The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Exercise => Topic started by: crumblingknee on December 30, 2008, 05:17:55 PM

Title: Exercising the Quads & VMO?
Post by: crumblingknee on December 30, 2008, 05:17:55 PM
Hi everyone,
I am seeking the assistance of the group with an exercise problem. I had a microfracture on the focal point of the trochlea in August 2006 & partial menisectomy in 2004. I have healed as much as I am going to from the microfx.  The defect partially filled with fibrocartilage & a few little bone spurs have grown through where the defect is bare bone on bone. I wish to delay my next knee surgery for as long as possible by strengthening my quadriceps & VMO muscles.  Any amount of bending of the knee under load – even a few inches -  irritates the joint.  About the only effective, joint pain-free, & safe exercise I have found for that area is straight leg raises. However most gyms only have ankle weights that go up to 20 pounds, which does little to strengthen the area for me. I have tried using Therabands and cables attached to pulley machines but the range of motion is incorrect to work the target muscles. I have looked for ankle weights in 30 & 40 pound sizes (which I think would be sufficient) but have not found any on the market. What do people recommend? For example, has anyone thought of creative ways to modify SLRs? Does anyone know of manufacturers of very large ankle weights? All help is welcome!
Happy Holidays,
Title: Re: Exercising the Quads & VMO?
Post by: zoltan on January 06, 2009, 11:35:01 PM
When I sustained my tibial plateau fracture, I was unable to bend my knee during exercise. The only way I could build up my quads was to use a leg extension machine. By lifting the  bar connected to the weights fully with my good leg I would then straighten my  damaged leg and gently  take the weight. I would hold this for 10 seconds (feeling the burn!) and then, taking the weight again with my good leg, lower the bar . I would take a fifteeen-second rest and then repeat the process for 10 repetitions. I would do three sets of these everyday, gradually  increasing the weight. It was a pretty slow and painful process, but it was the only exercise I could do.

Title: Re: Exercising the Quads & VMO?
Post by: crumblingknee on February 28, 2009, 03:46:23 AM
Hi Zoltan,Please accept my belated thanks for your reply. I had stopped checking the site because I assumed after a few days that no one was going to respond. I will try your suggestion.
Title: Re: Exercising the Quads & VMO?
Post by: Marjan on March 07, 2009, 03:12:46 AM
I'm not sure whether you're still checking things here, but if SLRs are the only thing that doesn't irritate your joint, you might consider doing SLRs in different formats.

The further back you recline while doing a SLR, the more you use your hip flexors and not your quad/VMO.  You might try sitting in a chair and doing a SLR that way with weights.

The other thing to consider is when you are doing other exercises that you say irritate your joint, do they irritate from the first rep? or are you like me, if one feels good, 20 must feel better?  You might want to try a variety of exercises and limit them severely.  Try spreading out the reps during the day (like a small squat...doing maybe 5 reps of 30 degree squats....several times a day) 

Also try to add in some balancing exercises. Bosu ball balancing, helps work those small proprioceptor muscles, which in turn help protect the knee.  Just standing on one leg (not fully extended) also helps.

Good luck, hope you stave off any surgery -