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Old 06-09-2009, 05:16 PM   #1
Rachel Livingston
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Knee issues - Need some help

Hi folks -

I've been Crossfitting since March 27th at my local affiliate (which is great). I absolutely love, love, love the program. However, back in early April, my knee started creaking. I think that this was caused by a combo of factors a) I was new to full squats and, until recently, have been working like mad to correct terrible form (collapsing knees, hips that won't go back, etc), b) lifting heavy was a new thing too and I may have overdone it a few times, and c) I have been routinely banging up my knees with my modified girl-push up burpees. Given that general weakness has been a limiting factor, I've starting doing some GPP (focusing on squats, deadlifts, bench and shoulder presses) 2-3 times a week for the last month or so in addition to 2 days of crossfit a week.

Cut to now - my knee crunches (loudly, eliciting a horrified look from lay and medical people alike) when I squat and is definitely sore after use. According to my doctor, the issue is a kneecap alignment problem - basically my patella is sliding outside it's normal "groove." Additionally, there is an issue with the interior side cartilage - it's either inflamed or deteriorating. (Will know definitively with more time and tests).

I'm doing PT for the next six weeks. During that time, the verboten list is as follows:

No running, no jumping, no heaving lifting, no oly lifting, no squatting, no strenuous hiking and rowing only at a moderate pace.


Son of a gun. So here are my questions - what kinds of rehab have other folks done for knee injuries? Is it even worth attempting to modify CrossFit routines or is just a better bet to go for swimming, yoga and long slow walks for the duration? If I workout the non-screwed leg with iso machines, is the resulting imbalance more likely to mess me up later?

Any help/advice/useful links would be much appreciated.
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Last edited by Rachel Livingston : 06-09-2009 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:00 PM   #2
Tim Gollaher
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Re: Knee issues - Need some help

Anytime you have issues of inflammation/swelling to any joint, especially the knee and want to prevent further problems and decrease pain, then you have to rest the joint to allow healing. Usually inflammation and pain to the knee involves damage to ligament, tendon, cartilage, or bursa, areas that, unlike muscles, are very avascular and heal very slowly. Usually tears to cartilage require surgical intervention to correct the problem because the blood supply to the cartilage is almost nil and will not heal itself.
Bottom line, if you want to reduce the inflammation and pain, then only do knee friendly exercises and let the knee heal...so no running, jumping, etc. Do the PT exercises, knee friendly exercise and it will get better, then you can slowly go back to doing running, jumping, squats, etc.

T
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Knee issues - Need some help

Quote:
a) I was new to full squats and, until recently, have been working like mad to correct terrible form (collapsing knees, hips that won't go back, etc)
This is part of the problem contributing to patellofemoral syndrome

Knees that collapse in means that the adductors are weak, and your ITband/rectus femoris will be tight and short (as they are bearing the weight when the knees collapse in and thus are getting stronger/tighter).

Adductor strengthening + ITband foam rolling + stretching + VMO work will help improve this.

Also, seems like your hammies are probably weak, and your glutes are inactived. You need to get them firing correctly by doing specific exercises. Getting your hamstrings actived right during full squatting should help reduce the problems in your knees during squatting.

Read this wfs
http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/noglutes.html + specific hamstring strength work.

Get the inflammation down with ice and massage.

-----------

nothing wrong with NOT doing the above exercises.... as long as your PT is adequately getting your back to normal function which should include most of the above (from my I'm-not-a-PT experience).
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
Everett Steinbarger
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Re: Knee issues - Need some help

Steven just nailed the problem on the head. Especially the VMO weakness.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:10 AM   #5
Rachel Livingston
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Re: Knee issues - Need some help

Thank you so much, Steven. That was hugely helpful.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Knee issues - Need some help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Livingston View Post
Thank you so much, Steven. That was hugely helpful.
By rectus femoris I mean vastus lateralis... that's what you get for typing up posts too fast. Anyway, yeah, stretch/foam roll your quads/IT band that's what it means.

Keep us updated.
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