Knee swollen and painful after 1-1/2 hr sweet spot session

I have been getting back on the trainer after a winter of too little time on the bike and too much time working (a specialized sort of finish carpentry). I’m 72. A week ago I incurred a swollen and painful knee following a 1-1/2 hr sweet spot session. All previous sessions had been 1 hr with no particular knee discomfort. I haven’t ridden since but my work schedule has been more intense than usual. The swelling has subsided somewhat and the range of motion similarly better. There have been no changes in my cleat positioning, but I have fiddled a bit with saddle height.
Should I wait unrtil the knee is fully recovered to continue? Any simply described exercise or stretching routines. Could this be related to a gym related back injury/strain earlier this winter?

I think it’s reasonable to resume shorter less intense workouts BUT a healthy knee would not swell after 90 minutes of spinning. I would urge you to see an orthopedist and get some preliminary weight bearing X-rays of your knee


That doesn’t sound right. While you didn’t state that explicitly, I am assuming that your bike is set up correctly and you haven’t had similar problems in the past.

Even if the session was hard, you should not have a swollen knee after a 90-minute workout. I agree with @Jkauffman, you should see an orthopedist. I did the same a few weeks ago, and have received some PT. Interestingly, my PT has me do lots of shoulder exercises, because some of the issues are caused by asymmetries in the upper body. So the ultimate cause might not even be your knee.

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Where did the knee pain start initially? Above , behind, right, left of knee cap etc.

Well, things have improved. Did see an orthopedist and x-rays showed some arthritis. Was told to hit the NSAIDs moderately, and ease back in. So far so good, Raised my seat ( I had dropped it experimentally a bit because it seemed to help with saddle pain/irritation - which has been a real issue with stationary indoor set up. Will build a rocker set-up if I ever get some time to do so). Also slight cleat adjustment
2 1/2 hr outdoor ride yesterday with no issues. Going to stick to 1 hr indoor sessions for a while. Fingers crossed and knocking on wood.