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Author Topic: If only we could run out our frustrations  (Read 4029 times)

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Offline Sara10

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If only we could run out our frustrations
« on: May 08, 2013, 03:23:51 AM »
I'm at a breaking point with patellar tendinosis

Literally I think my knees will break even if my OS says they won't.    I just got back from Washington D.C. for vacation.  A walking town, but hey, no one told me I'd still be injured 7 months down the road.

I did the best I could with my condition.  I took the metro, elevators, buses, and tried to keep my walking to the very minimum.  I wore my knee braces everyday and iced each time I got back to the hotel.  My wonderful boyfriend would get me a wheelchair at every museum and proudly wheeled me around.  To see the monuments we rented bikes.

Which made me feel so happy to ride a bike.  Impact is low and I feel fine when I ride.  But it was mainly the fact that I had freedom to move.  I hadn't covered so much ground in so long because I am constantly resting.  When I got off the bike it felt like my pain temporarily improved and I could walk a block or two.  Which normally I can't.  But then later in the day pain sets in an I take steps like an old lady.   

I had people come up to me asking if I was OK,  I say "yes I just have bad knees" and I'd get the response "you're too young for bad knees"   Which makes me break down.  I am too young, this is not fair.  I never even did sports.  I like yoga and pilates and a few generic strength exercise classes in between.  How the heck did this happen to me!

I want to walk.  I can't swim anymore it always feels like my knees are coming loose if I kick.  And walking through the gym is difficult as is so I keep to my home.  But this vacation just made me realize how much I miss my freedom to move and see things.  I like to walk to the grocery store.  I like walking making thrift store runs.  I like to travel and therefore, walk and see things.   It's killing me.   I want to stomp out my frustrations but I can't because it only will literally make my condition worse.

I have yet to read a success story.  If anyone knows of one or is a success story let me know.  I'm believing now I'll have this the rest of my life.  And I can't believe I'd have this the rest of my life....
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!

Offline Snowy

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 05:54:43 AM »
Oh Sara - this breaks my heart to read and I have no real answers, because I don't know much about this condition. I wanted to respond, though, because two things stood out in your post. The first was this:

Quote
Which made me feel so happy to ride a bike.  Impact is low and I feel fine when I ride.  But it was mainly the fact that I had freedom to move.  I hadn't covered so much ground in so long because I am constantly resting.  When I got off the bike it felt like my pain temporarily improved and I could walk a block or two.  Which normally I can't.

This is a success. Maybe not an answer to everything, or a long-term solution, but it's a success. You've found something that makes you feel normal while you're doing it, that enables you to overcome some of the limitations your knees place on you, and that makes you feel happy. Do everything you can to hold onto that. Work a bike into your everyday life in every way that you can. Go riding with your boyfriend every weekend. It may well be helping your knees (the motion moves synovial fluid through the joint and helps lubricate it, which is probably why you felt that temporary improvement) but the psychological boost is almost more important. It's amazing how much you can do by bike with a bit of planning - I use my bike for almost everything. Instead of going to another walking town, plan your next vacation to a cycling town (Portland has the best rep in the US, but there are lots of others.)

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I can't swim anymore it always feels like my knees are coming loose if I kick.


After my surgery I wasn't allowed to use my legs at all when I swam. I bought a pull buoy and swam like a demon while my legs trailed behind me. It kept me sane because at that point there wasn't anything else I could do to get decent cardio exercise. This might be worth considering if you like to swim. It's a great way of getting the exercise without putting your knees under pressure.

I wish I could offer more than this, but I have to be honest - I don't know a great deal about your condition and what the prognosis might be. Hopefully others can chime in on that. I do know what it's like to have a knee that won't allow you to do the things you love, or even the things you want to do to be functional, and even though that's a few years ago now I won't ever forget how limiting and frustrating it was. I do believe that so much depends on finding the things that you can do, and using them to keep you sane along this crazy knee journey. There are good things in your post that you can use going forward, even if they're hard to see in the day-to-day struggle.

Good luck! I will be sending you good thoughts and strength. It's hard to comprehend how debilitating a knee condition can be until it happens to you. I hope you're able to find a doctor who can help you beat this.
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline Sara10

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 02:34:38 AM »
Thank you Snowy, you have a way of making me feel at ease
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!

