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Early in The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce is seen limping with a cane. Some characters allude to an injury sustained from a fight, but we never see this in The Dark Knight. At the conclusion of that film, we see Batman surviving his run-in with Harvey Dent and escaping while running away.

What happened to Bruce Wayne/Batman's knee in between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises?

Note: we know the injury is real because we see Bruce requiring a knee brace of some kind prior to him suiting up as Batman.

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He's a superhero without superpowers - he was constantly getting into fights for over seven years, that's gotta do some serious damage... –  user1762 Jul 25 '12 at 14:26
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@dean He was retired for the 8 years between TDK and TDKR. This injury isn't mentioned (in TDK) as having occurred during the crime-fighting between BB and TDK. –  Keen Jul 25 '12 at 19:04
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Okay the problem is, he's not wearing the knee brace in the pit. How is he able to walk without a limp after losing that brace? –  chanderson Aug 2 '12 at 0:07
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@chanderson Because he's The Goddamn Batman. –  Keen Aug 2 '12 at 2:44
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the pit prison is lazarus pit capable of healing and extending life and it heals all batmans injuries :D I dunno –  user3515 Nov 30 '12 at 11:04
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4 Answers

up vote 20 down vote accepted

During the hospital check up scene, the doctor reveals via x-ray that Bruce Wayne has absolutely no cartilage left in his knee. I'm no doctor, but I think that would make anyone walk with a limp. Thankfully they fix it with that leg gizmo so he doesn't limp for the rest of the movie ;)

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I concur, this is the reason –  DForck42 Jul 21 '12 at 3:31
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But why was his cartilage gone? –  System Down Jul 22 '12 at 21:21
    
@SystemDown down highlights the only thing preventing me from giving you the check: why was his cartilage gone? –  stevvve Jul 23 '12 at 15:38
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Here's a variety of reasons: regenexx.com/2011/03/the-top-10-causes-of-cartilage-loss - but I imagine the most logical ones would be 'Trauma' and 'Repeated Trauma'. –  Nobby Jul 23 '12 at 18:04
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The cartilage was worn away by constant extreme stress (lots of jumping, running, kicking) with no recovery in between. –  Stefan Jan 4 '13 at 13:31
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Don't you think that he got injured in the Dark Knight when he tackled Harvey and fell off a (i think 2-3) storey building before he told Gordon to frame him? Because that was a really nasty fall.

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According to about.com cartilage can be worn away for different reasons:

If a joint is burdened by improper alignment, excessive weight, excessive activity, overuse, or injury, articular cartilage wears away.

Excessive activity and overuse certainly apply in the case of Bruce Wayne.

I don't think there was one particular incident that caused the cartilage to be worn away but it was just the repeated strain on the body associated with being Batman.

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It's from the Dark Knight and his fall. At the end of that movie he's also limping after he took down Harvey Dent from a few stories up.

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@oers: Maybe its adrenaline –  Casebash Jul 21 '12 at 15:10
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@oers I seem to remember him limping in the end of the movie too. I think it was before the scene you linked, when he got up. –  John Jul 24 '12 at 20:35
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The problem with the answer "It's from the fall at the end of The Dark Knight" is that in the scene in The Dark Knight Rises where he has his knee x-rayed and the doctor explains that he has destroyed all the cartilage in his knee is that a single fall would not damage cartilage like that. The way the doctor described it as scar tissue build up would indicate that it was from long term abuse of his leg, not a single injury. While the fall from the scaffolding may have exaserbated the issue, chances are due to the rigorous training and constant stress he had been placing on his body there was a –  Monty129 Aug 9 '12 at 19:36
    
Clearly one fall wouldn't cause cartilage injury like that. –  PriestVallon Aug 24 '12 at 1:49
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protected by Community Nov 30 '12 at 11:36

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