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February 24, 2010
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Hurt my knee which messed up my other knee, which messed up my foot, which messed up...

:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
Before anyone says "SEE A DOCTOR!" I've already seen doctors and physical therapists and intend to make another appointment with them as soon as I get time (it's not a really pressing issue).

So, I've always had a tendon that's attached in the wrong place in my left knee. I've heard that it's related to weight and too much pressure on it. It's never really been much of a bother.

Then, on Halloween, I was kneeling during a Rocky Horror Picture Show performance. I knelt on cement, then stood on a slope, and finally had to sit with a very much 90-degree bent knee for a half hour after that (I was playing Dr. Scott). All that was too much for my bad knee, and it hurt. And hurts and hurts and hurts. I had a lot of trouble walking or bending it for a few months.

I saw a doctor and she said my tendon was inflamed, and I've been icing it and wearing a knee-sleeve off and on (the physical therapist I was also seeing told me to not wear my sleeve too much so it wouldn't hurt my knee cap's movement), occasionally taping it, and being relatively active (it hurts really bad if I sit down for too long).

Anyhow, the doctor told me that it might get better and I probably wouldn't need knee surgery if I lose weight. I've been losing weight (I think I've lost about 8-20lbs in the last two months; and while in December I was buckling my belt at the 3rd hole, I'm now on the 5th and a lot of my previously-too-small clothes fit), and going to the gym and being sure to not hurt it (right now, the only cardio thing it lets me do is the elliptical, since the motion takes pressure off my knee, unlike something like running would put pressure on it).

So, to cut to the chase:

It's been 4 months, and I've been starting to notice some crazy things related to my knee:
1. My other knee has being giving me problems because I've been hesitant to put too much weight on my sore one.
2. My sore knee is really weak now and has a hard time doing things like pushing a bike petal. The doctor told me to strengthen my quads, which I have been, but my knee itself just won't work. I come close to falling a lot when running for crosswalks because of it buckling too.
3. My foot on that knee cannot walk right anymore. I can't put full pressure on the balls of my feet without my foot cramping.
4. My hip cramps up a lot, and won't let me stretch it without cramping.

My left leg (the one with the bad knee) used to be my strongest and most flexible leg. Now it's DEFINITELY my right.

Has anyone else had experience with things like this and might know a way I could "re-train" my knee to be a knee? Or just a story of what happened? Or exercises that you know of that don't put pressure on a knee, but teach it to be able to support weight again?

I'm going to try to see a doctor or physical therapist (hopefully both) soon, but in the meantime, I need some help.
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:icontacosteev:
tacosteev Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2010  Hobbyist
I recommend the pool. Swimming is wonderful cardio that is very light on the knees (if any impact). Something else you might try (I do it when strengthening the legs for running) is to walk / run in the shallow end of the pool. The extra resistance from the water helps build strength, and I don't recall much knee impact if any.

Maybe even being on the side of hte pool and practice your swimming kicks. Again the water resistance should help, and I doubt there is knee impact with that.
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:iconbleedingnaive:
BleedingNaive Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
Recumbant bike (it slants back a bit, not straight up n down..you can dial the resistance from none to very hard...start easy)You can find used ones at yard sales...ugly ones work fine!!

There is a piece called the 'Total Gym' and I have seen lots of knee exercises done by adjusting the slant of the board you lie on, and pushing with your knees bent to total extension as you slide your body up n down on it. Can be adjusted to make it progressively harder. You could impromise with slanted boards propped up and lie on a skateboard or one or those things mechanics slide under your car with!

Physical therapists try for the greatest range of motion...so each day lie on your back and pull your knee to your chest and hold it...each day, try to get it closer and hold it longer.

Balance yourself against a wall with the doorknob or a bar, and do all variations of knee exercises. Do them correctly...lifts, and pulling it up to your chest, and back...repetition...work up to it.

Stuff like that...and be sure to rest it and use cold packs after...keep doing what you can do...to keep it from stiffening up!!
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:iconithiel:
Ithiel Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
To be honest, human legs are marvels of biological engineering given their propensity towards efficiency in elastic motion and overall structural complexity. Nobody here can give you a better argue than a specialist can.

That being said, there's not a whole lot of empirical data behind this advice (there's some, but most of it is anecdotal), but when I ran track I fixed literally all of my problems by walking, jogging, running, and sprinting barefoot on wet grass. I realise that the latter three may not be an option, and my problems were not weight-related, but it's the best advice I can give. Fitness injuries blow. I would also suggest foam rolling, if you're not already, because foam rolling is the god-child of pretty much everything these days.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
The human body in general is pretty fascinating. The stuff I've learned people have been able to do despite massive injuries (one of my professors told us a story about a guy in a village he was studying who had gotten a snake bite in his leg, and it had gone under necrosis, but he had managed to live, AND become the big man (though being a celebrated warrior) of the village despite having a permanently disfigured foot.)

