T Nation

Knee and VMO

Hey guys, looking for some advice on my knee issues:

I first injured my left knee about 12 years ago. I was doing some hockey skating drills without pads, and I lost an edge and fell to that knee on the ice, impacting on the patella pretty hard. For about 2 weeks after, I was unable to bend the knee. Docs just told me to ice, no X-ray or anything. Ever since, I have had pain in the middle of the patella and the lower part of the patella, flaring up at various times. It is especially painful doing single leg work. One-leg leg press feels like my knee is going to explode.

Any light impact to the knee causes a bunch of pain for a while after, especially when bending the knee. For example, my dog ran into my knee a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t bend the knee all day without tons of pain. Usually ice helps and I get back to normal within a day or so. Full squats usually cause it to hurt, so I stick mainly to box squats on a medium box.

That leg is also significantly weaker in single leg work. I can do single leg squat-to-box on the right leg all day, and can barely do 5 or 6 with the left. The other day I happened to notice that the VMO on that leg is markedly smaller than the good one. So, what should I be doing? Is the VMO thing more of a cause or effect? Will doing things like TKEs help out, or waste of time?

If I had to guess it sounds like you probably did some damage to it back when you originally hurt it and things did not heal properly. A chronically misaligned patella could cause a lot of knee dysfunction. I’d try to see an orthopedist (bone/joint docs) about it, if anyone can fix it/manage it with you it would be them.