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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Did bicycling screw up Brandon Roy's knee?

A reader raises an interesting question.

Comments (7)

As a former competitive distance runner I've found that cycling is one of the best things I can do to strengthen the muscles surrounding my knees without damaging the knee joint itself. It's hard to imagine how he could have torn cartilage on his bike unless he crashed into a tree or whatever and twisted his leg in the process. From what I understand there was a small amount of loose cartilage that came from general wear and tear from all the hours spent making cuts on the hardwood. Maybe the cycling strengthened his knee muscles, which then altered mechanics of how the knee tracked such that the loose cartilage caused irritation that he didn't have before. I'm not a doctor or physical therapist so...who knows.

You are all discounting the overwhelming likelihood he wrenched the knee kicking a car as it rolled through a stop sign making a right turn in front of him.

If he is riding a 29in. bike frame that is too big for him, even with the seat all the way down, couldn't that create a potential problem with hyperextension of the knee?

No kidding. Improper seat height can really screw up a knee. And there is some concern about seat height expressed in the news story on Roy's newfound bike hobby.

I like bicycles. Ride one myself around the neighborhood running errands. The whole Portland bike religion, though, is a bit much for most of the population.

I ride a bike all the time and also have had surgery to remove some ripped up meniscus. The worst thing is when the seat is set too low, as it prevents fluids in the knee area to cycle. I had a bike once with a quick release bike seat and under my 200+ pounds, the seat gradually got lower and lower. Suddenly I had a lot of knee pain. A guy at a bike shop told me the cause. Since then, I've never had a quick release seat and had no problems.

A bike seat that's too high could affect cartilage in the knee, because as the knee locks out in when the leg is hyper-extended, it comes in contact with the cartilage in the femur and the friction starts eroding both.

My concern with Roy is that if they keep taking out pieces of meniscus, his knee is going to start clanging on the femur--bone on bone--which will lead to greater inflammation and pain. I don't think there is any kind of physical therapy that will really fix that, though there is a fairly expense brace that does.

Had an "ohnosecond" experience when I hit the submit key and saw a typo in the last line, which should have read: "...a fairly expensive brace..."

I think Brandon, or any rider, would be more prone to tendonitis in the knee than a meniscus tear. And I would bet my seat at games that Jay Jensen monitors that closely. What I am not sure about: do they monitor WHERE he rides. I saw Zach Randolph bike through my neighborhood more than once during his rehab. While Tigard/Tualatin is a pretty quiet place compared to other parts of the metro, it didn’t stop some person in their car from running me over a few weeks ago. I’d tell Brandon, “even bike lanes are unsafe these days.”

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