CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > In Sickness and In Health > Injuries
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Injuries Chronic & Acute

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-01-2011, 02:13 PM   #1
Kyle Kemmet
Member Kyle Kemmet is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fargo  ND
Posts: 19
Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

I guess I am looking for advice on how to modify WOD's, or if I should modify them at all. Background:

Had an MRI, X-Ray and exam the last two days, and diagnosed me with Stage III / IV arthritis in my right knee. They ruled out any ACL, LCL, MCL, or meniscus damage. I am only 35 and have a somewhat active lifestyle, that included college football and rugby. I continued to play rugby until I was 30 (now just once or twice a year); and now play basketball, softball, CrossFit, and some occasional specific training leading up to the annual Air Force PT test. I am 6'1", 235 lbs, so losing 20 lbs would definetely help me out. So would cleaning up my diet by going strict Paleo (instead of the "I'll be a Paleo guy if the right foods are around, otherwise pass the pasta") getting on fish oil, and continue with my glucosamine chondroiten and multi-vitamins.

I had been feeling some pretty severe pain in my knee back in January and February of this year. It seemed to brought on by high volume squats (to include squats themselves, wall balls, thrusters, cleans, etc.) and double unders and box jumps. It go to the point where I took 3 weeks off and started up again last week. I couldn't finish the 3 rep thruster WOD on March 29 -- got up to 225 lbs on the 4th set, failed on the 3rd rep and felt some discomfort in the bottom portion of that rep, and then couldn't even do 205 lbs after that because of the pain.

Of course, today the orthopedic MD recommended no squats, lunges, box jumps, or taking up marathon running. He was hesitant to say that deadlifts are ok. No problem with the marathon stuff, but CrossFit without squats, box jumps, or deadlift? That eliminates probably 90% of the WOD's.

I am not sure what to do, because there is so much out there on the FaceTwitter (a fellow CrossFitter's word for the Internet) about how those with advanced arthritis should avoid squats.

To squat, or not to squat, that is the question? Or am I asking the wrong crowd, since we on this message board are probably biased towards continuing with squats. I've always had the idea in my head that people have bad knees because they don't squat, not because they do.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
Everett Steinbarger
Member Everett Steinbarger is offline
 
Everett Steinbarger's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Surry  ME
Posts: 474
Re: Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

Kyle Kemmet wrote:

Quote:
To squat, or not to squat, that is the question? I've always had the idea in my head that people have bad knees because they don't squat, not because they do.
You bring up the idea of "Bad Knees". Pretty general statement/moniker. Can mean anything.

Cartilage is definitely a use it or lose it phenomenon. If the cartilage is healthy, it benefits from loaded pressure and a full range of motion.

In your case, Stage III/IV arthritic change, you are facing a loss of cartilage that is allowing bone on bone contact. You are now in Damage Control mode. The problem is there, it won't get better, and aside from a cartilage transplant, you don't have any options other than treatments such as Synvisc, Tibial osteotomy, or Joint Replacement. (Synvisc is a series of injections that mimic joint fluid, kind of like an oil change for the knee.)

What I usually tell people is that since the damage is already done, do whatever you want. If squats are tolerable go ahead and do them, knowing that you may be increasing the wear and tear on the cartilage. If they are too painful, then change your exercise regimen.

Did the ortho that you saw give you any treatment options or a prognosis for the future?
__________________
Rule #1: Crossfit. Zombies lead a very active life. So should you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
Pete Nadeau
Member Pete Nadeau is offline
 
Pete Nadeau's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: El Paso  TX
Posts: 420
Re: Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

I'm 53 and have DJD (degenerative joint disease) of my left knee, wear a custom fitted brace and squat when my knee feels okay. Most WOD’s that involve squats the weight is tolerable (except for strength/Max days). On max/strength WOD’S I don’t squat more than my body weight (210-215). I say modify your WOD that’s what I do. I avoid running (except for sprints) and jumping.

Everett's quote is dead on
“If squats are tolerable go ahead and do them, knowing that you may be increasing the wear and tear on the cartilage. If they are too painful, then change your exercise regimen”
__________________
Honor Et Fidelite
Ętre pręt
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 05:09 PM   #4
Kyle Kemmet
Member Kyle Kemmet is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fargo  ND
Posts: 19
Re: Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett Steinbarger View Post
Kyle Kemmet wrote:
Did the ortho that you saw give you any treatment options or a prognosis for the future?
Yep, it is bone on bone now. I should have included that he gave me a steroid shot today, and I can continue with those every 3-4 months if they seem to work. He also discussed treating with Synvisc, if the steroid injections don't seem to help. He did a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Tria Orthopedic, in Bloomington, MN, which is a reputable place! I am going to a physical therapist on Wed., and they will give me some exercises I can do to help things out. He also discussed the much increased probability of needing a total knee replacement by the time I am 50, based on the detoriation that is already present.

The most important thing for me is being able to play, and play hard, with my kids -- 5 year old twins and a 2 year old. However, my overall health & fitness is also important, not just my knee, and like everyone else on here, believe CrossFit is the best way to maintain/progress in that endeavor.

