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For about 4 months, I didn't realize that the reason I was having so much trouble walking and standing was from an old ACL injury from 26 years ago.
Now I need to rehab that left knee along with the right knee that also got week, plus deal with how my back has become weak and sore. I have a brace and am
going to physical therapy, but it is really had because of my painful back and my really weak legs. Dealing with this now, instead of 5 months ago when i first had problems is amazingly difficult.

Any advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time.



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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    The GOP: Fearing things that have never existed while ignoring things that have always existed, i.e. gun registration/starvation.

    by StevenJoseph on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:45:57 PM PDT

  •  I am sorry! (6+ / 0-)

    It hurts like the devil I remember and I don't think mine was torn even.  I wore an elastic band around my knee.

    I also sympathize with the back pain and I am having a complete knee replacement done on my left knee at the end of the month.

    Did the doctor suggest ice and heat in relays?  I did that once or twice and it felt good.

    I hope PT helps.  

    Best wishes!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:53:09 PM PDT

  •  I am not a Dr (6+ / 0-)

    or even a Physical Therapist, but...if you need to work on a lower extremity joint to strengthen it, you probably shouldn't do anything that stresses the joint further. That would be stuff like running or walking--the jarring won't help. I'd guess start with stretching exercises and graduate to either swimming or cycling. Neither should cause further swelling or damage. I've seen many folks pedaling away at Physical therapy(for my shoulder) on stationary bikes--I assume for their knees, one of the more common surgeries in America.

    Got Obamacare?

    Good luck.

    The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

    by Thinking Fella on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:57:44 PM PDT

  •  Your PT (9+ / 0-)

    Your Physical Therapist really should be a great resource; make sure he/she is aware of all of your aches and pains, and ask that they develop an overall program.

    You may need a note from your doc if the current PT script is too narrow, but you may also get great help from your PT if you ask for it.

    •  PT works wonders. I had it after disc surgery, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and later after a steroid injection at a different disc. Gave me several years relief each time.  

      Stick with it.

      It sounds to me that, like mine, your back may be as big a problem as your knee.  

      Recommend you see a good spinal surgical team to see if there is something that can be done there, whether surgical or just pain management.  PT is a most important followup to either.  

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:40:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Best Otthopedic team around is at Indy Ortho. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, Cadillac64, Aunt Pat, Rogneid

    I credit them with a miracle cure, removing a non-malignant growth from under my knee. Even though insurance only covered one consultation with Physical Therapist, I listened and followed everything she recommended and in a few weeks I was back on my feet again. PTs know what they are doing!

  •  VA hands out canes. (5+ / 0-)

    I can recommend the Bauerfeind braces for comfort and effectiveness. They are sized so you're not having to play around with straps/velcro/etc. They stay their original size so don't get one that is too tight.

    My left knee acts up. The cane stays in my right hand, lessening the load on the left knee.

    Then there's winter. Learn to cuss ????? Other than that, there's not much to be done. I've been down from ice.... Lucky not to break anything.

    Lastly, knees don't respond to ultrasound the way shoulders and wrists do. And the ACL is the worst of all. That's sad, because ultrasound can be a magic bullet for calcium deposits and repetitive stress injuries. What it does is to encourage the body to clean itself out, then do natural repairs.

    Rehabbing your back might could be done with help from a swimming pool. Relax. Soft stretching. Do just enough to promote natural recovery. Use a float board and just paddle around enough to keep moving.

    I do stretching and light exercise an hour at a time. Down about 6 pounds from January. It's not the Paul Ryan P90X supersystem, but it'll do. Balance - flexibility - endurance - strength. Last thing I want is big muscles.

    What all do they have you doing?

