apologies if you happen to see this more than once. i regularly visit, and value the opinions of, 2 weightlifting forums and a knee rehab site, so i’ve cross-posted this on all 3.
i am really struggling with knee pain, and wanted to share what im going through, in the hope that someone may be able to offer advice, or suggest something i’ve not thought of.
i have a fairly lengthy history of knee complaints which are (briefly) as follows
Pre Summer 2002
my right knee, for as long as i can remember prior to my ACL, always hurt before i bent my leg. i was never able to squat, but the pain wasnt terrible, and didnt intefere with day to day life, only squatting. i could cycle.
tore my ACL - LEFT knee
had ACL repaired. several months of rehab followed, during which i lost about 60 lbs and my right knee stopped hurting - i could squat! all was good.
tore meniscus in left knee. don’t know how, but MRI showed it and knee hurt. had meniscus repaired, got nerve damage in left leg. saphenous nerve was severed by scar tissue. was in an incredible amount of pain - had to have another emergency operation to free up the nerve
left leg started hurting again. turned out i’d torn more meniscus. had to have another operation to fix the tear. all went well. however upon recovering from the surgery my right knee had started to hurt again when bending
left my job - had 5 months of not working. went to the gym most days and heavily trained hamstrings and glutes via good mornings, stiff legged deadlifts, hamstring curls, etc. eventually the right knee pain went away, but when it did, it was pretty much an overnight ‘getting better’. literally i woke up and it didnt hurt any more. i dont know what the trigger was.
left knee started hurting again. had to have another meniscal tear operation :|. recovery went badly, within 2 weeks it was hurting again. fast forward a few months…
left knee in agony - could barely walk. paid privately for MRI scan, showed medial meniscal tear (sigh). had another operation to fix this, except i had to pay ?4000 to have it done privately because the NHS said it would be 9 months, and i couldn’t walk. surgeon was excellent, he also found a plica and removed it, he stipulated that may have been the reason my meniscus kept tearing.
recovery went well for my left knee, but my right knee kept hurting when bending. i was dilligent with the usual reahabilitation techniques but nothing seemed to work.
i saw another surgeon about my right knee, who wanted to perform a microfracture or lateral release ( he considered both ). i read up on these and was not keen, at all. sought second opinion at droitwich knee clinic.
i started going to the droitwich knee clinic about my right knee. they were confused - they couldnt find any tender spots etc, but it hurts like hell when bending, especially when under stress. they said my symptoms are that of patellafemoral syndrome but none of the normal treatments seem to be working.
tried rehabilitation for a few months but nothing worked. left knee feels pretty much OK (although not great, since i can’t rehab it properly, because everything i do hurts my right knee)
droitwich knee clinic are confused as to lack of progress. they reason i definately have a plica in my right knee, and since removing it seemed to help my left leg, they want to remove it. i had surgery to remove plica. after surgery, i felt the exact same. not any worse, but not any better either.
… which brings me to now. left knee feels OK, but not great, since i haven’t been able to be active and build up muscle strength due to my right knee hurting.
right knee hurts like crazy. whenever i bend it beyond about 45 degrees it clunks. sometimes this only hurts a little, sometimes it feels like my knee is dislocating and everyone in the room hears it. squatting, cycling etc is out of the question. when i wake up in the morning, the weight of the blanket hurts my knee.
usually it pops out of place a few times before i even make it to the toilet. i’ve gained around 40-50 lbs through inactivity, which doesn’t help (i’m 225 ish now), but i don’t feel like my weight is the reason my knee hurts - i’ve been this weight before without knee pain.
last week i had a session with an ART practitioner (one of about 4 in the UK) on the off-chance he could spot a muscle tightness or similar that other physiotherapists had missed. he said i was an anomaly - my muscles are all very flexible, and i have good strength in my quads, hams etc, so he doesnt understand why my knee is hurting. he agrees my patella in my right knee seems to be all over the place.
one thing he did notice is that i have hypermobility in my joints. others have commented on this also.
it’s also worth mentioning that 3-4 years ago i saw an orthotic guy who said i have ‘flat foot’ (he mentioned it’s not actually called flat foot, but i can’t recall the condition name he mentioned). he perscribed orthotics and told me to stregth my calves regularly, which i do.
other stuff that may be worth mentioning: I sit at a desk all day (I’m a programmer). i go for walks every 20-30 minutes. i drive for around an hour each day.
i have built up a reasonable buffer of cash (i’m a contractor) and have enough money for 2 months off from work. if i can figure out a way of spending this time to help my knee pain, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. similarly, i have no problem with paying for potentially expensive treatment, if i think it will help.
if anyone can recommend an amazingly good physiotherapist, I’m in Birmingham. however as i mentioned i’ve been seeing the guys at Droitwich, who have an excellent reputation, and they haven’t been able to spot anything.
i have absolutely no idea what to do any more:
- nothing seems to be working
- every day the pain is getting worse, and i’m worried about long term joint damage (i’m only 25)
- i feel like life is passing me by - i can’t be active, this is affecting my ability to do my job properly, sleep at night, and see my family/friends.
i don’t want to sound like i’ve given up hope, because i haven’t. i just geniunely don’t know where to go from here.
if anyone can offer any words of advice, or suggest anything i could possibly do, then i’d really love to hear from you. if anyone has been through a similar experience and would like to chat, post here or PM me.
thanks for reading this, i realise it has been a lengthy post.