T Nation

Knee Arthritis at 30, Need Help


#1

A month into turning 30, my left knee started getting weak then painful to squat then walk. Ive only been squating and DLing for 1 year. My DL was at 350 1rm and squat 250 1rm. The first sports doc did an x ray and physical. He said I have chondromalacia patellar and prescribed PT. Three months later after stopping all quad work except for the light PT as per PT suggestion, I still had pain and on top of that, much smaller quads. Imagine that! Went back and the doc did a physical and cleared me of chondro. Second sports doc did an MRI and said I have early arthritis and maybe a quad tear and maybe a meniscal tear. He said I should stop heavy deads which are now a dismal 275:5x3. He said I should DL for reps of 20 now with no squats or anything that could cause pain. He wants to do arthroscopic surgery. The DL's didn't hurt but the knee was swollen the next day. The one thing I think really started the pain was wide stance 580lb leg presses. My knees started drifting in. Knee surgery at my age is kinda scarey especially since I'm going to school to be a nurse and on my feet for 12 hours at a time. Any advice? Anyone been through something similar?


#2

I had a doctor tell me I had arthritis in my knees several years ago before I turned 30. For me, I found that I have to be very proactive in stretching my thighs and using a massage stick on the quads. When my quads get tight, they pull on my knee cap and tendons and such and give me quite a bit of discomfort. As long as I keep everything lose, pliable and feeling good-- my joints feel great. I squat heavy every day by the way too.

Not saying this is your fix, but a lot of discomfort that I have experienced has been caused by tightness or imbalance in my body. When I address these things, my body feels good.


#3

Thanks for the input. I've always stretched and been limber. How bad was the pain when you first went to the doc?


#4

I had a partially torn minicus and ligament. Impacts and squats at the bottom caused a lot of pain. I did a lot of hard stationary bike and mtn bike for a while trying to let it heal but it didn't. I finally had it scoped and it's fine. Looking back, I wish I had went and got it fixed from the beginning. I was on crutches for a couple of days and had a limp for two months. It was around 3 months before I did any serious leg training. The stationary and mtn bike did help me keep some size.


#5

Thanks man, hearing someone with a success story helps a lot. I'm able to do split squats on a stability pad which helps keep size. Oddly enough the bike aggravates my knee more than walking. Lol go figure. Anyway my doc is Dr.Lehman. He's worked on Olympians so I'm pretty sure I'm in good hands. I have a new injury now. My surgery consult is 9/13. I think the wait will be worse than the pain lol.


#7

Look into regenerative therapies such as adult stem cells and platelet-rich plasma. I recommend working with a Regenexx physician.


#8

Don't get surgery. Arthroscopic knee surgery for arthritis or degenerative meniscus tears is no better than sham surgery.

Look up some info by Greg Lehman, Jason Silvernail or Tony Ingram.


#9

Give this a try...

Also get some Graston and or ART on quads and IT band


#10

Great video Badger!

When my knee hurt, I did lots and lots of Peterson Step Ups. Watching that video, I can see I was on the right track. I also added a band to the exercise making it a "Terminal Knee Extension."

My hips suck, so I've probably done 1000's of hip hikes, but I never thought to add the band for resistance. I'm hype for hip hikes now!