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Old 04-24-2014, 05:06 PM   #1
Bradley James Thompson
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What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

Me again.

I think I figured out what's wrong with my legs, somewhat. It feels like my femur is rotated externally. When I look at my legs in a mirror if I rotate my femur internally about 30 degrees inward my quads look more like I remember them looking when they felt awesome and normal.

Of course when I rotate my femur inward like this my lower leg is splayed to the outside.

They key it seems to me, is figuring out how to get the femur rotated internally like I can do on purpose but make it so that the lower leg is still lined up straight forward.

But the question is, if this analysis is correct, how could things have gotten out of line in this way?

I'm going to yet another PT. Probably the 20th one I've seen, and it's more of the same. I describe the above and they have me doing glute activation, stability exercises, and some manipulation, and it does literally nothing whatsoever. If I keep with it for a couple more weeks they'll report glute function better and stability improved meanwhile my symptoms will be as bad, if not worse than ever. This has been the result every other time. I get told I move better than any of the PT's other patients, but it feels like total shi*. My theory is that glute function and stability suffer due to alignment issues rather than the other way around which is what they all think.

I've wasted thousands of dollars and probably thousands of hours and lost an immense amount of quality of life for a full 10 years of my life and have far less than nothing to show for it, because I'm actually far worse off now than when I started trying to get help, and I can't convince a single practitioner yet, among literally dozens, to take my opinion of the nature of the problem seriously, despite the fact their analysis and recommendations have not in even a single instance led to even the slightest perceptible improvement.

I have no idea how to find a doctor and PT who is capable of helping me, or more importantly willing to stick with me until we figure it out, and not immediately going to shove me into a PT regime essentially identical to the 20 or so I've done already to no effect.

None of them are willing to work with me. It's just "Well I don't know. Get used to it. So long." I've driven 3 hours to NYC to see a former NFL team doctor. Even made another 3 hour trip to Connecticut per his recommendation to see another doctor. The NYC doctor had exceptional bedside manner, but he couldn't help. But it's hard to understand how a doctor who spends a great deal of time with you and listens and with whom you can actually have a conversation about your problem would refer you to the usual doctor who gives you 5 minutes and talks over you constantly.

What the hell do I do?
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:29 PM   #2
Bradley James Thompson
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

Thanks so much!
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #3
Megan Zetter
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

And what exactly is your issue as it relates to the femoral position?

EDA: I did a search. Sounds frustrating.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
Bradley James Thompson
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

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And what exactly is your issue as it relates to the femoral position?

EDA: I did a search. Sounds frustrating.
Umm, that's the issue. I don't know what the issue is, and no one else does either. Any diagnosis I make is at best a a guess, but it's the result of 10 years of an industry basically ignoring or refusing to work with me once their cookie cutter approach fails, which has driven me to brainstorm and speculate.

If I knew what was wrong I think I could get it fixed fairly simply, but I don't, so the odds of me happening upon the right rehab are basically zero.

I don't know this is how things are out of alignment. However it's the only thing that makes sense of my symptoms. My legs look different. The muscles are actually shaped differently than they used to be. My patella is in a different spot. When I lay on my side the bones of my knees touch each other. They did not do this before, though that may be simply loss of muscle. But I never noticed that before I started squatting either. The fat pad under the patellar tendon bulges to the outside when I squat, which never happened before. When I do squat, which I probably shouldn't, only the VMO gets sore. But only a tiny sliver of the VMO gets sore. Basically the part of it closest to the centerline of my body. Nothing else gets sore. The front of my quads, the part just above the kneecap that would you see if I was facing you, don't get sore at all. It feels like that part never does any work, which is very different compared to how it felt when my legs felt good.

It looks like my femur needs to be rotated internally to get back to normal, 20-30 degrees. It feels like an enormous misalignment. And my toes are still capable of pointing forward. But of course if I orient my femur in what looks like the way I remember, my lower leg is skewed terribly.

I can basically no longer play any sport without my rectus femoris going crazy on me, basically crippling be for days. Maybe it's a separate issue, but the fact that the VMO and VL are basically worthless at this point certainly can't help. I skied this winter, but given the results of my trying to play some sports this spring, compared to doing so last fall, I wouldn't be surprised if I couldn't ski next winter.

I'm 32 but I feel like 60 or 70 in my legs, and the decline has accelerated recently, and no one seems all that interested in fixing me.

I get told to work on my glutes. I do. PT's say I show improvement in function/movement. I say I feel no better. I feel just as weak, unstable, injury prone, awkward, painful as ever, usually worse, and they either tell me I need to get used to a new normal (BS), tell me I'm delusional (BS), or tell me they can't help. Not once has a single practitioner stuck with me and said, "Hmm, I don't know what's wrong, but let's see if we can figure it out" beyond the initial eval. Not a single one has looked beyond the initial eval even though their plans based on the initial eval have never generated any positive result whatsoever.

What is the deal with this industry?
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:24 AM   #5
Bob Butz
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

Might be helpful, Bradley, to direct people to your many other posts on your issues. Not having to post your entire story, for those not familiar with it, would save you a lot of time. Here are few:

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...James+Thompson

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...James+Thompson

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...James+Thompson

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...James+Thompson

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...James+Thompson

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...James+Thompson
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:49 PM   #6
Megan Zetter
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

Have you had any good muscle work performed on your quads? Trigger points can be notorious for mimicking other problems. Sounds simplistic, perhaps, but I have seen people finally get out of pain with proper muscle work.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:04 PM   #7
Bradley James Thompson
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

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Originally Posted by Megan Zetter View Post
Have you had any good muscle work performed on your quads? Trigger points can be notorious for mimicking other problems. Sounds simplistic, perhaps, but I have seen people finally get out of pain with proper muscle work.
I saw an ART massage guy once but he said I didn't need his services.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:43 PM   #8
Michael V. Erickson
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

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Originally Posted by Bradley James Thompson View Post

What the hell do I do?
You're off the beaten path with something hard to figure out and apparently not life threatening which means you have to figure it out for yourself until you find a professional curious enough and skilled enough to follow up on it. I did find an article generally related: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742461/ [wfs]. Offhand I think if the alignment has changed over time something has forced it to change. Look to your feet and how they are positioned or your shoes. If you haven't tried a top podiatrist you might try that. I'm not any kind of medical person, just try to deal with my own stuff. My legs differ and are not symmetrical. A foot doc told me "You're flat-footed, bow legged and one leg is longer than the other". So I guess running 50 miles a week caused some symptoms. Good luck to you Mr. Thompson.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:44 PM   #9
Bradley James Thompson
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Re: What could make my upper and lower legs become misaligned?

Thanks to the person who recommended the clinic in Houston via PM. Probably can't make it there but they did say they do lots of realignment surgeries, which suggests they are much more familiar with this kind of problem, but that they seek non-surgical approaches first. That's good because I really don't want to get my legs sawed in half unless I know for sure nothing else will help. But they did say I could email the doctor with my history and we could go from there.

This is the first reasonably positive lead that seems consistent with my perception of the problem.
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