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Ryan-Paul von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:37:11 PM PDT

  •  Ouch! (5+ / 0-)

    I am not an expert from a medical perspective, nor a sufferer of the specific issues you are confronting. However, having dealt with significant back pain years ago I will mention the possibility that your back problems are to some extent caused by things you have been unconsciously doing to compensate for your knee and leg pains. Make sure you are talking about all the pain points with a good physical therapist, and don't be surprised if s/he suggest focusing on therapy for a body part that doesn't immediately seem to you to have value for some other part. As the old song goes

    The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
    The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
    The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
    The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
    The back bone connected to the neck bone,
    The neck bone connected to the head bone,

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:50:39 PM PDT

  •  have you considered a recumbent bike? (6+ / 0-)

    I have multiple problems ranging from extreme gout to paresthesis to arthritis to permanent nerve damage in my shoulder and sciatica.  I find that this particular type of bike allows me to exercise with the least trauma to my joints.

    Since you mentioned your back, I would suggest an orthopedic mattress and hospital bed may also be a good idea, if you spend a lot of time lying down, as I do

    •  Using a recumbent bike (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is what brought my injured knee back from the edge of the abyss.  I highly recommend it too.   I also used an ultrasound wand (with gel) to bring blood flow back in the area and wore a Tommy Copper sleeve on my knee at night to keep it from slipping out of position.  I don't need the ultrasound anymore or the sleeve at night, but I sure keep them handy.  I do the bike three times a week and am up to 17 minutes.

      •  for pain, consider a tens unit; I have used them (0+ / 0-)

        in the past and found them effective without the soporific effects of opoids

        •  tens use, how was it? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm thinking about getting one of the new tens devices for migraines, was this really helpful for you?  Any side effects?

          sometimes the dragon wins

          by kathy in ga on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 12:35:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would not use it on my head (0+ / 0-)

            but the electricity coursing through your shoulder or leg or whatever from 4 electrodes does a very good job of numbing the area.  However if you reset it, do not do so while driving or such as a sudden surge can completely "freeze" you for a second.
            Works better than opiates for not knocking you out and without any side effects such as liver damage from ANSAIDs.

  •  My last knee injury that required medical (4+ / 0-)

    intervention occurred in the mid 80's.  Had surgery, was on crutches & PT for a year (instead of 6-8 weeks, sigh).  

    So I can identify to a certain degree with your pain & frustrations.  It is just painful-the injury as well as the rehab.  

    In the beginning I went to PT every day after work; eventually then to three times a week.  Because I could not bear weight on my injured leg for x period of time, my other leg bulked while the injured one atrophied.

    I was followed by a sports medicine surgeon & sports med physical therapists.  The PT started slowly & added more therapies as time passed.  In the regime, my leg was iced (agony after 10 minutes) & at the end of therapies spent time in a whirlpool (best part for me)

    I was finally cut down to twice a week after agreeing to do home exercises-riding stationary bike X amount of time daily & doing these exercises with a blue band.  I also had to ice my leg-the therapists ordered me the same one they used.  Gel filled & kept in freezer.

    I hated the Cybex (sp?) machine, the bike & the freeze my limbs off for 20 minutes throughout the whole year at the sports therapy facility.   Sigh, and my therapists knew it & did not give me a chance to wiggle out or cheat, lol.

    Kindly drill sgts with eagle eyes that provided detailed analysis to my kindly drill sgt surgeon.

    In those days the population in the area that I lived was much smaller than today & so it turned out that the docs & therapists I was referred to also happened to treat the local NFL etc team members along with us ordinary folk.  

    The entire therapy plan strengthen what needed strengthening to the point that I did not suffer a repeat of that injury.

    So along with my profound sympathies I can only offer you the advise to seek out a physician-surgeon and therapists who specializes in sports medicine.  They really know their stuff and can provide you with what is needed to prevent further or repeat injury.

    Oh & ask you therapist and doctor whether something called a TENS unit could alleviate your pain.  I do not know what all these devices are used for but my doc prescribed one for use in post operative pain management last year.  

    The physical therapists trialed the unit during my PT sessions & then ordered one for home use.  Like you, my back had become impacted and then my whole body as a result of surgical trauma.

    At 1st time use, the TENS unit made the back & hip pain vanish.  It worked miracles for specific applications but not as hoped for with the post op surgical site issues.

