foods etc :slight_smile:

Have made a switch to anti inflammatory foods. Definetly body as a whole feels better. Knees feel the same.

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Did you switch to shorter cranks for that reason?

How long have you been dealing with it and do the shots wear off?

Roughly 3 years… anti inflammatory food made it feel better but didn’t make it go away. Just got the shots this month for 1st time… a friend of mine has been getting them for years he is the reason I went to doctor. They suggest every 6 months.

Did Antelope yesterday, that would have really bothered me pre shots.

I have it in both knees…I’m 52…had meniscus tears in both knees repaired while in my 30’s. Riding doesn’t hurt as much as just walking and getting around. I had Gelsyn shots back in May of 19, supposed to last 6 months to a year…I’m 8 months in and feel like it might be time for another round. My Doc says I will be a candidate for knee replacement in the next 5 years. :frowning:

My fitter moved me up and forward on the bike and suggested 170mm cranks instead of the 175mm I run. I never did the cranks. But my knees feel better.
He also got me to put plus 4 pedals on and changed my shoe brand but I believe that was for my hips.

Yep, switched to shorter cranks to reduce the hip/knee angles on recommendation of a fitter.

Good to know everyone. It was kind of weird being told I have arthritis. I like to still think of myself as a 20 year old even though I am 40 now. I just want to still be able to ride my bike as pain free as possible.

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It’s weird how it doesn’t hurt during a ride. Just really sore that night and the next couple days. Did you have your cartilage smoothed out or just left it as is?
Did you make any other adjustments to your fit to help?

I get those injections too but more to be able to run. Cycling rarely bothers my knees

Age 44 here, and I have tricompartmental osteoarthritis in my knees. So I feel your pain. A solid Saturday workout of 90 minutes on the trainer can wipe my knees out till Monday. And If I forget to take my arthritis meds? Forget about it.

I am 6’4” and have been looking at shortening my crank arms. While I was window shopping, I saw some pedal extenders and was going to research whether for not having my feet shifted that extra inch to the outside would help my knees (idea being to clean up the line of knee tracking).

Does anyone have any insight on that, one way or another?

Q factor can make a difference for sure. the big goal to get your feet, knees and hips to line up. If you have a fitter close by that does a RETUL or similar fit id get that done. If they are knowledgeable they should be able to get that done for you. Probably will make a huge difference for you as well with your pain.

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As you age having a wider Q is beneficial, Shimano do a wider Q factor version of the Ultegra SPD SL pedal, its only 4mm but that can be enough for many people!

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Might also look into Time pedals - the cleats can be used on the “wrong” shoe to add a few mm of Q factor. They also have lateral float, not just angular.

That being said, they haven’t made a huge difference in how my knee feels (yet?).

anyone try crb cream?