T Nation

Popping Knee Tendons


#1

Ever since I was about 8 years old, after I tripped running up an escalator with the sharp edge digging into my left knee cap, I developed a funny tendon popping in my left knee. Typically I wouldn't mind the popping sound, however, it really prevents me from doing a full front/normal squat.

This affects my form greatly because once my thighs go below parallel I start to feel a tension in the knee tendon. It feels like pressure building up on my knee cap and if I go all the way down without adjusting my left leg (by rotating my left heel outward a bit) the tendon pops real hard. It feels like a tendon is stuck on the right side of my knee cap and is being pulled to my left side, but it won't snap over until I completely squat down.

This isn't painful, but it feels real awkward (so awkward I only let it happen by accident) and is pretty dang loud. So when I squat I tend to bend my back forward and keep my butt up because I'm scared of this nasty pop feeling.

Is this a bad thing? Anyone know why a tendon is getting stuck (if its even that)? Is there a surgery worth getting to fix this?

Thanks


#2

Wow I found another person in the world who tripped up and fell while running on and excalator when hey were 8! and it was my left knee too. But I don't know anything about the tendon thingy. Have you tried box squatting? You can release the tension when you sit on the box. It may help


#3

"It feels like a tendon is stuck on the right side of my knee cap and is being pulled to my left side, but it won't snap over until I completely squat down."

Sounds like classic VMO weakness to me, though you may want to get an MRI to see if there's a permanent tear. If there is, you'd have to discuss surgery with your therapist.

-Dan


#4

I do box squats and I even squat lower than parallel, but I can't just drop down and rest against my calves. The only reason it bothers me is because it bothers my psychologically, so I am afraid to drop down with the weight. Also I'd like to do standing squats and front squats all the way down if I could.

VMO? Never heard of it. I think a doctors appointment is in order, just to find out what is really going on.


#5

The VMO is a specific region of the teardrop muscle of your quad that's largely responsible for keeping your patella tracking correctly. It basically counters the outward pulling force of the outer quad.

Weakness in this area is extremely common. It's pretty safe to say that unless a person has been doing a lot of specific work that preferentially recruits the VMO, it's weak.

Examples of exercises would be Peterson Step-Ups, sled drags with a "moonwalk" step, Olympic back squats and front squats, deep split squats and stepups. Needless to say, once you get tendon health figured out, start very light.

-Dan


#6

do TKE's with a band. Also I found rotations help too for over all knee health.

Patrick