    The TENS unit basically sends electric charges (at whatever level is prescribed) to the injury site(s).  It is wearable & covered by insurance.

    It does not hurt but creeped me out once when one of the therapists was demonstrating it to spouse for home use & set it at a higher charge than they had been using on me.

    I did not know until I started PT last year that it generally takes 3 days for every single day spent in hospital for entire body to recover.  I just did not realize how injury & hospitalization could impact the whole body & not just the  part that was injured.

    Maybe this applies to you, so you may have to try to be as patient as possible as you heal.  I know it can be so hard.

    Oh, while going to PT last year, I asked for any strengthening things I could do at home to help get over weakness & to assist with pain control.  A home with no exercise equipment.

    So the PT  provided individualized worksheets that provided instructions with graphics that I could do at home to strengthen core & build stamina & showed alternative methods to use in daily activities of living (in my case walking, transferring, getting up/down etc).

    I mention this because I doubt I would have gotten these worksheets if I had not asked.  This time around I live in a different part of the state & the facility I used was very different-more like in hospital PT....albeit with several free standing "locations".

    Best wishes for an uneventful & speedy recovery!

    •  PS: I forgot to add that if after consultations (3+ / 0-)

      with physician & ongoing therapies do not work, a physician will  suggest consultation with & then refer to a pain management facility.

      Insurance generally covers this & one can only go with a doctor referral (at least in my location).  These facilities deal strictly with pain management & have a variety of interventions available.

      New venue for me-two appointments in past 2 weeks after 17 months of 24/7 post surgical pain, multiple MRIs, therapies, pain meds, specialists....

      So keep this in mind to give hope.  There are additional options available to alleviate suffering.

  •  I'd say get a heating pad. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, Aunt Pat

    Cold therapy seems to be losing favor and that's fine with me. It's good for pain, but it it doesn't promote healing. (Let me qualify that. I might still use cold initially upon injury if I were having trouble controlling bleeding or concern about swelling, like when my diabetic mother-in-law barked her shin a couple of months ago.) Heat promotes circulation and loosens everything up, actively promoting healing. Just be sure follow the instructions. Nerves loose sensitivity to heat after it's been applied for a while. You can actually burn yourself and not notice.

    This is a little left-field, but herbalists swear by comfrey extracts, internally and/or externally for this kind of thing. It's not something I have any experience with, but it's been used for a long time. Good luck. Pain sucks.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:23:35 PM PDT

  •  Physical therapy is a wonder (5+ / 0-)

    Many can now return to a somewhat normal life after suffering injuries that would permanently hobble most of us in past centuries. The price is the suffering the therapists put us through. They are sadists of the most helpful kind.

    My advice is to follow the advice of your therapist and perform all exercises and treatments diligently. Tell them about all of your pains, but don't make excuses to stop the therapy. If something is too much, talk to the therapist. Treatments can be modified. Stopping treatment can be easy, but it hurts you in the long run.

    Make sure your physical therapist pays attention to you and doesn't just give you a list of exercises and leave you alone. If you are not happy with your therapist, seek out others. A good one can help tremendously.

    I have been through physical therapy for an ACL several times. I declined surgery in the 80's. If it happened now and I was younger, I would get the reconstruction surgery. The procedure is much better now.

    I have also been through physical therapy for my shoulder and back. A common theme has been working on motion and strength in affected areas. It takes time and effort,  but it is worth it, at least it was for me.

    The biggest obstacles are pain, fear, and complacency. Physical therapists can hep you get through this, but you have to do the work. I remember the first time I did a full circle on the bike pedal after my first ACL injury. I cried with pain and joy. Stick with your therapy and, hopefully, you will feel joy in your physical abilities too.

  •  Although is was my back that was the issue (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, Aunt Pat, CroneWit, worldlotus

    physical therapy where I walked in a pool until I got my strength up.

