Knee Cap Pain and Crunching; Part 6

I started having patellar pain, along with crunching and grinding under my knee caps when I was in my early thirties. I was running stairs in between cases in the operating room because sometimes it took an hour for the next case to start. Having had the advantage of my training, I knew immediately what was going on. First I stopped running stairs! Then I started the straight leg raises, which I do about 5 days a week. Now, more than 25 years later, I have no knee cap pain. I still have some crunching and grinding there, but no pain. And I ride horses competitively, which means I spend hours in that bent knee position…with no pain.

IMPORTANT CONCEPT! This condition (as well as other adult repetitive strain disorders) are kind of like having a disease such as hypertension. One you have it, you’ll always be susceptible to having it again. And much like taking a pill for hypertension, your pain will likely come back if you stop treating the condition. Your exercises and activity modifications are like the anti-hypertensive medication. My recommendation is that you continue to do the exercises and modify as many of the activities which aggravate your knee for the rest of your life, because the shape of your knee and the way it moves aren’t going to change!

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6 Responses to Knee Cap Pain and Crunching; Part 6

  1. Cherolyne Fogarty December 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Thank you for your expertise! I have had crunching in my knees and it’s starting to be painful in my right knee when i go up stairs. I wanted to modify my exercise at the gym but wasn’t sure what to do. You are right – I see ALL the trainers telling people to do squats and lunges. I will add your recommendations to my routine. You may have just saved me some paid, thanks!!

    • Barbara December 21, 2013 at 5:12 am #

      Cherolyne, I’m so glad you read my blog. If more women read it, there would be fewer visits to the doctor’s office for treatment of this condition! Yes…seeing patients is how I make a living, but frankly…doctors want to see patients get well and we want to prevent disease! One other thing I might not have emphasized on the blog, but which I am now emphasizing more and more. I’ll soon blog on this. I call it my S.L.A.M. program. Sit-Like-A-Man. And that’s what I want you to do. When it doesn’t matter: when you’re at home, when you have pants on, etc., I want you to sit, and get in and out of chairs like a man. Legs apart. Watch for my blog on this. It’s coming soon. But in the mean time. Watch how men sit, and get in and out of chairs…and copy…except when you have a skirt on.

  2. Cherolyne Fogarty December 22, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Thanks. I started doing the leg exercises that you mentioned. (i WAS doing squats and increasing resistance on the elliptical since we are going skiing in January.) So it seems i may have brought my knee issue on myself. i have both crunching and a small amount of pain going up stairs. My husband is a chiropractor so i am Plus i take fish oil and glucomsomine-chondroitin. just want to fix this too. Thanks for your input!

  3. alison goodgame March 9, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    Do you perform meniscal allograft reconstruction? Rather than a knee replacement – is this a viable solution?

    • Barbara March 9, 2015 at 10:53 am #

      Hello friend and follower! I don’t perform meniscus transplants. There are not many who do. And there are not many indications for this operation. Basically it would be a young person with a really bad, irreparable meniscus tear, and essentially no arthritic changes in the knee. That person would have to be willing to undergo a very complicated operation, followed by a long rehabilitation process which in no way guarantees a successful result, nor the prevention of eventual arthritis. Ha! Not many are willing to undergo the operation to be quite honest. I would guess many insurance companies don’t pay for it either. It should probably be done on more individuals, but right now, on young people, we’re just trying to repair as many meniscus tears as possible, rather than removing them. That’s better in the long run. If you or someone you know needs a referral for this, let me know and I’ll find someone for you.

      • alison goodgame March 9, 2015 at 11:11 am #

        Thank you so much for your prompt response!!! The person who is interested in the above procedure in in no way any spring chicken!!! You have seen the knee that I am referring to.
        I heard recently about some trial programs for meniscus (artificial) replacement… just trying to come up with ANY option other than replacement.
        Hello friend.

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