T Nation

Complex Knee/Quad Problem

Back in May i lost my grip on a dumbell doing seated overhead presses and it came crashing down on the top of my thigh-huge bruising, went to the Doc, ex rays were negative of all breaks. Long story short I used the RICE technique for a while and i stayed off it. Pain and swelling subsided and I was left with alot of muscle atrophy in the quad.

Rehab’d it all summer and been doing great up until a few weeks ago for no real reason knee started getting weak/unstable in the leg of the previous thigh injury. I still have a great deal of atrophy in the leg-i dont trust it squatting but deadlifting is fine; anyone experience anything like this?? a knee problem possibly related to a quad contusion?? Any advice and thoughts are appreciated thanks.

quads are important for knee extension. you doing your bodyweight (unweighted) squats as part of your rehab? lunges??

i rehabilitated it for a while with bw squats/lunges/step ups…until it returned to normal levels of function (walking felt normal, stairs, jogging etc) after the rehab process was done i was left with just a smaller and weaker leg but the knee problem is more recent; the atrophy is still present (leg is smaller) and now there is the strange feeling of instability and weakness and sometimes tightness in the knee (no pain)…should i be doing more rehab work now? should i stop squatting (with weight) now?

does it sound to you like your leg is rehabbed properly?

if ‘normal’ to yuo is walking, stairs, jogging then sounds like you are good to go.

if you are happy with a smaller weaker leg with feeling of instability and weakness…

how do your UNWEIGHTED squats feel? i’m kind of a firm believer in ‘you don’t have any business doing it with loading if you can’t do it without loading’.

(actually sometimes loading helps the exercise be a little easier etc etc but i still stand by that general point most of the time).

knee instability typically arises from:

tightness / restriction in the hips and / or ankles. how is your hip / ankle mobility doing??

one legged movements would probably be good for your rehab… to bring up your weak leg. make sure you knee is tracking properly over your ankles and don’t let weak / unstable hips / ankles have your knee roll in…

i see your point…i thought it was rehabbed but i guess not…what are your suggestions for how to proceed? help with hip mobility?

[quote]Champbigum wrote:
i see your point…i thought it was rehabbed but i guess not…what are your suggestions for how to proceed? help with hip mobility?[/quote]

Try doing single UNsupported exercises. Sometimes with lunges and such people unknowingly favor the injured leg by using their other leg too much. Taking the other leg completely off the ground helps alleviate this and this often when you see some serious imbalances between legs.

had an mri of my knee, it came back clear but i have alot of swelling and fluid…followed up with my doc and i think im going to get an MRI of the thigh to pinpoint exactly what damage the injury did and how its effecting my knee now…hopefully i get some answers.

im sorry - were my suggestions on how to proceed not clear enough for you? you having trouble using google or something?
your knee feels unstable and weak. what more do you need to know? you want some doc to say ‘hey, the scan shows your knee is unstable and weak’ lolz. how is that gonna help you??

lol i see flight of the concords arent the only funny guys out of new zealand…i have to be honest its a psychological thing at this point; i know something isnt right so i want to cover all my bases first so in my head i know i can go balls to the wall when i train; right now im holding back on my max effort days because of this nagging injury…a question i didnt answer before concerning bodyweight squats-they feel ok, weighted squats feel ok to a point but my form gets compromised because i know there is an imbalance present (i end up pushing through with my strong leg)…i am unable to do any sort of 1 legged squat on the injured leg (not even 1/4 squat on it) and previously i could…im finding alot of conflicting info (yes by way of google and it works fine thank you lol) concerning rehabbing it but i wanted some concrete advice on a rehab protocol for someone like me who likes to squat heavy (i train purely for strength), thanks!

your knee feels unstable and weak. you shouldn’t be going balls to the wall because your knee feels unstable and weak.
if you can’t do one legged squats because your knee is unstable and weak then i guess you need to start with easier varants and work up. use a resistance band to help you. hold onto something to help you. stuff like that (is that really so hard to figure out???). step ups (keeping your knee out). did i mention those already??

why is it so hard??

if you do your rehab then your knee might well end up feeling more bulletproof than it has ever felt before. that is when it makes sense to go ‘balls to the wall’, yeah.

(i just quit smoking btw so apologies for being a grumpy bitch right now)

thanks for the honest advice, congrats on quitting…stay strong!