I have not been training for the past couple of months because my knee has been acting up again (a dull pain underneath my kneecap that gradually gets worse as I ride). So I visited an orthopedic surgeon who performed my Dad's arthroscopic surgery just a month ago (Dad is recovering quickly and should be ready for the ride to Vegas). This doctor took some x-rays, poked around a bit, said everything looked fine and referred me to a physical therapist friend of his.
I visited the Physical therapist a week ago and he poked a bit more, adjusted my hip joints, watched me pedal on my trike and determined that the problem was that my kneecap is misaligned. The reason that the knee cap is off is that the outside portion of my left quadricep is more developed and tighter than the inside portion. The result is that when I flex my quad, the kneecap gets pulled more to the left than the right and it rubs on the other parts of my knee. Does this make sense?
The initial remedy was to tape my knee so the cap is skewed toward the inside. So he taped it and the tape immediately came off because my legs are too hairy. So he used even more tape which held but we both knew it wouldn't be for long. So he told me to "thin the forest" before our next visit. He told me to leave the tape on for at least 48 hours and try to ride 10 miles with the tape in place.
I was not able to get on the bike within 48 hours and when the tape became moist and stinky, I took it off (I also took off a hunk of the "forest"). So this weekend I decided to retape and try a short ride. However, experience told me that I should remove some of the hair on my knee before applying the tape:
I did not have any medical tape so I used old standby, Duct Tape:
Another part of the remedy is to strengthen and tighten one side of my quad and loosen and elongate the other side. Deep massage is the best way to loosen muscles so I use a foam roller to elongate the muscle in the left side of my quad:
All of this preparation just for an hour of stationary cycling in the garage. The weather wwas insane in Northern California this weekend so I had to settle for the garage:
The next day I took the trike outdoors for a 12 mile ride...The knee felt ok during the ride except for the fact that it was all taped up creating all sorts of strange pressure where there probably shouldn't be pressure. The day after that (Monday), my knee did not feel very well. It was painful just walking around.
So for the past couple of days I have been doing some strengthening exercises and working with the foam roller. I have another appointment with the physical therapist tomorrow, stay tuned...
In the meantime, please check out this article in the Grass Valley Union and no I am not in a wheelchair...yet: