Knee problems while running

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    Feb 14, 2011 11:44 PM GMT
    When i run on the treadmill or the eliptical my left and/or right knee likes to lock and go in slighlty the opposite direction. As I contine to do more running it gets less frequent but scares me. The same thing will happen when I walk and my leg just gives out.

    I have had x-rays and tests done and the doctors don't know what it is. They just say to exercise to build up the leg muscles. I have also been told by a physical therapist that my calfs are extremly tight and I do strectches to help that.

    Does anyone have any good ideas what I could do to help my legs from locking and going out from under me. I'm open to all ideas. Thanks.
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    Feb 15, 2011 12:30 AM GMT
    What kinds of tests?
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    Feb 15, 2011 2:29 AM GMT
    xrays and a physical therapist.

    the xrays showed no problms
    the physical therapist just said my calfs were tighter then normal and I was given a few stretches to help with that.

    but they never gave advice or ideas on now to strengthen my knees.

    Thought maybe I could get some ideas and advice.
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    Feb 15, 2011 3:06 AM GMT
    I've had problems with my knees. It hurt so bad, I only got up to use the bathroom. The doctor told me it was "growing pains". But did nothing for me. After I went to an orthopedic (and an MRI) he was able to diagnose that I had torn my meniscus in both knees and a small small benign tumor on my left tibia. He also said I had Osgood-Schlatters.
    So my recommendation is get a second opinion, and aquatic physical therapy
  • ArmsandLegs

    Posts: 125

    Feb 15, 2011 3:08 AM GMT
    If you can afford it or your insurance covers it, I would reccomend seeing a gait specialist or a physical therapist who specializes in the kinetic chain. There are so many possible things that can be wrong with your gait and mechanics that, without a proper gait evaluation, the correct advise cannot be given.
  • justarunner

    Posts: 101

    Feb 15, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    The root of most of these issues lies in your Hip Flexors, look it up anywhere online or ask your doctor/physiotherapist. If this feels stretched or slightly injured, it has to compensate for it from somewhere else. And usually... it starts to work on your ITs (behind the knee roughly), and then it will behind to either lead to ankle injuries, followed by the other leg.

    I'd really look into Hip flexor stretches, and make that a bigger priority, it'll help to act as a major support.
  • AlexGuess

    Posts: 364

    Feb 15, 2011 3:10 AM GMT
    knee_hyperextension.jpg
    Like that?
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    Feb 15, 2011 3:19 AM GMT
    I'd go find a physical therapist before talking to a doctor. Doctors don't know anything about fitness pathologies unless it's broken. You're not broken yet. The doctor will try to sell you drugs and surgery as remedies. They're a business, and many of the type of people who go to medical school want money.

    Physical therapists study that kind of thing. They also aren't as money crazed individuals as MDs. They are basically personal trainers who will use exercises to correct imbalances or rehabilitation. Their remedies do not work unless you actually follow the prescription to the T. Got it? This is why people just go to the MD for the quick fix, which may not be in your best interest.

    It likely has to do with some underdeveloped muscle and another muscle compensating for it. You also must have learned to run incorrectly, so the physical therapist will be able to correct your walk/run gait.

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    Feb 15, 2011 3:37 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidI'd go find a physical therapist before talking to a doctor. Doctors don't know anything about fitness pathologies unless it's broken. You're not broken yet. The doctor will try to sell you drugs and surgery as remedies. They're a business, and many of the type of people who go to medical school want money.

    Physical therapists study that kind of thing. They also aren't as money crazed individuals as MDs. They are basically personal trainers who will use exercises to correct imbalances or rehabilitation. Their remedies do not work unless you actually follow the prescription to the T. Got it? This is why people just go to the MD for the quick fix, which may not be in your best interest.

    It likely has to do with some underdeveloped muscle and another muscle compensating for it. You also must have learned to run incorrectly, so the physical therapist will be able to correct your walk/run gait.



    This is certainly a broad-brush criticism of physicians, and an unwarranted one in my opinion. We do not know from the OP what kind of physician ordered the X-ray. Was it an emergency medicine doctor or a family medicine doctor, etc? Furthermore, there are physicians (physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedic surgeons, and rheumatologists) who do specialize in the musculoskeletal system and joints, depending on the nature of the disease. In regards to the argument that physicians go into medicine to make money, you may be surprised to know that there are fields that require much less time commitment that can lead to comparable or greater salaries. Also, American medical students graduate from medical school with anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 of debt. "The Deceptive Income of Physicians" by Ben Brown provides some insight and corrects misperceptions regarding the notion of money-grubbing physicians.
    md-timeline-and-debt.png
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    Feb 15, 2011 3:38 AM GMT
    AlexGuess saidknee_hyperextension.jpg
    Like that?


