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Does anyone know any leg workouts to cure Patello-femoral syndrome?

After my knee surgery for tendonitis (which is cured, Thank God)my left quad is weak and as a result I have come down with Patello femoral syndrome. Does anyone know a cure for it, preferrably something that can cure it in like 2 months or less. Thanks.

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I don’t think you can cure PTS, my understanding is that it’s a permanent annoyance. Strengthening the quads, i.e., squats, squats, and more squats, helped me.

Perhaps also stretching quads or IT band. Do a search in the internet for PFS or patellofemoral syndrome, you should get a lot of hits describing good exercises and tretches.

A PT told me that PFS is just a fancy name for knee pain. Typically, those who are suffering from PFS need to work their hamstrings more and/or stretch. Also, be sure to ice your knee after training and take anti-inflammatories as needed. Another friend of mine who is a PT said that it’s a tracking problem caused from muscle imbalances between the quad and hamstring. So again, work you hamstrings more!

Actually, tracking problems of the patella are not cause by imbalances between the quads and hams, but between the different quad muscles. The quadricep is (as the name suggests) comprised of four muscles. Three of those want to pull the kneecap outward. One the vastus medialis pulls it back toward the center.

To Juity – if your vastus medialis is very weak compared to the other three, you can do some straight leg raises to concentrate on that head. Can be done sitting at a desk, but the best way is sitting on the floor. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Lift one leg about 6 inches off the floor, holding the leg straight, rotate the foot outward (rotate the whole leg at the hip) and pull your toes up. You’ll feel it directly int he vastus medialis. Hold for a 10 count and relax. Can be done at random times during the day, just make sure you don’t do both legs at the same time (spinal problems). Also, front squats develop the quads at a better balance than back squats, but can make problem knees worse (make sure you’re already clear of all pain before going to front squats). And bicycling. Make sure the saddle is set high enough that you only have a 15 degree bend in the knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but not so high that your hips rock while pedalling. Hope that helps.

Thanks for the clarification! I thought it was quads and hamstrings. I understand what you’re saying, and that was what was said to me. But they also mentioned hamstring strength being a part of helping to correct it as well. I thought they correlated the two.

It seems to me that the straight leg movement you described would do a good job of targeting the rectus femoris through the loaded ROM, but not the vastus medialis. Rotation at the end may activate the vastus medialis, but this would be unloaded, and what you “feel” in the VM head would most likely be a stretch. This is similar to performing standing dumbbell external rotations with your arms adducted and elbows tucked at your sides throughout the ROM. Sure you are lengthening and shortening the teres minor fibers, but not under load, as the db’s are moving across the transverse plane instead of the saggital plane. My advice would be to do a thourough pre-workout posterior chain stretch, followed by Back Squats, heels elevated, 1 and 1/3 performed at the bottom. This will strongly emphasize the vastus medialis under load (if that is indeed the problem). Feel free to tell me if you think I am off base here, or if I mis-interpreted your exercise.

Maybe I didn’t describe it well. It’s an isometric, so it isn’t going to get you from zero to huge or anything. As I said, it’s for some one who has an extreme imbalance. The rotation is what puts the load on the VM, and pulling the toes up makes for a hard contraction. Something I’ve used in the past when I was running all the time. Since I took up cycling, I’ve never had any problems.

One of the best exercises for the VMO is partial leg extensions. Perform only the last 30 to 45 degrees of extension. You’ll definitely feel the VMO crunch. I have been using the 1-1/2 movement on the leg extension since my knee surgery. It has helped me a lot.

Thank you all for the advice. I recently started working on ym VMO a few days back and the leg lifts definitely target it. Too bad I don’t have any ankle weights to get the full benefits from it but it still works regardless.

Also, I’ve been doing hack squats about 1/3-1/4 of the way down, after doing it, I walk with a limp. I usually do 5 sets of 10-15. I’m staying away from the squats for now. One other workout (props to hyok) is the leg extention 30-45 degrees down, with only the underdeveloped leg (same with hack squats, just one leg), the leg extention really works it hard and you can see it, because it’s hard as a rock going down and coming up. I did 10 sets of 10-20 going fast and slow on some of them. I’m going to start doing these 3-4 times a week for a month or so and just pray and hope it gets better. Oh yeah, Ice your leg for about 20 minutes afterwards. Also when doing the workouts, I really pay attention to the patella and make sure it doesn’t extend fully b/c I’ll just be aggravating it. I’ll keep you updated (I always do) in about a month to track my progress. Thanks fellas.

ART!!! I cant say it any louder. CURED my pain. Cured i said. never came back. been almost a year squatting and doing flips and no pain. none. ART. ART. ART. If there isnt somebody around, drive. i have to drive two hours to see mine. its worth it. ART!!!

Juity…Glad you got the answers you needed so quickly! That’s the beauty of this forum.

When I had patello femoral problems it took WEEKS of different opinions…blah blah blah. By the time I finally got in physical therapy…it was weighted sraight leg lifts for me…3 times a week. All was good in about 4-6 weeks.

Who diagnosed PFS? [p]
Back in the days when I ran a lot, I got acute onset knee pain and went to see the physio. They diagnosed PFS, told me it was a niggling chronic condition for life, and gave me all these exercises you are describing. Needless to say, I didn’t do any of them. Just eased off the running, rested and lifted weights some. Never had a problem since. Basically what I’m trying to say is that unless you’ve had specific tests done (the best probably being endoscopeinvestigation) to outline the damage- it is really a vague term to encompass many knee injuries. Hopefully, like me, it will recover on it’s own/with whatever you do! SRS

Goldberg,
I was just curious as to how much ART you needed before you were pain-free (knees). How many sessions/week, length of sessions, etc. Also, how much do you weigh? (Only asking because of bodyweight’s sometimes direct correlation to knee pain).

I can appreciate what everyone is saying, but Im going to side with Marc on this one. The typical recommendation of doing the last 5 degrees of a knee extension, or straight leg raise is an orthopedic surgeon suggestion. When I had a similar problem, Dr. Kinakin (my chiropractor) suggested I NOT do these exercises (the leg extension especially) as that movement reinforces a faulty tracking knee cap. The straight leg raise, as Marc noted, doesnt train the VMO under load. The recommendation was to full squat. 1 1/3s would be a great idea.

There is one major problem with doing a full squat with a patella tracking proble–doing further damage. Hyaline cartilage, once damaged, does not grow back. The reason I stayed away from full squats, during rehab, is the excruciating pain and loud crepitus which can only mean further injury. No exercise does any good if it hurts.

ART my ass. I already tried it, went about 6 times and never got better. Oh it would feel good RIGHT after my visit but the pain would come back a few hours later. So forget that. I know it’s not a scam but at the same time, I was dissappointed by the results.

I’ve heard of ART doing miraculous things with soft tissue problems, but if you issues are related to hard, articular surfaces, I doubt that ART can help in the short term. In the long-term, it might your muscles and tendons to work better so that injury can be avoided in the future.

Just curious Hyok, but what do you think causes thoses hard articulating structures to be in pain? tight muscles. ART worked for my ass too for whoever said that. You have to go to someone who knows what they are doing. My doctor works with pro athletes and is certified to do the whole body. My situation is different as I do a lot of damage to my body, but i was pain free enough to squat after the first session. It took three or four more times before the pain was completely gone. Ive had a problematic hip flexor that was causing pain in my hip and my knee. I got the knee pain fixed but am still working on the hip.