  •  You have to keep walking. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, Duckmg, Aunt Pat

    The goal is not to overdo it, but establish a daily habit, and keep it up, and not get into too big a hurry. But it should be a brisk, challenging walk.
    If you can't do this, you may need some surgery.
    In which case you will have to keep walking in order to rehab.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:06:34 PM PDT

  •  Your back may be easier to resolve than the knees (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, Aunt Pat, worldlotus

    A combination of physical therapy and cortisone can work wonders for both.

    You have my sympathies. I know what you're going through. I have collapsed discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1, a right ilium that keeps popping out of place, and two bad knees that will ultimately need replacing. The back can get so bad that the leg goes numb and the foot drops. It may be hard to believe but in my case I've found it easier to resolve the back issues than the knee problems, even though it might not seem logical.  I see a physical therapist off and on for a combination of massage, T.E.N.S., ultrasound, and directed exercise for my back. If the back pain is really severe I get a steroid injection directly into the disc. There is no physical therapy for my knees. They will both need to be replaced eventually, but until they are I get cortisone injections in them two or three times a year, which is the max my orthopedist will do them.

    In your case you may have misaligned you spine by favoring your knee. A combination of massage, exercise and manipulation might be the ticket for your back. Your orthopedist and physical therapist should be able to guide you. The knee sounds like a bigger issue. Has your ortho discussed knee surgery? I certainly empathize if he has and you've decided not to go that route yet. ACL surgery should not be undertaken lightly. Has he given you a steroid injection to take down the inflammation and provide pain relief while you rehab? They really work for me.

    Best of luck and good health to you.

  •  A bit of advice. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, worldlotus

    Study after study concerning healing shows a well motivated and informed patient is going to make the best recovery.

    Not to sound cynical but... 26 years ago, you started a long decline.
    Apathy... is your best known treatment thus far. Abandon that "cure".
    I don't know your age, but if you have 10 years or so left to go, get the knee(s) repaired.

    Set aside a time frame... 2-3 years to rehab yourself.
    Something called the internet exists.
    Use it... and learn all the stuff you can about your chronic issues.

    Get aggressive. This is your health. Nobody else cares... until you do first.

    But if you wait for someone to "tell you" and "fix you", it ain' gonna happen.

    Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:23:43 PM PDT

    •  Protherapy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat

      I had years of PT,massage therapy,acupuncture,brace for knee ligament,lower back pain,right thigh adhesions and severe tingling.5 months of protherapy and am just about cured,pain free and mobile,Check it out.Have referred several other friends with various ailments who also are amazed at their results.

      We could certainly slow down the aging process if it had to work its way through Congress. Will Rogers

      by zestyann on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:49:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Medical Opinion (8+ / 0-)

    Hi Steve,

    I am a physician. The main issue here is whether you are a candidate for surgery. There are a number of factors to consider including your age and weight, evidence of significant knee instability, imaging studies (XR, MRI, etc) and your response to conservative treatment.
    Suggest you get in to see an orthopedist in your area. If you live in a large city there is a good possibility that there are "knee specialists" in you vicinity.
    While ACL tears can be treated conservatively, if you have significant instability and are fairly young, you may be better off with surgical repair.
    I am enclosing a couple of nationally-recognized evidence-based guidelines for your edification:

