T Nation

Knee Pain

I’m going to go see my doctor at the end of the month for the third time for my knee pain. It started after I squatted heavily for three months. The doctor thought it was a dysfunctional ACL, but a subsequent MRI showed that my ACL is perfect. No meniscus damage showed up either. He prescribed me some anti-inflammatory drug, and he is taking a wait and see attitude. He doesn’t appear to know the cause of my pain.

After doing my own research, and observing the mysterious manner by which the pain comes and goes, regardless of my activities, I have come to the conclusion that it is the irritation of the synovial plica. I can't find any other disorder that would fit the puzzle.

My question is, has anyone else had irritation of the plica? If so, what was the treatment/resolution?

It’s possible. I would recommend an evaluation with a skilled ART practitioner. Since it’s not a tear, I’m sure there would be soft tissue problems. Why isn’t it bilateral? Most like there is involvment in the muscles that insert around the knee. There also could be lower back muscular involvement and hip flexor. I would have to see you squatting form to give you a better answer. The referral # is 719-473-7000. Hope this helps.

I had pain in my right knee (after sitting a while) and in my right lower back. Even stretches didn’t help. Then I compaired my thigh and calf diameters after noticing in the gym mirrors, my left calf looked smaller. I found my right leg to be more than 1/2 inch larger. Since then I have used some of Ian King’s suggestions for muscle imbalances (his “Get Buffed” book) and the back pain is gone and the knee pain is only occassionally. I’ll keep on till my legs are balanced. Keep on till you get it resolved!

I’m receiving PT on my right knee for pain and swelling that occurred during heavy deadlifts in September. Originally I thought it was a tracking problem, but the therapist said it’s tendonitis. I haven’t been able to do many compression exercises (squats, deadlifts, leg press, lunges, etc.). Actually, I’m not supposed to be doing any weighted exercises, but I have gone against my therapist’s orders a few times because I just had to work my quads!

The pain and swelling has gone down, and I'm being introduced to compression exercises again with the therapist. I'm strengthening certain areas that have gotten weak and caused the problem. I would recommend getting it checked out. It sucks not being able to do most of my normal quad exercises. But Ian's unilateral exercises have come in handy.

Thanks for the advice/shared experiences. It’s good to know that my misery is shared :slight_smile: My pain is really odd. It is a very sharp shooting pain that causes my quads on my left leg to suddenly relax. It only happens in the middle third of the range of motion. There is no pain in the first third, or the rock bottom position. To make the matter curiouser still, it happens only on the eccentric portion of the lift. Actually, at first, it didn’t even hurt while I was lifting, but I first noticed it when my knee buckled while I was getting in the car. Later, it started to hurt while I was lifting, with the same strange occurence during the eccentric part. Sure it sometimes hurts on the concentric portion, but it was nothing compared to the sharpness of the pain in the eccentric part. According to the research I have done, apparently the plica bands can catch on the condyles of the femur, mimicking patellar problems and even torn menisci. I’m at a point where I’m about to beg the doc to scope my knee. I’m itching to get started on the “Limping” series.

Try Accupuncture. After battling sever knee pain for months with no help from the western side i found it to be the only treatment that worked for me. Do not expect it to go away with one treatment. I may take a dozen or so. it can be pretty expensive but it sure beats going under the knife

As a former athletic trainer the usual routine would be laying off of any repetitive motion Bike, run) icing, ibuprofin. Then I would work on strengthening your VMO.

Hyok, the pain you are describing seems very similar to something I experienced a couple years ago. The pain was near the superior-lateral portion of my left kneecap and caused my leg to buckle during my leg workouts. At the time I was doing 2 leg workouts a week, one with heavy squats and one with heavy leg presses and little warmup (Yes, I know this was stupid). Since I couldn’t squat effectively with the pain, I took a week off and then tried TC’s Hamstring First workout for a month. When I returned to squats, the pain was gone. I have had no pain since balancing my quad/ham programs and increasing my warmup time. Not sure if this applies to you, but just my experience.

Thanks for the advice Jake. Yeah, I was stupid too. I was, get this, squatting three times a week, with very little warm-up. I was following the so-called Bulgarian Burst program. I had great success with it when I was in college, but now, ten years later, I simply can’t handle the frequency and the volume. Ian King made me see the light. I warm-up on my stationary bike, stretch thoroughly before every workout. Still I’m having problems. I may have caused too much damage already for it to go away that easily. Thanks again for your thoughts.