Clicky knee cap--looking for similar experiences.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Skoorb, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    I've been highly active for some time now and seen a couple of sports docs, plus had an xray and an MRI, but nobody can really tell me what's causing my knee pain. I have what is typically runner's knee (brought on most by running, hence the registration here; I'm really hoping to get into cycling hard this year after some successful tris in 2006 and forgetting running for good), but even with substantial rest the symptoms are still there (typical symptoms).

    However, what is worrisome about the ability of my knee to ever get better is that upon its extension (including while doing no-stress revolutions on my trainer) my knee cap ever so slightly crunches into place. This crunching has no pain, but tightness and ultimately pain does seem to come on with activity, which I am starting to think is inevitable with this knee cap gliding problem. In fact, if I'm totally loose at the leg and massage the knee cap left and right I can feel it thunk into place, too.

    The first sports doc said it's no problem (it is, because it does cause me pains and tightness) and the last one basically shrugged and said maybe I did permanent damage at some point in the past. He was fairly unhelpful.

    The knee does click (only at the knee cap) of course and other than an aysmptomatic (confirmed by docs) tear in my medial meniscus (MRI said that), my scans came back clean. Is it possible this clicking/thunking is rough cartilage or just synovial fluid issues (I've not run in 5 months or done much with the knee in 5 months and it does get better but is still a bit symptomatic and the clicking hasn't gone away a tiny bit, I think).

    Anyway, I've been trying to solve this problem for a year and a half and since the doctors can't help me and do not feel arthroscopy would be useful at this point (no rush to get cut anyway), I have to try and solve it/diagnose it myself. Thanks for any input!
     
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  2. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    I've had exactly the same condition for about 20 years. It never hurts, but makes a crunchy, clicky noise when any weight is borne by the leg. I've never mentioned it to any doctor because I know what they would say.
    Maybe acupuncture would help? It may take time for it to recover from all that running.
     
  3. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    Does it cause you any problems and do you cycle a lot? Both of my knees are scrunchy like rice crispies when I stand from a low-down squat, but my good knee is 100% painless and no physician can possibly do anything to stop the crunching and I know many, many people do have scrunching (rice crispies), so that's not a concern of mine.

    If you're sitting in a chair and have no wait on your lower leg but do un-weighted leg extensions with your finger over the kneecap/patella tendon area, can you feel it click into place each time you do that? That's really the thing I'm trying to find--somebody who can feel their knee cap go into place literally every single time the knee is extended and yet they've been able to do a lot of painless cycling, because that's my hope at this time, that there is some light at the end of the tunnel for this darn knee :)
     
  4. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    It never hurts at all. I cycle about 100 miles a week.


    What about glucosamine? A lot of people use it, and there's always turmeric capsules. It's a natural anti-inflammatory. Does it work on joints? Well, if I take it, I can't crack my nuckles at all, and normally I can, so there is definitelly something going on......
     
  5. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    Great to hear you're painfree. I've not heard of tumeric capsules actually. I've been on gluco/chondroitin for a year and a half and last month thew MSM in for good measure.

    So you can feel the mild clicky every time the knee cap moves against the rest of the joint? :)
     
  6. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    I can't feel it, but I sure can hear it! It's crunchy, clicky....... it has it all.:D
     
  7. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    Yeah, I got something like that too. I have fairly bad chondromalacia patella in both knees (caused by years of working as an audio technician, crawling around under stages on my hands & knees) and cycling is practically the only sport I *can* do. On really quiet rides I can hear a little "click" or "pop" every time my knee gets to the top of the pedal rotation. Doesn't hurt any more than normal activity (walking. climbing stairs, etc.) Since the physical therapy, electromuscle stimulation, and other medical [sic] remedies I tried years ago never made a dramatic improvement, I haven't pursued a solution recently...especially since, as I said, cycling is the only thing I can do!
     
  8. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    Cool--or, not cool, but cool you can cycle. Do you do a lot of miles?

    There are a lot of new treatments emerging, some of which are kind of weird alternative treatments such as injecting fluids into the knee and what not, but some people are getting good benefits from them. Microfracture is another one that some people have benefitted from. Honestly, though, I'd say that if you can carry on your general life and cycle with only minor discomfort, it's a waste of time to think about surgical procedures and simply live with it until it gets bad.

    I see that newer materials now are making their way into knee joint replacements, too, so when we eventually need to get our knees replaced, if we can hold out long enough the replacements will be far better than what they have these days, either bio replacements to really heal up what we have, or mechanical ones that are highly resistant.
     
