Hi. I’m in desperate need of advice. Here’s my situation. I have had knee tendinitis which has turned into chronic tendinosis over the span of the last 9 years. It started very slowly back when I didn’t know much about proper training and did lots of leg extensions. It slowly got worse when I started complex movements (squats and deadlifts).
I admit that I have always fired my quads more than my posterior chain when doing those lifts. I’m doing a lot of exercises recommended by a physio right now to fix that. It became much worse when I started playing full contact football at 26. My body just wasn’t used to that much running, and I’m 6’1’’ 250lbs. Around that point I started trying to fix the problem, so I went to my GP, to a physio and an athletic therapist.
I received the full gamut of treatments (ice, ultrasound, electrical impulse treatment, all kinds of stretching, pushing my kneecap down with my thumbs for minutes at a time, etc). All of that did practically nothing. I also once received a cortisone injection, which did mostly nothing either. I consulted on many occasions with a orthopedist, who didn’t do much. I then went to see an anaesthesiologist (not sure of proper spelling in english) who started prolotherapy with me.
Of my two knees, one responded very well, the other not very much. He scolded me every time I saw him for the fact that I kept on squatting heavy despite the pain and treatments. Therefore I stopped all lower body training and followed the protocol outlined in an article found on T-Nation, “Straightforward knee rehab”. No offense to the author and I’m sure this worked for some people, but in my case I didn’t get much results, and the improved wall stretches actually created a partial tear in the upper portion of my right patellar tendon.
So I had a tendinosis in left patellar tendon just below the kneecap, and tear in the right one just on top of it. After many painful prolotherapy injections, the doc concluded we weren’t getting much results and recommended Platelet Rich Plasma. I had to fork the 350$ (yeah, I know, you guys in the US will say I shouldn’t complain since it’s twice as much in the US, but we’re not used to paying for health care in Canada…), and now, 4 months and some physio later, I am no better than before.
So the doc recommended we try “whole blood injections” instead of PRP, as he seems to get better results with this. But he made it very clear that this is the final frontier. He basically has no other tricks up his sleeve for me after this. So I am basically faced with the prospect of lifelong knee pain if this doesn’t work. No more heavy squat ever, and most important, I’ll never be able to squat in front of my 1 year old kid to play with him. And that is scary as hell.
The doc said the prognosis of untreated tendinosis would be arthrosis down the line, so I guess I’m looking at being an arthritic 45 year old 10 years from now, or something. As things stand now, I’m scheduled to have Whole Blood injection into the tendon this fall. I’m working at strengthening my core and stabilizer muscles throughout the core and pelvic area. I’m working on my ankles to better support my weight.
I’ve started doing ball squats against the wall, but those are already painful if I’m not careful to fire the posterior chain primarily. And I’m trying my damn best to lose weight to lessen the load on my knees. Even that’s a lot easier when you are able to use the caloric output of complex exercises. So at this point, I’m starting to consider Growth Hormones. My reasoning is that coupled with whole blood, this may dramatically increase my chances of healing properly.
I’d be lying if I said I had never thought about trying those simply for the muscular gains and weight loss, but it never was a SERIOUS consideration. The potential side effects worried me. But at this point, the muscle gain and weight loss would come distant second to being pain free again. Does anyone have any input on this? Anyone ever been in a similar situation? Can anyone give advice on injuries treatment, and GH as a part of this? Or simply about GH?
Believe me when I say I’m really desperate if I’m considering this option. If anyone has an alternative option (a science-based one preferably) to suggest, I’d be willing to try it…
I’ll be waiting for your input!