    ODG Guidelines – ACL Repair
    While there are obvious benefits of using the cadaver ligament, like avoiding a second surgical site on the patient, a quicker return to work and less postoperative pain, for the young patient who is very active, it may not be the right choice. (Luber, 2008) In patients with ACL injury willing to moderate activity level to avoid reinjury, initial treatment without ACL reconstruction should be considered. All ACL-injured patients need to begin knee-specialized physical therapy early (within a week) after the ACL injury to learn more about the injury, to lower the activity level while performing neuromuscular training to restore the functional stability, and as far as possible avoid further giving-way or re-injuries in the same or the other knee, irrespectively if ACL is reconstructed or not. (Neuman, 2008) Patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries may not need surgery. At 2-5 years after injury, muscle strength and function were similar in patients treated with physical therapy and surgical reconstruction or physical therapy only. ACL injuries are associated with the development of osteoarthritis (OA) in the long term, and there is no evidence to suggest that reconstruction of the ACL prevents or reduces the rate of early-onset OA. On the contrary, the prevalence of OA may be even higher in patients with reconstructed ACL than in those with nonreconstructed ACL. (Ageberg, 2008) Immediate surgical reconstruction may not be needed for ACL tears, according to the results of an RCT in the New England Journal of Medicine. Some patients who are not elite athletes can function with an ACL-deficient knee, but it is difficult to predict which patients will have symptoms of instability that require surgery. (Frobell, 2010) Young athletes who need ACL reconstruction have better long-term outcomes with autologous grafts (self donor) versus allograft (cadaver). Patients who had ACL allograft reconstruction were almost seven times as likely to need a second surgery compared to autograft reconstruction. (Pallis, 2012)
    Age: Outcomes are worse in older patients (age beyond 50-60 years) but still may justify the procedure. ACL reconstruction can be successful in appropriately selected, motivated older patients with symptomatic knee instability who want to return to participating in highly demanding sport and recreational activities. (Legnani, 2011) Age alone should not exclude ACL-deficient patients from undergoing reconstructive surgery. (Gee, 2013) Patients aged 40 years and older with an ACL injury can have satisfactory outcomes after reconstruction. (Brown, 2013) Optimal surgical results can in fact be achieved even in older patients. (Desai, 2013)
    ODG Indications for Surgeryä -- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction:
    1. Conservative Care: (This step not required for acute injury with hemarthrosis.) Physical therapy. OR Brace. PLUS
    2. Subjective Clinical Findings: Pain alone is not an indication for surgery. Instability of the knee, described as "buckling or give way". OR Significant effusion at the time of injury. OR Description of injury indicates rotary twisting or hyperextension incident. PLUS
    3. Objective Clinical Findings (in order of preference): Positive Lachman's sign. OR Positive pivot shift. OR (optional) Positive KT 1000 (>3-5 mm = +1, >5-7 mm = + 2, >7 mm = +3). PLUS
    4. Imaging Clinical Findings: (Not required if acute effusion, hemarthrosis, and instability; or documented history of effusion, hemarthrosis, and instability.) Required for ACL disruption on: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). OR Arthroscopy OR Arthrogram.

    ACOEM Guidelines
    Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
    Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction generally is warranted only for patients
    who have significant symptoms of instability caused by ACL incompetence.
    Anterior cruciate ligament tears often are followed by an immediate
    effusion of the knee. A history of frequent giving-way episodes, or falls during
    activities that involve knee rotation, is consistent with the condition. A physical
    examination in an acute setting may be unrevealing because of the effusion
    and immobilization of the knee. In addition, the physical examination may
    reveal clear signs of instability as shown by positive Lachman, drawer, and
    pivot-shift tests. It is important to confirm the clinical findings with MRI
    evidence of a complete tear in the ligament. Especially in cases involving partial
    ACLtears, substantial improvement in symptoms may occur with rehabilitation
    alone. In complete tears, consideration should be given to the patient’s age,
    normal activity level, and the degree of knee instability caused by the tear.
    Surgical reconstruction of the ACL may provide substantial benefit to active
    patients, especially those under 50 years old. For the patient whose work or
    life does not require significant loading of the knee and other stressful conditions,
    ACL repair may not be necessary.
    Complications of wound infection and untoward anesthetic events are
    possible but rare. Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is noted in the
    literature to have various rates of failure, and it is appropriate to warn the
    patient of this possibility. After the procedure, the rehabilitation period involves
    six months of intense concentration and work by the patient; the patient’s
    willingness to undergo the rehabilitative process must be determined by the
    practitioner and may be discussed with the patient. Besides providing
    the patient with educational literature, the practitioner may want to have the
    patient meet with someone who is going through the rehabilitation process.
    Such a meeting might help the patient determine whether he or she will be
    able to follow through with the intense process. Older patients may be less
    motivated to go through rehabilitation, and the work environment can be
    examined before deciding upon the need for ACL repair.