  9. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    I seem to average 100 miles a week throughout the year.

    Yeah, I can't wait to go into the Artificial Knee forums and argue about "Which Is Better, Titanium or Carbon Fiber?"
     
  10. The Double Zero

    The Double Zero New Member

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    I have a similar problem mine occured after an accident at work where my knee was crushed under a 2 ton bag, but as a result I had to go through a lot of rehabilitation and so forth, however I have loose cartlidge and a clicker of a knee. My physiotherapist has helped mine by getting my quadriceps as strong as possible which in turn guide the kneecap properly over the knee. So the key is strong quads, and there is no other sport for strengthening your quads better than cycling.
     
  11. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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  12. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    So you've strengthened your quads with cycling primarily or only? I know that single leg squats are probably the best way to do them, but that exercise is really stressful on a non-perfect joint, so I do avoid them. I'm hoping that if I can stick with cycling for some months, the knee will continue to heal up and my legs will get stronger.

    I know that in my case the knee cap may be somewhat misaligned, but there is definitely some roughage or SOMETHING going on underneath, which is why I can massage my knee cap (while muscles are totally loose) and still get it a bit clunky, so whether that's cartilage that is hurt (and hopefully could heal) or fluid issues, I don't know...

    I've cut out all knee activity, though, besides cycling and whatever mild work it gets from flutter kicking while swimming.
     
  13. OoAmericanGirl

    OoAmericanGirl New Member

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    My knees hurt alot, I always ice after every ride or any time on my trainer. The doctor told me that I had scar tissue built up under my petella that moves around. I forget what he called it, but the patella dosen't stay in it's natural groove and gets "off track". When I have pain (aside from after rides and runs) I wear the brace and it keeps my patella in place and the pain goes away and I take it off. It's very common for atletic people to have scar tissue under their knees, it's from small injuries that build up over time. I'm not sure what can be done about it.
     
  14. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    That's quite possibly what I have, but the only tissue contacting between the patella and the tibia/femur would be cartilage, right? So by scar tissue does he mean a malformed growth of cartilage?

    If you can feel a distinct shift or click with extension of the knee, were you ever told a surgical treatment could aid in this problem or that it might go away with enough repetitions of a "safe" movement?
     
  15. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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  16. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    They're cheap, so trying one can't necessarily hurt. I have worn one a bit walking around but I've not tried cycling with one. I really don't think for me it would help at all because I feel strongly that my problem is related to some roughage within the joint, so even compressing the patella tendon with a cho-pat isn't going to make up for that. I may try it during a ride sometime, though, and see how it is.
     
  17. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    I used to have a clicking noise in my right knee that I attribute to squatting...
    I started yoga with some glucosamine and believe it or not, the clicking went away... oh, I had the clicking for about 20 years...
     
  18. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    I do believe it, but that is awesome. How long did it take the click to go away? I stopped squatting a year ago after doing it for about 10+ years. I think that going to parallel with questionable knees is just a terrifically great way to hurt them, but hey I did it for a long time anyway. Do you think the yoga strengthened you or just increased flexibility or both?

    That is great, though, gj :)
     
  19. OoAmericanGirl

    OoAmericanGirl New Member

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    Some times I can feel a click when I excend my knee, but not always. The way he explained it was that it was from several small injuries like bumps, stepping wrong, or anything that hurt but wasn't serious and didn't last. He told me that it didn't require surgery, but I'm sure that if it was bad enough there could be some type of autorscopy to remove the tissue. I think there is only articular cartilage between the patella on the tib/fib. I really don't know much about it but I can feel the crunching when I move my patella from side to side with my hand. What ever it is good luck finding a cure that dosen't involve surgery
     
  20. The Double Zero

    The Double Zero New Member

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    I have had to do anything and everything to strengthen my quads, I was immobilised for 4 months and lost 6cm ( 2 1/2 inches) around my thigh during this time. it looked quite funny, one leg strong the other a toothpick. I had to start off with hydotherapy and walking with crutches, I then had to get into the gym using only a couple of pounds resistance and slowly build up from there. Squats were banned for me, under no circustaces was I allowed to do them for about a year, this was due to my particular condition though, as I had some bone damage where I needed to take care of the soft new bone repair. Cycling did not come into the picture until after about 4-5 months of rehabilitaion first. The best gym exercise for tracking alignment is not squats, but quad extensions.
     
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