I guess I may just have to do a "play it by ear". I just don't want to speed up the deterioration.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
Kyle Kemmet
Member Kyle Kemmet is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fargo  ND
Posts: 19
Re: Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Nadeau View Post
Everett's quote is dead on
“If squats are tolerable go ahead and do them, knowing that you may be increasing the wear and tear on the cartilage. If they are too painful, then change your exercise regimen”
This will probably be the route I will take. Thanks for the input guys!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
Greg Griffith
Member Greg Griffith is offline
 
Greg Griffith's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Rio Rancho  NM
Posts: 27
Re: Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Kemmet View Post
I guess I am looking for advice on how to modify WOD's, or if I should modify them at all. Background:

Had an MRI, X-Ray and exam the last two days, and diagnosed me with Stage III / IV arthritis in my right knee. They ruled out any ACL, LCL, MCL, or meniscus damage. I am only 35 and have a somewhat active lifestyle, that included college football and rugby. I continued to play rugby until I was 30 (now just once or twice a year); and now play basketball, softball, CrossFit, and some occasional specific training leading up to the annual Air Force PT test. I am 6'1", 235 lbs, so losing 20 lbs would definetely help me out. So would cleaning up my diet by going strict Paleo (instead of the "I'll be a Paleo guy if the right foods are around, otherwise pass the pasta") getting on fish oil, and continue with my glucosamine chondroiten and multi-vitamins.

I had been feeling some pretty severe pain in my knee back in January and February of this year. It seemed to brought on by high volume squats (to include squats themselves, wall balls, thrusters, cleans, etc.) and double unders and box jumps. It go to the point where I took 3 weeks off and started up again last week. I couldn't finish the 3 rep thruster WOD on March 29 -- got up to 225 lbs on the 4th set, failed on the 3rd rep and felt some discomfort in the bottom portion of that rep, and then couldn't even do 205 lbs after that because of the pain.

Of course, today the orthopedic MD recommended no squats, lunges, box jumps, or taking up marathon running. He was hesitant to say that deadlifts are ok. No problem with the marathon stuff, but CrossFit without squats, box jumps, or deadlift? That eliminates probably 90% of the WOD's.

I am not sure what to do, because there is so much out there on the FaceTwitter (a fellow CrossFitter's word for the Internet) about how those with advanced arthritis should avoid squats.

To squat, or not to squat, that is the question? Or am I asking the wrong crowd, since we on this message board are probably biased towards continuing with squats. I've always had the idea in my head that people have bad knees because they don't squat, not because they do.
I would keep doing squats. At least modified squats. I don't think they are bad for knee joints, especially if you use a lighter weight on those days you feel arthritis pain. My trainer and physical therapist agree with this.

Today is day 15 after a total left knee replacement for me and I am doing a very modified body weight squat as part of the recovery/therapy. Of course, I no longer have arthritis pain but I can tell squats are good recovery and help to alleviate post surgery pain.

That's just my experience so far. I will be back to Crossfit as soon as I can and I'm sure that I will have to modify other movements as well but that will probably be better than not doing them at all.

Not sure about running yet. I will be testing it out though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2013, 03:23 PM   #7
Arthur Tom
Member Arthur Tom is offline
 
Arthur Tom's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Valencia  CA
Posts: 2
Unhappy Re: Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

Guys, you're advising a 35 year old guy to do things that will in all likelihood wear away any remaining meniscus in his knee, leading to what? Once he is sufficiently bone on bone, with crippling Osteoarthritis, then the only surgical alternative he has is a knee replacement. The current wear life on a knee replacement is 20 years. Do you guys understand the significance of this? The guy who just had a knee replacement is giving advice too, but maybe he talk about what activities led to his knee replacement, assuming it was exercise related of course. Okay, and the OP is getting cortisone injections every few months, do you know what that does after a while to connective tissue? Why is he giving the OP steroid shots instead of lubricant (Synvisc), which has no long term destructive affect like cortisone does. Yikes!
__________________
All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
Brian Strump
Affiliate Brian Strump is offline
 
Brian Strump's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charlotte  NC
Posts: 2,609
Re: Stage III / IV arthritis in knee and squats

Not seeing you move, hard to give advice here...with the exception of; work like hell at the mobility of your hips, and ankles. Regardless of if you choose to squat or not.

So many people have knee pain, and we work the hip and ankle mobility and patients are shocked their knee pain improves.
__________________
Brian Strump, D.C., FMS, NKT
www.crossfitsteelecreek.com/
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Knee/form question regarding pistols, front squats and back squats. Kelly Hewitt Exercises 9 10-12-2009 08:24 PM
knee clicks when i do squats Elliott Williams Health and Medical Issues 3 04-13-2009 12:24 PM
3 Stage WOD Stuart Lilley Workout of the Day 2 08-29-2008 02:37 PM
Knee injury w/squats Chris Patterson Injuries 4 04-23-2008 02:48 PM
Kneecaps, arthritis, squats Allan Fisher Injuries 7 04-20-2006 08:41 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.