I really want to run even though my doctor says no. Nothing she's really told me so far has worked, so maybe the stuff she says not to do will. :lol: I just feel like running is the "right" thing to do. Plus, what's the worst that could happen, me needing knee surgery? I probably need that already, so it's not changing anything if that's the case.

What's foam rolling?
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:iconithiel:
Ithiel Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
Keep in mind that you say that now, but blowing out a knee for serious is actually a huge deal. I mean, shin splints are one thing. MCL/ACL/meniscus tear- well now you might not be able to run. For the rest of your life. Just keep things cool for a while is all. You've got the rest of your life to run around.

Foam rolling is, without getting too technical with words like myofascial release and somatic dysfunction, a self-massage that hurts like fuck. You basically roll around on a piece of dense foam (that're very overpriced- I use a 4" PVC pipe these days because of the price thing) in order to insure soft tissue health, which is endangered by steady muscle use. Flexibility loss is common when muscle starts packing on for this reason.

It's also amazing, and got rid of my niggling lower back problems that I'd been carrying around for four months (regular rebound would be something like three weeks) after PRing my deadlift. Flexibility gain, limberness, less tightness during heavy squats, back, etc. It's cheap and easy and fixes a lot of the downsides associated with modern training methods.

Word of advice though- if you're doing it right, it hurts like FUCK. Like you wouldn't even believe.
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:iconljudska:
Ljudska Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
lose some weight. the combination of being heavy and having little muscle strength in your legs is going to cripple you before your time.

your doctor's going to give you a cortisone shot, prescribe expensive physical therapy and Aleve, and tiptoe around telling you the same thing.

so lose some weight or you're going to be miserable for the rest of your life.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
I've been working on the weight loss. I think I've lost somewhere between 8-15lbs (I've gone down a pant size anyways, and am buckling my belt tighter). My legs are ridiculously strong though. Completely made of muscle and huge (from being fat and really active). I don't know why my physical therapist told me to make them stronger, they are already stronger than most people's (and by most people's I mean, they are probably more muscular than someone heavily into track and field).

I never got a cortisone shot. The doctor just sent me to physical therapy, and the physical therapist put an electrode on my knee which worked at first, but then it just went back to how it was, did ultrasound massages and stuff like that. It was really inflamed though when I saw her (this was right after the injury, about 4 months ago).

If it weren't for my knee, my weight has never made me miserable. Despite being fat, I'm rarely ever sick, I don't have diabetes (and I don't think I've been significantly at risk for it for a while), my blood pressure is healthy, my heart rate is healthy, I have a TON of muscle (without working out significantly, I did a fitness test with a trainer, I was labeled as "fit" in my abs, and only really needs work in my arms and cardio-vascular, but that's more related to me being an athesmatic than fat).
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:iconljudska:
Ljudska Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
also, there's no way your tendon is "attached in the wrong spot," it may have healed all drawn-up after an injury but there's no way a tendon or ligament is just going to attach itself to the wrong side of your kneecap or something.

congrats on losing the weight-- be sure to get plenty of exercise whenever your legs will let you. try riding a nice, low-geared bike on flat ground.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
also, there's no way your tendon is "attached in the wrong spot," it may have healed all drawn-up after an injury but there's no way a tendon or ligament is just going to attach itself to the wrong side of your kneecap or something.

It is. You can see it in my knee, the effects of it are pretty prominent. It's always been there. My bone sticks out a whole lot too, it almost looks like my bone got dislocated and never put back into place, except I've never dislocated my knee.

congrats on losing the weight-- be sure to get plenty of exercise whenever your legs will let you. try riding a nice, low-geared bike on flat ground.

Thanks! I intend to try that as soon as I can get to my bike (not until spring break, I have an expensive bike and my college's town is second to New York in terms of bike theft).
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:iconljudska:
Ljudska Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
:thumbsup: that's great. stay positive. get cardio exercise when you can. keep working at it. sorry about your knee.

maybe get a cheap, used bike from craigslist or somewhere so that you won't have to worry about your expensive one. i've got two bikes- one really nice one i take to ride on the trails and stuff, and one hand-painted thrift-store monstrosity that looks like i should have given up on it a long time ago. guess which one i take around town when security is a concern?
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