Offline greatfulgann

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013, 09:07:38 PM »
Sara
 I have tendinosis /patellar tendon pop.  The only improvement I have gained is when I incorporate eccentric exercise.  The first day or two was very painful and I almost gave up.  1 legged squats or a regular squat on a wobble board or BOSU really help to strengthen the tendon.  I know exactly what you feel when swimming as I experience the same sensation! 

How did you injure yourself?

 

Offline Sara10

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 01:00:50 AM »
That's so relieving I'm not alone!!!

When I first injured myself it was during an exercise class.  I had no previous knee trouble.  I was doing a squat to a lunge and felt a pop in my R knee.  MRI said no tear though just tendinosis.  What made the injury difficult is that my right quad immediately went into atrophy.  My OS is confused on that one.  My PT says it only takes 5mm of swelling to shut down a quad but agrees, it was strange how fast it was. It was incredibly painful to walk too so my left leg was my dominant one for a few months and then developed the pain in my L knee as well.

I haven't gotten to the point of doing "true" eccentric exercises  because I can not balance with a bent knee on my R leg.  Even if I've gotten some strength back, my quad is just not there yet.  So I try to do eccentric squats on a slant board with both legs.  I do 15 reps maybe 2 or 3 times a week.  They are painful, and frankly I'm just so discouraged at this point, that I really am afraid I'm making something worse if I do.   My boyfriend and I built a wobble board because online they are so expensive!   So yes, on a good day I do use it.

I have yet found a balance on how much "rest" is needed and what qualifies as rest.   

How did you injure your knee(s)?  Was the pain gradual?  Did you notice any issues before yours popped?  How long have you been treating yours?  What sorts of activities did you do before the injury/diagnosis and did you ever get back to your routine?  I sometimes feel a ripping/tearing sensation in my knees, at odd times it's not like something triggers it.  In my right knee I sometimes feel a tugging sensation, not painful just weird.   Have you have anything like this?

Sorry for all the questions.   I'm just so happy I'm not alone.  Really, every time I see my OS he looks at me like "you're screwed"  he can't really answer my questions just a "we'll see."

Thank you :) :)
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!

Offline greatfulgann

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 02:45:53 AM »
I still feel the ripping and tearing sensation although its less after eccentric exercises.  I believe what we are feeling is the degenerated/scarred tendon.  I have tried everything topically, massage, Graston, estim and nothing helps as much as the eccentric exercise.  I am still in the early stages of this but what I have read eccentric needs to be done for 3 months time.  Also, this is the only way I can get my quad firing where I will feel a burn in my quad.  I have severe atrophy so I am hopeful this will rehabilitate my quad.. I have many other issues along with this and the tendinosis came out of the original injury/dislocation. I dont think doctors know much about treating tendinosis.  They are reluctant to treat the tendon surgically as it has a poor outcome.   Are you sure you didnt have any micro-tears of the tendon as that can lead to tendinosis....?   

Offline Sara10

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 11:39:11 PM »
Hi greatfulgann, when did you dislocate your knee?

My quad atrophy was pretty severe at first.  It was like a disconnect between my brain and my leg, I couldn't even lift the knee cap.  What helped in the beginning stages with my quad was those electrical pulses they send to the muscle at my PT offices.  It was the only thing that would partially activate my quad and with time I could lift a heel off the table.  If anything it was when the initial pain ended that I started to see some improvement in my strength (3 1/2 months later).  At 4 months I could lift my leg from standing maybe with my heel 3 inches off the ground.  Now, 7 months later, I can lift my leg to near parallel, although other muscles help it get there.

Even if I was recommended surgery I wouldn't get it based on what I read. and I wouldn't say it's going downhill... it improves maybe .0001% everyday haha.

I have no idea if I had any micro tears before I got tendinosis.  Would there be a way I would know that?

Thanks :)
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!

Offline greatfulgann

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 12:30:45 AM »
Did you ever have an MRI?

Offline Sara10

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 02:29:40 AM »
Yes it said Tendinosis of patellar tedon, trace fluid in joint space.  Normal appearance of extensor mechanism and hyaline articular cartilage

how would I know if I'd had a microtear though?  that would show up on the MRI?
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!

Offline Sara10

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Re: If only we could run out our frustrations
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 02:35:09 AM »
I've had a few doctors look at the MRI too...
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!