    Actually my knee has done that may time before and the doctors don't seem concerned about it since it isn't "broken".
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    Feb 15, 2011 3:41 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidI'd go find a physical therapist before talking to a doctor. Doctors don't know anything about fitness pathologies unless it's broken. You're not broken yet. The doctor will try to sell you drugs and surgery as remedies. They're a business, and many of the type of people who go to medical school want money.

    Physical therapists study that kind of thing. They also aren't as money crazed individuals as MDs. They are basically personal trainers who will use exercises to correct imbalances or rehabilitation. Their remedies do not work unless you actually follow the prescription to the T. Got it? This is why people just go to the MD for the quick fix, which may not be in your best interest.

    It likely has to do with some underdeveloped muscle and another muscle compensating for it. You also must have learned to run incorrectly, so the physical therapist will be able to correct your walk/run gait.



    You got that right. I don't want a pill or a surgery since that only covers up the actual problem. I am into fixing the problem so I don't get other problems down the road.

    As I think about it I've never ran much since I felt something was not right with my stride. Guess you hit it on the money and need to find a Physical Therapist. My insurance should cover it.
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    Feb 15, 2011 4:49 PM GMT
    When I was your age, I developed chondromalacia patella. This is a condition where the cartilage on the posterior patella (knee cap ) is damaged. The condition is common in physically active young adults and adolescents. My problem came from running. Not everyone has pain, but I had excruciating pain walking down stairs. It is weird, but chondromalacia patella does not cause pain if you walk down stairs backwards. At work, I drew at lot of stares walking down the stairs backwardsicon_lol.gif. Knee grinding, locking and the sensation of the joint giving out can be symptoms of this problem. Diagnosis is made by physical exam and special x-rays of the patella.
    Of course, there are other problems that can cause the knees to lock. Damage to menisci (cartilage) and anterior cruciate ligament can cause locking. A joint mouse (which is floating body in the joint fluid) can become stuck between the moving bones during flexion and extension. A mouse is usually a piece of cartilage that breaks off during an injury. Some of these abnormalities can be diagnosed by a physician astute in physical examination of the joints. More often an MRI is needed. MRIs don't show everything, so an arthroscopy might be necessary for definitive diagnosis.
    For joint stability, muscle strength is necessary. The quads and hamstrings are the most important muscles. The hip adductors, hip abductors,and the iliotibial band come into play. Balance between the muscles is necessary for everything to work properly. Frequently the hamstrings are neglected and an imbalance with the quads occur. This can lead to knee problems.
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    Feb 15, 2011 4:59 PM GMT
    FirstKnight said When I was your age, I developed chondromalacia patella. This is a condition where the cartilage on the posterior patella (knee cap ) is damaged. The condition is common in physically active young adults and adolescents. My problem came from running. Not everyone has pain, but I had excruciating pain walking down stairs. It is weird, but chondromalacia patella does not cause pain if you walk down the stairs backwards. At work, I drew at lot of stares walking down the stairs backwardsicon_lol.gif Knee grinding, locking and the sensation of the joint giving out can be symptoms of this problem. Diagnosis is made by physical exam and special x-rays of the patella.
    Of course, there are other problems that can cause the knees to lock. Damage to menisci (cartilage) and anterior cruciate ligament can cause locking. A joint mouse (which is floating body in the joint fluid) can become stuck between the moving bones during flexion and extension. A mouse is usually a piece of cartilage that breaks off during an injury. Some of these abnormalities can be diagnosed by a physician astute in physical examination of the joints. More often an MRI is needed. MRIs don't show everything, so an arthroscopy might be necessary for definitive diagnosis.
    For joint stability, muscle strength is necessary. The quads and hamstrings are the most important muscles. The hip adductors, hip abductors,and the iliotibial band come into play. Balance between the muscles is necessary for everything to work properly. Frequently the hamstrings are neglected and an imbalance with the quads occur. This can lead to knee problems

    Excellent advice, to which I cannot add, but merely note I suffered from all of this, and had to have knee surgery. The confirmation came with the insertion of an endoscope into my knees, to look behind the patella and at the joint, since X-rays were not fully revealing (perhaps MRIs today would also be useful).

    And the cause in my case was my over-active Army life, always running & jumping, and often in hard boots, rather than cushioned joggers. It destroyed my cartilage, and the bone itself was damaged, where I now have arthritis. I wonder if the OP has seen an orthopedic or sports medicine specialist?
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:01 PM GMT
    Why don't you just stop running and find something else to do for cardio (that doesn't irritate your knees)? Swimming, stationary bike, etc.

