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Sore knee on clutch leg — Help required


Jcx

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Hey Folks, I am looking for some help. I have recently started suffering with left knee pain after drives. As a UK driver my left knee is kept busy with clutch activation during gear changes. 

Does anyone else suffer with clutch knee issues in their Lotus? 
 

I suspect it is because my left leg is twisted somehow due to seating position and this is pulling my knee out of alignment — although the cause may be something else. 
 

I have read a few differing opinions online in other forums but all seem to agree that ‘Clutch Knee’ is a thing. 
 

The clutch in my exige 410 is not overly heavy. I am no spring chicken but there are many gear changes in the old dog yet.
 

Does anyone else suffer similarly? If yes, how did you resolve the issue? — please don’t say ‘sold the Lotus and bought an auto’ as that’s not a preferred route.  Did you change your seating position? Change your pedals? Amputate your leg? Strap the knee or do specific exercises? 
 

TIA

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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How about the knee brace idea?

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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  • Gold FFM

Often it's not so much the effort required to use the clutch or the seating position itself, but the repetitiveness and fixed position. Taking regular breaks should help.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Thx for the tip.  On roadtrips we do stop and stretch but i get issues after a short time now, i think because my knee is being aggrivated by the car rather than caused by the car.  Its a poorly knee anyway... i need to address that.

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  • Gold FFM

I've found on other cars in the past that shifting the seat forward and back a 'notch' or two occasionally takes the strain off the knee if it's a problem. The slight change in angle seems to help. However, those cars had electric seats which made it easy on the move. With manual you can only do it at a stop obviously, so it's a bit more awkward. Might be worth trying at the lights though when you stop if the knee is aching.

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Yes great advice.  For three years i have been fine... more recently i moved my seat forwards and it was more comfy on my arms but i suspect this had bothered my knee.  So i need to moderate it back i guess until it becomes ok again.

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I sometimes get cramp in my right leg whilst driving a car long distances, particularly on a motorway. It’s all down to my foot holding the accelerator at the required angle for mile after mile of same speed driving. Nowadays I cam mitigate it somewhat by using adaptive cruise control on my daily driver and plonking my foot down flat in the footwell for a couple of minutes. It’s not ideal though and obviously my right foot is no longer adjacent to the brake pedal in case of emergency. I haven’t taught myself to left foot brake yet, even with my automatic car. The heavy clutch and stiff gear change on my old Ferrari makes driving my Evora seem as easy as a grandma in her Nissan Micra!

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Yes i wonder if i should stop using the foot rest in my exige.  it makes my foot sit at a twisted angle compared to my knee etc... i wonder if that is to blame.

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I have had knee issues in the past (I still blame mogul runs whilst skiing).

I found simple knee exercises a huge help but you have to keep at it (v.gently at first). 

I have moved the foot rest in my Elise which helped a lot but I guess this is different for everyone and If I'm completely honest I have more issues getting out of the thing. (but that's mostly due to me being un-aerodynamic or fat in non technical terms) .

On the more extreme side I have met a disabled chap with an S1 Exige a couple of times at shows, He had no real use of his left leg and walked with sticks/crutches.  His solution seemed to work well, he had an actuator fitted alongside the clutch slave cylinder (with some clever bracket/pivots) and a button on the gearshift to actuate it.  Cleverly setup, this worked very well for him.

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Love the actuator story. V cool. Keen to try your knee exercises. Can you point me to any online vids you’ve used or another resource? TIA. Joe 

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Have you been checked by a physio? Unless I use the correct alignment of the tibia, patella and femur I get serious pain in my knee. So very conscious of that and aware when the alignment isn't correct. A physio may be able to identify what is best for you.

DanR

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@slewthy knows his way around such parts of the body and may have some excellent advice for you if he's about. :)

 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Hi Si,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience.  So very much appreciated.

I am 52.  My knees never enjoyed the road impact after leaving my motorbike to steer itself on the A40 elevated section 20-years ago but it was years of Karate in my 40s which took its toll with all the twisting and stresses.  I stopped when it became all too painful, and when my sparring opponents became too young and far too intent on winning unless "disuaded".  Hurting big kids/young adults wasnt my idea of fun. 

I will fiddle with my seat position and will make sure i keep my 'resting' time on the left leg in various positions to limit any intestity.

I currently take "Seven Seas Omega-3 Fish Oil Plus COD LIVER OIL Plus Multi-Vitamins" on a daily basis.  Interestingly the label says "Cod Liver Oil (fish) (28%)... Fish Oil (22%)..."

Should I be looking for a supplement that has 0% Omega-3 or 100% (or close to) COL that is not augmented with "(fish)" in the description?

I have also ordered "Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM & Boswellia" and a knee strap https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DLFP8Q5/ The latter arrived yesterday and is quite nice to wear a bit like wrapping fingers around the lower knee.

I have no known lipid issues.

Thanks again, no rush to respond.  Better do some real work first.

Joe

Edited by Jcx
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No worries - an admin day today which I hate so its nice to break the monotony with something else.

The strap is not what I would have tried first but the proof is in the pudding - very little to lose by trying it. They are meant to reduce force at the kneecap, so fair enough!

Glucosamine and chondroitin are elements that exist within cartilage. They are the big boys of joint supplement. Evidence is less than convincing but I have patients who stopped them when approaching surgery and noticed things get worse after stopping. So, I think a pragmatic approach would be to give them a try - most bottles give a 1 month supply - and see what happens when you stop, taking care not to change anything else at the time. They are rather too pricey if they have no effect.

Other well know items include Rose hip extract and green lipped mussel extract - your guess is as good as mine. More and more people are swearing by turmeric too.

Unfortunately, much of the 'evidence' is spoilt by industry interference and poorly conducted studies which is a pity because its likely some of these will have mechanisms of action that have a real world effect.

Regarding the fish oil, I met someone who took it to the extreme - he ate cod liver on toast! But so did his entire family including kids! They were Scandinavian though.

IIRC, the proper studies for CLO were at very high doses, well beyond what is currently recommended. I suppose something is better than nothing.

I hope some of these measures make a difference for you.

 

Simon

 

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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Brilliant thanks again Simon.  My G&C pills have landed so i am trialling them.  Hoping for some change in the next month.  I will also move my seat back to where it was originally when i had no issues.  too close caused issues and too far back at the weekend was no better.  I will report back on this thread to help everyone who has an interest.

Cheers Joe

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Sounds like some great advice so far.

Used to take Cod Liver Oil, it seemed to help me but might of been placebo effect. 

I can't direct you to any online video I'm afraid, my issues predated the Internet.  Used to have a weights bench with a leg lift thing, but now I just use simple exercises without.  Don't know the science, am not a physio, so probably best to follow their advice.

Any exercise take really easy at first, it will go horribly wrong if pushed to quickly. That being said, 2 simple ones you could try are:

Sit on the edge of your bed or similar, legs dangling free from the ground and just straighten your knee one at a time, not to fast. 

Lay on your front, legs straight and just bend the knee again one at a time.

Even easier, whilst standing lift one leg at a time as much as you easily can, bending the knee of course (unless you're trying to join the ministry of silly walks - M.Python)

The important things are, leg/foot angle, slow, full range of movement. You can get ankle weights but the weight of your legs should be enough. Start with just 10reps 1 set and perhaps increase the sets if it works for you.  Take it slow and be patient.

Beyond that I used to do squats and then one leg squats but I wouldn't go that far. 

Of course any reaction, pain or inflammation, probably best see GP/physio. Nowadays I find I only have to do a little in spring when I unSORN the Elise, and my knees are the least of my issues.

Hope this is of help.  

 

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