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Irritation, knee pain on doing squats, simple deep knee bends. Cause and remedy?

Hi. I m a 48-year old male and in pretty good shape. I bike and go to the gym regularly, and I weigh about 188. I used to lift heavy in my twenties, but those days are long past. I joined the gym again recently after years off and wanted to get in better shape. Recently I ve tried to do squats and leg presses in the gym, but my knees, particularly my right one, start giving me trouble. The irritation/pain is around the front of my knees - around my kneecap area - no one spot I can put my finger on, it seems. After realizing that I couldn t do any decent amount of weight, I tried to do some simple deep knee bends - no weight at all - and my right knee still complained. I rested my knees until they seemed back to normal, then I tred to do something super-light and they acted up again. It s like my knees are telling me if you dare go any heavier, I ll really make trouble for you, so I m afraid to go further and really produce an injury instead of just a warning. I know the difference between muscle pain and joint pain, and this is definitely not muscle pain. It s centered in the front area of the knee, under and around my kneecap area - sometimes on the inside, sometimes underneath, etc. I thought about doing some quarter-squats with, say, just the bar on my back, or quarter-presses in the leg press, but when I did that a few days ago, I woke up the next day with my knees hurting (on a scale of 1 to 10, it was about a 2 with 10 being the worst). Strangely enough, when my knees aren t bothering me, I can slowly work my way up in weight with the leg extension machine, and my knees seem to tolerate that well enough (though I haven t had a chance to go heavy in them yet). I m so aggravated that I can t seem to exercise my legs at all, and even the light rehab exercises I try to do set me back. I sure hope you have something useful to suggest. Thanks.
Asked On : Sun, 23 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  77
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM. By the detailed description given by you, i am of the opinion that you have anterior knee pain and the possible reason could be patello femoral arthritis. This means that the articular surface (joint side surface) of the patella (knee cap bone) is worn out and this worn out surface when gets rubbed against the femur (the thigh bone) as in knee bending produces excruciating pain. I suggest you the following guidelines -
* avoid squatting and sitting cross legged
* regular quadriceps strengthening exercises
* Glucosamine sulphate 1500mg daily supplementation for atleast 8 weeks
* analgesic & antiinflammatory medications as and when needed.
Hope you will get better soon. Have a great day
Answered: Wed, 19 Jun 2013
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