T Nation

Olympic Lifting Knee Injury

Wanted to get some opinions on this nagging problem I have been experiencing for a few week now.
Recently, I have had a small popping sound in my left knee whenever I extend it…like sitting in a chair and doing a leg extension. It’s not extremely painful, but has me pretty worried. I think its the patellar tendon, but I am not entirely sure.

If anyone knows what this might be or how to help it…I’d be grateful.

P.S. Thank you to HOV who has been helping me along the way with this injury via PM’s.

[quote]worker wrote:
Wanted to get some opinions on this nagging problem I have been experiencing for a few week now.
Recently, I have had a small popping sound in my left knee whenever I extend it…like sitting in a chair and doing a leg extension. It’s not extremely painful, but has me pretty worried. I think its the patellar tendon, but I am not entirely sure.

If anyone knows what this might be or how to help it…I’d be grateful.

P.S. Thank you to HOV who has been helping me along the way with this injury via PM’s.[/quote]

Go see a Physical therapist man asap.

Worker,
If the knee is painful you should see an ortho specialist but otherwise I would say probably leave it alone. Virtually everyone’s knees make popping noises and noise alone does not indicate a problem. Pain does, however.

Yes, I have that in my right knee.

I think it is patellar tracking, so foam roll it and keep strengthening the vastus medialis.

From what I’ve read, if there is no pain then it’s not that big of a deal.

My ortho cleared me to do whatever weight lifting activity I chose to do, avoiding leg extensions.

(taking some supps shouldn’t hurt though)

I’m an O-lifter and I have had - off and on - a similar issue for about five years. I always treat it the same way. I ignore it and keep training. It eventually goes away or at least gets better. I’ve noticed the pain but I’ve never seen it affect my lifts.

My suspicion is that my knee(s) get sore because I am doing front squats and back squats and snatches and cleans. But, I figure when something explodes and I can’t lift anyomore, I’ll go see a doctor. Not a chiropractor or physical therapist. A doctor. My family doctor. But until that day…I won’t worry about it. Take my advice on this. 50% of the time it works every time.

Yes, sounds like some kind of tracking issue. Could also be IT band tightness or snapping. Definitely foam roll your quads and IT band, all the way up into your hips and your gluteals. Gluteals and IT band have really affected my knee tracking after reconstructive knee surgery. But after loosening all those things up for a while now, I’m fine doing Oly’s and full squats again. Whenever i have significant popping problems, its usually an IT band and hip thing.

For patella tracking, make sure your VMO is strong and operating properly. That’s what keeps the patella pulled to the inside and tracking well.

Echoing everyone elses advice though, if there pain, swelling, or any catching that hampers your knee’s normal movement or function, get it checked by an ortho to rule out cartilage or other structural problems.

[quote]Hack Wilson wrote:
But, I figure when something explodes and I can’t lift anyomore, I’ll go see a doctor. Not a chiropractor or physical therapist. A doctor. My family doctor. [/quote]

I can see why visiting your family doctor would be your first choice, just don’t be surprised when you get referred to a physical therapist. :slight_smile:

[quote]beans wrote:
Yes, sounds like some kind of tracking issue. Could also be IT band tightness or snapping. Definitely foam roll your quads and IT band, all the way up into your hips and your gluteals. Gluteals and IT band have really affected my knee tracking after reconstructive knee surgery. But after loosening all those things up for a while now, I’m fine doing Oly’s and full squats again. Whenever i have significant popping problems, its usually an IT band and hip thing.

Echoing everyone elses advice though, if there pain, swelling, or any catching that hampers your knee’s normal movement or function, get it checked by an ortho to rule out cartilage or other structural problems.[/quote]

I have never done any kind of foam rolling for the quads, let alone the IT Band on either leg.
Any suggestions on types of stretches I should be using or how to roll out quads & IT Band?
Thanks for the help everyone… very much appreciated!!

For patella tracking, make sure your VMO is strong and operating properly. That’s what keeps the patella pulled to the inside and tracking well.

Buy a foam roller off of performbetter.com, and buy the MM dvd by EC.

I can’t imagine that my patella would be tracking to the inside, it seems like that is where I am strongest.
I wondered if focusing on the oly lifts and nothing else for eight months has done it? I mean I don’t even do any active recovery, so maybe the lack of lateral movement(s) has something to do with it.
Thought I would be getting sufficient add/abductor work, but maybe not??

[quote]worker wrote:
I can’t imagine that my patella would be tracking to the inside, it seems like that is where I am strongest.
I wondered if focusing on the oly lifts and nothing else for eight months has done it? I mean I don’t even do any active recovery, so maybe the lack of lateral movement(s) has something to do with it.
Thought I would be getting sufficient add/abductor work, but maybe not??[/quote]

I Olifted for 3 years and had similar pain to what you are describing at times. The narrow Olifting squat never worked my adductors enough. Once I started doing unilateral work my knees felt better and my adductors grew a lot.

So, I would suggest some of that. Also, I would suggest the foam roller and the Magnificient Mobility DVD. I know the DVD is not cheap, but if you can afford it its well worth it. As for the foam roller, just get it. If you can afford to go to a gym, you can afford a foam roller for as long as they last and its worth its weight in gold.

collin

Thanks Collin!!
I wondered if that may have been it or not. What kind of specific exercises did you do for your adductor work? Do you do anything else to help with the pain?
Thanks again,
Jan

Hey Worker,

My pleasure to be of help. Its not often that I can be.

For the adductors, I just started doing a lot of single leg work–actually Eric Cressey had me start doing a lot of single leg work and its really helped. I wish I would could say I was smart enough to start doing it on my own, but I wasn’t until I started working with him.

I do stuff like reverse lunges, elevated reverse lunges, walking lunges, stepups, etc. Mike Robertson has a good article with lots of variations. They’ve really helped my adductors. And they also hit the VMO I believe.

The only other thing I would say is to be careful with the clicking. I would get it checked out if you can, especially if its feels like the knee is “catching” or even momentarily locking up when clicking. I had that once and it was torn cartilage. I don’t mean to scare you or anything, but it never hurts to be safe.

One other thing I’ve learned from Eric is that if it hurts quit doing it before it gets worse. You can always work around it for a while and still make progress–even if the progress is just fixing imbalances.

If you have any more questions PM me.

Take care
Collin