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Injuries Chronic & Acute

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Old 03-05-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
Mike Riess
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no more squats=no more xfit?

I've already torn my meniscus and had it partially removed, and recently heard a 'crack' while i was push jerking only to have it diagnosed as a minor tear in my cartilage, too small to operate on. The orthopedist cleared me for everything, but he told me to avoid squats in general (he recommends hamstring curls and leg extensions, woo.) and particularly deep squats. I was wondering if this means essentially the end of crossfit for me? Almost every workout we do seems to involve squats of some kind. I was also wondering- does deadlifting put the same kind of pressure on your knee as squatting does? I've done nothing for my legs besides the stationary bike for almost a month now, and i'm getting desperate... Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:16 PM   #2
Jay Cohen
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Re: no more squats=no more xfit?

Get a second opinion from a Doc that works very specifically with athletes or find a large medical center that has an solid sports medicine section.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:18 PM   #3
Bob Guere
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Re: no more squats=no more xfit?

Jay is 100% correct.

I have had a very similar injury, let me give some background.

In 1996 I was too heavy to be playing intramural basketball and running down the court chasing a taller, faster guy... but was doing it anyway. When I slowed down when he scored easily, my femur slid forward, tearing my meniscus. After ortho surgery to remove the flap, I continued many activities (not weightlifting much) for quite a while, to include Taekwondo starting in 2003. The planting and twisting of TKD irritated it quite a bit and eventually ended up back at the ortho talking about surgery again. This second time (last year) I have a small tear (visible to MRI but not to the doc when he was scoping) and he couldn't repair it. I did have some cartilage damage behind the knee cap also that was cleaned up, and a good deal of arthritis. During post-op PT, I was told by a very knowledgeable and respected sports med doctor with Olympic Judo team trainer background, that squats were GOOD! And extensions and the like were not recommended, especially because of damage behind the knee cap. I tried returning to TKD late last year, and did so long enough to finally get my 1st degree, then stopped to let my knee heal. I haven't trained TKD since Jan. Started Crossfit right then and my knee has not felt this good since 1996, right before that b-ball game.

If you haven't done so, I would recommend a sports PT guy, let him talk to your ortho and come up with a workout for you. I can even run now. Before CF, I couldn't run more than once a week without pain and swelling for 2-3 days afterward.

I'm a firm believer that CF has strengthened and conditioned my knee beyond anything PT was doing.

Just my two cents, and experience. Your injury could be different enough that my experience is irrelevant.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:19 PM   #4
Stephen Flamm
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Re: no more squats=no more xfit?

My initial reaction is that you should avoid push jerking as opposed to squats - they seem to put more stress on the knee than a properly performed squat due the explosive nature of the movement.

I recommend posting this question to Mark Rippetoe's Q & A forum at ************.com. I suspect he well tell you that PROPER, deep squatting is still possible, encouraged, and perhaps even necessary with meniscus issues, but again, he would know.

I do know that he has suggested deadlifts as a temporary substitution for squats if ROM /knee-injury issues prevent proper squatting. But there really is no pure substitute for the squat.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:47 PM   #5
Jake Di Vita
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Re: no more squats=no more xfit?

I have lost over half of my meniscus and deep squats work just fine for me, as does deadlifting. Definitely seek a 2nd opinion...or do some light experimenting yourself and just listen to your body.
Jake Di Vita, A46718
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
Yong Tang
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Re: no more squats=no more xfit?

I'm not gonna repeat what the others have said, but assuming you're in the situation that it is POSSIBLE to do squats/full squats and whatnot yet you fear the risk of injury again, there are still other lower body exercises that I would assume to be appropriate for crossfit intentions. Sled dragging and pulling is one of them, less range of motion but still makes for a very hardcore workout.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: no more squats=no more xfit?

Yep, it's pretty much all covered so far.

AVOID *impact* work where at all possible. Unfortunately, oly lifts, box jumps, push jerks, etc. all fall under this category... but impacts generally have a more deleterious effect on the cartilage and knees than just straight up air squats transitioning into like weighted squats.
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