    Hope this is of some help to you.

    E pluribus unum - Because, frankly, I don't Trust in God all that much

    by amadon on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:53:06 PM PDT

  •  for strength and extend range of motion (0+ / 0-)

    SCOTUS decision for McCutcheon v. FEC, 12-536 just made it easier to buy an election than vote in one. ~ Rev. Al Sharpton

    by anyname on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:04:06 PM PDT

    •  PS you might have (0+ / 0-)

      googled this info for yourself... easy research... you are lucky the DR stopped into advise but I wonder?

      SCOTUS decision for McCutcheon v. FEC, 12-536 just made it easier to buy an election than vote in one. ~ Rev. Al Sharpton

      by anyname on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 05:01:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lots of good advice above (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I partially tore a medial collateal ligament back in the '80s. Had lots of sports therapy on it, but I reinjured it several times and eventually had surgery. The surgery helped, but I kept on twisting what had become a "trick" knee. After-surgery treatment including trying to stretch, pump iron carefully and eventually give up twisting-motion contact and jumping sports in favor of biking, walking and swimming.

    Wearing a soft or metal-backed brace, using ice, using a TENS unit and other tricks all helped. However, despite care and exercise the knee just slowly got worse, eventually becoming arthritic. And then so did my other knee, where I had cracked cartilage. Most of this was wear and tear from twisting-motion sports and bad luck injuries. But also a function of having somewhat pro-nated feet and with naturally bowed legs from birth.

    Finally, two years ago, my cartilage was basically all gone and I was dealing with recurring daily pain. The doc tried the newer gel shots and cortisone to no avail and then recommended total double knee replacement. I'm doing great now. Especially since the ortho man not only replaced my natural joints, but also straightened out my legs, so I'm a wee bit taller and straighter standing, too. Which in turn helped my back, as well.

    Not everyone with soft-tissue damage needs a new knee joint, partial or full but if your cartilage is failing, it's worth looking into. I was on my feet a day after surgery, off crutches in several weeks. Spent one week in the hospital, several weeks in every other day physical therapy and then exercises at home and my athletic club: After about a year I was doing okay, and after two I was going great.  I go up and down stairs better now than in the 1990s. Knees not perfect, mind you, but I don't have that searing arthritic pain that made me sit on my ass too often.

    •  P.S. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, worldlotus

      I came home after my '80s surgery to reattach the torn ligament, getting out of the cast after six weeks (yes, a cast; now they'd just wrap it for a few weeks. They used to be ultraconservative about that sort of thing, which turns out to be counterproductive, as your muscles and ligaments shorten and weaken when confined too long).

      Anyway, I had a lot of pain for weeks afterward, even with meds. I live in Milwaukee along Lake Michigan, which (until global warming) remains cool year-round. So before or after work in the warmer months I'd go down to the shore and jog up to my hips in 60-70 degree lake water. You could do this in a pool, too. The water supports your weight so there's not so much strain on the repaired yet sore and stiff leg. And the coolness takes away pain and swelling. Plus the sandy bottom strengthened my ankles. Highly recommended.

  •  Dang! All these comments have convinced me I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, worldlotus

    need to take evasive action.  I hike almost every day over some relatively rough terrain, and I've been having back trouble that causes enough pain in the hip area that every step is painful.  So far I haven't had any knee issues.  I'm treating the back with steroid injections and PT, which are helping tremendously, but at age 67, I can see I don't want to go through what you folks have with your knees.  

    Any advice on which knee supports are best for prophylactic purposes would be appreciated.  

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:50:08 PM PDT

    •  Depends on what is causing the back pain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Could be any of the following:

      Weak core muscles in the abdominal area

      Pulled ligaments in the back itself

      Slipped disc

      Emotional stress can contribute to lower back pain

      Problems with your feet and arch support

      pinched nerves.

      find out what is causing the pain, because that affects how well any technique for pain management or rehabilitation will work.

