Knee injury recovery - feeling disheartened

I dislocated my knee about 8 weeks ago and whilst I managed to avoid tearing any ligaments I made a mess of my cartilage and meniscus.

I’ve been doing some very basic quad exercises for last month at the direction of my physiotherapist and overall the knee is feeling much better. I was given the green light to get on the turbo for a light spin today and… it was a disaster.

I could barely put any pressure through the pedals without pain and only managed about 0.7w/kg for half an hour before I have up. I expected to be way down on power for a while, but didn’t expect things to be so bad.

Has anyone been through something similar and seen their power come back?

Is it even worth doing such lower power numbers or should I just stay off the bike until I can push the pedals a bit more without pain?

It’s not really about fitness, is it? If it’s not prescribed rehab then the benefit of being on the bike even at low wattages is the mental benefit of accomplishment, however minor, and of not giving up. If it’s more depressing than inspiring then maybe wait. But for people that are used to being active, being sedentary is hell so I’m not sure if you will like that route much either!

My injury time out was quite different. I was off the bike for nearly a year after breaking both my wrists, totally destroying my left wrist and requiring a second surgery. I wrecked my shoulder too. Those first rides (inside) hurt, pretty badly. But I was so grateful that I could physically ride at all, and I knew that it would get better, that I just kept at it. So I vote for appreciating that your injury wasn’t worse, don’t rush it, and accept that your fitness will have to be rebuilt over months.

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I am not in the same situation, but I have had to come back from my fair share of knee injuries. I have had ACL reconstruction on both knees, and had my right menuscus sewn up twice. I now deal with OA with both kneecaps. It sucks, but I have come back from it every time. Hell… this year’s injury was a broken shoulder blade and two cracked ribs from a race in April. After 3 weeks I jumped on a trainer and got back after it. This weekend I finished mid-pack in a 6 hour mountainbike race, my first after the shoulder injury.

The key is patience, doing what your doctor and PT tell you to do, and a bit of grit. Do the work, including the recovery, and you will be back at it. Heal first.

Physical Therapy is certainly not about fitness and you really should disconnect what you’re doing during this phase from any training you done before. The good news is with therapy the goal is to see improvement and assuming you look at this positively, you should hopefully gain excitement through progress.

It certainly feels horrible.

I suppose you’re looking at it from your previous values, say 3.5 , and feeling disappointed with 0.7 I can’t argue with that. It is disappointing.

Maybe the trick is to imagine that a worse injury could have put you at 0.5 or less. In that case you would love to be at 0.7 in such a short time.

Hopefully you’ll be making good progress and adding 0.1 every week or even every session.

Maybe the other gain, is that you have time to concentrate on doing long planks, or getting really good at pull-ups…(runs and hides :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

Best of luck