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Author Topic: Help with downhill impact hiking injury  (Read 1140 times)

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Offline danhiker

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Help with downhill impact hiking injury
« on: February 22, 2004, 09:48:12 AM »
-Hi,

I haven't been to the doctor yet but I'm sure someone has experienced something similar to me. I was wondering if anyone had a story to share.

I am a very active 27-year-old guy and I injured my knee on a 4-day hike in November. The activity level was within what I have done before but my conditioning was a bit weak, especially for carrying a backpack. On the 2nd day I had a huge hill to walk down (1000 meters total altitude loss) and unfortunately had to stock up on water up top (more weight on the knees.) Despite my improvised walking sticks I knew that I had taken a beating. The pounding downhill is what did it. I kept going for 2 days, but on the last day I had another bit of downhill and had to take it very slowly to minimize pain.

After the general soreness of hiking went away my left knee was still a problem. I had some sharp pain under the outside of the left kneecap when climbing up/down stairs, etc. I was able to resume light activity (biking, long walks) a few weeks later, but the pain persisted. 3 months later there are still occasional episodes of pain, 1-2 days long. Other times it goes away completely, even suddenly. Sitting for a long time in a car or a movie will bring on pain or a feeling of soreness under the kneecap. In the first few weeks there may have been a bit of fluid in the joint, but not really anymore. My knee never pops or locks up.

I wonder if I have some meniscal tearing. I took some glucosamine+MSM but no way to tell if it had any effect.

I suppose I should have this properly looked at but until I get the chance I would love to hear from anybody else.  It's getting frustrating that the healing, while proceeding glacially, is not done yet. Light activity (40 minutes moderate bike ride) will still give me dull pain for the next day. I have hiking plans for June (in 4 months) and really hope I can figure this out in time to condition more properly so that I don't do this ever again!!!!!!

Your comments greatly appreciated.

-hobbled hiker.

Offline Linds

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Re: Help with downhill impact hiking injury
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2004, 02:25:02 PM »
Hey Hobbled hiker, boy have you come to the right place.  ;D
Sorry to hear about your knees..OUCH..I used to be a hiker til my knee got bad.  ::)  
It sure sounds to me like you have a classic case of Chondromalcia. Chondromalacia is a softening of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap.  It's quite common and some people never have pain. It is possible that this condition existed before you went hiking and hiking aggravated it.  The thing with Chondro is that it's more of a symptom than a diagnosis. Something caused that softening and that's where you need the xrays, etc etc etc. :-/ I would suggest seeing your GP and asking for a referal to an Orthopedic Surgeon (OS as they are called on this site) You might before you go that route consider seeing a physical therapist to see what they can offer.  
As far as managing the pain, you really shouldn't do things that cause your knee to be bent 90 degrees or more for extended periods of time or when there is alot of stress on the joint. Use lot's of ice when the pain is bad, and rest it if it really feels like it is flaring up.  It's also good to try out anitinflammatories like Ibuprophen... and see if that will help.
Good luck let us know how it goes
Linds :)
1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Offline danhiker

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Re: Help with downhill impact hiking injury
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2004, 05:28:45 AM »
Thanks Linds, that sounds like a good start. Sorry to hear you haven't recovered.

I'll keep my fingers crossed...

-hobbled

Offline Linds

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Re: Help with downhill impact hiking injury
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2004, 02:35:04 PM »
 ;) Hey you have a much better chance of recovering, mine is genetic and all started when I was about 8 years old. :-/ So... keep those fingers crossed. ::)
HUGS and hope
Linds
1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?