      I have back pain, and hiking and walking help me attenuate it, because I have done things to my back between the military, babies, and just being me.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 04:38:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The best knee supports are the quadriceps muscles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I had knee surgery in 1966 - the cartilage on the outside of my knee was totally removed. Before I could get off crutches, I had to lift 20 lbs suspended from my ankle 20 times with my leg straight (all at once - not over several weeks). One orthopedist I saw later who treated basketball players at a major university said he made them get up to 75 lbs. The quads help hold the joint together and also absorb shock.

      After that, I'd work on the muscles that are involved in abduction and adduction (moving the leg sideways, to the outside or inside) as those, like the sartorious, go across the knee joint and attach to the tibia. They help with lateral stability.

      Building your glutes also helps absorb shock.

      If you're becoming arthritic, then walking and range of motion exercises are beneficial too. I found that walking with a backpack, even nearly empty, helped a lot with my arthritis - I'd been doing the same walk without for over a year, but the pack seemed to help. Might be a change in distribution of weight, or just some increased load to build more muscle.

      I have an old-fashioned steel shoe that straps on that you can run a bar through and attach regular weights to. There are machines to do this now, or rubber bands for abduction/adduction.

      Also (and you might have this checked out), your hip pain may be from your knee and not your back. There's something called "illiotibial (IT) band syndrome". The IT band is a long tendon that attaches to a muscle in your hip and runs down the outside of your thigh, over the knee joint and attaches to the tibia. If it's "tight" or if you spend a lot of time on uneven ground, it can get inflamed - it rubs against one of the knobs on your femur (thigh bone). The pain is sometimes in the hip/butt rather than the knee. Runners are prone to it, too. The treatment is either stretches, or using a foam roller to effectively do deep massage and stretching. There's a lot online about it, and tons of stuff on knee exercises.

      No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by badger on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 09:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Castor oil and a heating pad will help with the (0+ / 0-)

    pain in the legs.

    Exercising using leg curls--no weight, just repetition helped me. But It took time. Also the injury was fresh (not 26 yrs old) so you might want to run that by a PT.

    As you get strong enough, if you feel comfortable and have the balance, roller skating or blading is a good way to strengthen your legs around the knees and ankles and in the bottom of the feet. It will also help some with core muscles because you have to keep your balance.

    Acupuncture would also be something to try, as drug free pain management.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 04:34:34 AM PDT

  •  Back pain and ACL (0+ / 0-)

    I suffered from lower back pain for several years until I started practicing Tae Kwon Do.  All the leg kicks really tighten up the lower abdominal muscles and don't stress your knees.  I tore my ACL 20 years ago and had it reconstructed and one of the best strengthening exercises was to lean your back against a door or wall and do knee bends on one or both knees while sliding your back up and down against the door or wall.  This prevents straining your back while rehabbing your leg strength.

    Get busy living or get busy dying

    by Kaiser Soeze on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:24:57 AM PDT

  •  We Have A Warming Pool & I Walk It 20 Minutes/Day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have osteoporosis.  The water is gentle & a wonderful
    weight bearing exercise.  Back & forth, back & forth I go.

    I can see the difference in my strength & abdominal muscles.  It helps you lose the gut while providing a
    great way to tone up overall.  12 times the resistance
    when you exercise in water, as well.  

  •  two torn acls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My experience was way different than described above though, I had minimal medical intervention and yet made a full recovery .  The first was just the ACL, the second time was the ACL and the meniscus.  Both times the doctors advised against surgery because my tears were slight and the improvement would be minimal.  I did stretching, walking, pt for a couple of months.  It took a long time to heal and even after a year's time it continued to gradually improve and my ability to handle hills did slowly.  The second time was  6 years ago and now at the age of 63 I can get down on the floor, get up again fairly easily and can do anything that I want to.  My advice is get a couple of opinions before any kind of surgery and to remember that your body has a great capacity to heal itself if you let it.

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 12:42:56 PM PDT

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