    Also, strengthening your quads and stretching your hamstrings/calf muscles will help. Do leg press, squats, lunges, hamstring curls. Avoid the sitting knee extension machine (will make your symptoms worse). Also focus on core strengthening (especially your glutes- donkey kicks, plank, side plank, stability ball exercises).
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:16 PM GMT
    AlexGuess saidknee_hyperextension.jpg
    Like that?


    The is a hyperextended knee. The laxity in the ligaments can lead to lead to knee issues.
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/127726-hyperextended-knee-exercises/
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    FirstKnight said
    AlexGuess saidknee_hyperextension.jpg
    Like that?


    The is a hyperextended knee. The laxity in the ligaments can lead to lead to knee issues.
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/127726-hyperextended-knee-exercises/


    The pic shows genu recurvatum deformity. Corrected by strengthening quads, glutes, and calf muscle to improve control of knee joint (keep it from hyperextending) and improve knee stability.
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:29 PM GMT
    Kenneth_w saidWhen i run on the treadmill or the eliptical my left and/or right knee likes to lock and go in slighlty the opposite direction. As I contine to do more running it gets less frequent but scares me. The same thing will happen when I walk and my leg just gives out.

    I have had x-rays and tests done and the doctors don't know what it is. They just say to exercise to build up the leg muscles. I have also been told by a physical therapist that my calfs are extremly tight and I do strectches to help that.

    Does anyone have any good ideas what I could do to help my legs from locking and going out from under me. I'm open to all ideas. Thanks.



    I've had knee problems in the past due to a traumatic injury... one lesson is that an X-Ray will show you very little about a potential problem. An MRI is better. See an orthopedic doctor rather than an internist.

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    Feb 15, 2011 5:30 PM GMT
    I developed knee problems from running and now can no longer run. Not sure why but I get about 4 miles in and the knees start hurting. The next day means I can hardly walk.

    I've given up on the running like that and instead us the elliptical or the step mill, less impact and still get the cardio I need.
  • rnch

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    Feb 15, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
    ... I don't want a pill or a surgery since that only covers up the actual problem....



    wouldn't surgery (or scoping) fix/repair the problem?
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:54 PM GMT
    If you haven't already, see a doctor that specializes in sports injuries - this is possibly outside the expertise of a general practitioner. Agree with the others that a physical therapist will help, but might want to consider a sports trainer instead. Any college town or large city will have them; good chance the local high school has one on staff and can at least get you contact information for somebody that can help you.
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    Feb 15, 2011 7:57 PM GMT
    rnch said... I don't want a pill or a surgery since that only covers up the actual problem....



    wouldn't surgery (or scoping) fix/repair the problem?


    Surgery requires medical necessity. The OP is not a surgical candidate until a problem requiring surgery has been established. Based on the description of his symptoms, conservative measures such as physical therapy should be adequate.
  • rnch

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    Feb 15, 2011 8:05 PM GMT
    catfish5 said
    rnch said... I don't want a pill or a surgery since that only covers up the actual problem....



    wouldn't surgery (or scoping) fix/repair the problem?


    Surgery requires medical necessity. The OP is not a surgical candidate until a problem requiring surgery has been established. Based on the description of his symptoms, conservative measures such as physical therapy should be adequate.


    what he is describing in the first thread is what i was experiencing which required having my knee scoped.

    an x-ray won't show this.

    he needs an MRI done.
  • rnch

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    Feb 15, 2011 8:06 PM GMT
    NCReal06 saidI've had problems with my knees. It hurt so bad, I only got up to use the bathroom. The doctor told me it was "growing pains". But did nothing for me. After I went to an orthopedic (and an MRI) he was able to diagnose that I had torn my meniscus in both knees and a small small benign tumor on my left tibia. He also said I had Osgood-Schlatters.
    So my recommendation is get a second opinion, and aquatic physical therapy


    a torn meniscus was my issue also.
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    Feb 15, 2011 8:09 PM GMT
    That is correct. If he had a torn meniscus, he might be a surgical candidate. However, the signs/symptoms he is describing aren't characteristic of a meniscal tear. Typically, an MRI won't be ordered until he has had 4 weeks of conservative treatment. An MRI is needed to establish if he is a surgical candidate. More than likely, conservative treatment will resolve the problem.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Feb 15, 2011 8:14 PM GMT
    catfish5 said...conservative treatment will resolve the problem.


    all PT did for me was to make more damage and more pain.

    getting scoped was the final solution for me.


    "evv-aaaaaaa buddies diffnt"