Knee issues

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
User avatar
Posts: 1025
Joined: 8/1/2007
14ers:summits42 winter10 
13ers:summits153 winter25 
Trip Reports (51)

Re: Knee issues

Post by Jay521 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:04 am

Subject: Knee issues
kaiman wrote:My dad (aged 77) has had meniscus issues in one of his knees on and off for the last 10 years, probably caused by the 25 years he spent ski patrolling and skiing bumps at Vail. He has also been an avid mountain biker for the last 15 years and unlike everyone else in his peer group is the only one who has not had surgery on his knees.

Your Dad has just become my hero...
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down
User avatar
Posts: 1367
Joined: 5/4/2006
14ers: List not added
Trip Reports (10)

Re: Knee issues

Post by kaiman » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:42 am

Jay521 wrote:Your Dad has just become my hero...
Haha, thanks Jay! He's my hero too. :)
"I want to keep the mountains clean of racism, religion and politics. In the mountains this should play no role."

- Joe Stettner

"I haven't climbed Everest, skied to the poles, or sailed single-handed around the world. The goals I set out to accomplish aren't easily measured or quantified by world records or "firsts." The reasons I climb, and the climbs I do, are about more than distance or altitude, they are about breaking barriers within myself."

- Andy Kirkpatrick
Posts: 3
Joined: 8/2/2016

Re: Knee issues

Post by kjbrum73 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:55 am

TravelingMatt wrote:squat/deadlift
squat and deadlift solves most of life's problems
Posts: 3
Joined: 8/2/2016

Re: Knee issues

Post by kjbrum73 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:11 am

I almost lost a leg due to a bone tumor 4 years ago. I had a full knee and femur replacement and lost the inside portion of my right quad, i also have no ligaments in my knee. All the squat variations have help me strengthen what quad i have left and the tendons. Compression sleeves hold all my stuff together and help with pain. Trekking poles are a must for me while descending.
User avatar
Posts: 64
Joined: 12/10/2018
14ers: List not added

Re: Knee issues

Post by Plugugly » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:05 am

I have torn menisci (?) in both legs, and I do pretty much everything suggested here (bike, deadlifts, squats, IT band release, etc). but I save my knees on downhills by walking backwards on some of the smooth sections. If someone isn't used to this, it is obviously a balance danger but I haven't fallen and it feels SO GOOD after trudging down forward for a bit.
Rudy can't fail.
Posts: 3231
Joined: 6/17/2009
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Knee issues

Post by peter303 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:12 am

Knee problems may also be a side symptom of other orthopedic problems. Arch supports helped my knees at one time.
What really affected my were hip problems. When I got those under control, the knee issues almost completely vanished.
Posts: 87
Joined: 8/5/2009
14ers:summits58 winter7 

Re: Knee issues

Post by gzrrnnr » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:26 am

After running, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, and biking for 60+ years, my inside meniscus were tattered from my being a bit bowlegged. The first treatment for the knee pain was using tape to pull the patella toward the outside of the knee to get it back in the groove - that worked for three or four years to let me keep trail running. Finally though, the pain from the beat up meniscus curtailed the running. Fortunately I have an orthopedist who is also a runner, and we started gel injections to add cushion to the meniscus. The injections are not steroids or painkillers, and allow me to hike the hills, scramble, and bike without pain. Backpacking is out because the extra weight might damage the knees. I get injections every six months and they allow me to keep my beat up 74 year old knees moving. The gel is covered by Medicare, and from my experience, highly recommended as a possible alternative to knee replacement or surgery. We gotta stay on the trails as long as we can!
User avatar
Posts: 2573
Joined: 12/6/2007
Trip Reports (69)

Re: Knee issues

Post by nyker » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:07 pm

amydg33 wrote:
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:09 am
I used to run quite frequently but stopped a little over five years ago due to some lower back issues that I have. I have had IT Band problems but that is not what this is; it is pain above the knee. I am pretty sure it is due to muscle weakness but I might go to a physical therapist to be sure. Thanks!
It could be many things as mentioned above.

If this has been really lingering for a while, see a good Doctor. Also, not that MRIs are always accurate but they might reveal something macro that is an obvious problem, so if possible (in COVID times) I'd try and get one and speak to a good athletic minded Doctor about the results. I say if possible since around here there is a 3 month wait for a Dr appointment...

Sounds like it could be some form of quadriceps tendonitis/tendinopathy above the knee which is often a result of repetitive stress / inflammation or quick increase of training load (training for a marathon, etc.), but I am a non-Physician speculating here so consider that with my free internet diagnosis :-" .

Generally good strength and balanced strength in both your quadriceps group of muscles and hamstrings is important for preventing injuries in general. Myofascial work/ rolling is very good post runs or longer workouts, stretching, especially calves and hamstrings is important. Ice should be a companion post workouts.

You could have some vertebral misalignment, which could cause various compensation injuries including knee issues, a chiropractor might help there. One other item worth exploring is whether you overpronate too much but that would usually manifest in front of your knee with patellofemoral pain.
The lower back issues you have also might be related to footwear/alignment issues or subluxation causing compensatory adjustments in other vertebrae - worth seeing a good chiropractor for that too.

Good luck!
User avatar
Posts: 244
Joined: 5/29/2006
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Knee issues

Post by turbocat » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:59 pm

Get diagnosed by an MD, preferably an orthopedic professional. X-ray, then depending on what that shows MRI for everything else.

Depending on those results, PT is going to be part of the solution. As someone else stated, self diagnosing is dangerous. Get a good PT and follow their instructions...for, like...forever...even after things get good...if they do.

I thought I had a torn meniscus a few years back. Went through this process and had stage 4 osteoarthritis (total bone on cartilage). Need a knee replacement on my right knee for sure, but still a bit too young for my insurer.

What works for me, because it is mostly about pain management these days. I'm no MD but have had chronic knee pain my whole adult life from ultrarunning and other sports.
1. As someone said, diet. DASH diet known to reduce body inflamation.
2. +1 on trekking poles...ALWAYS. Good workout for the upper body too, if you use them correctly.
3. Ice and heat. Hydration. Stretching.
4. CBD! I take a reputable CBD extract and have seen decent results. Started at 25mg capsule per day. Transitioned to 50mg per day this year. The creams are expensive...but magical. I would recommend those too. Massage in small amounts.
5. Stay active! Do what you can to keep moving. I just spent last week in Tucson and did Ventana Canyon and 7 Falls. Was a bit sore, but for me the activity keeps the muscles loose, which eases the bone on bone rubbing.
6. Yoga. Got in 183 days last year. Flexibility in the ad and ab ductors is critical as others mentioned. Also helps with overall breathing, balance and mental game.
7. Focused PT recommended by a professional...forever. After initial assessment and instructions by MD/PT, this can be self executed, daily.
8. Cycling. Road and gravel for me. Lots more bikepacking.

Hope this helps
Less cowbell...more CAIRN!
User avatar
Posts: 61
Joined: 8/8/2011
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Knee issues

Post by johnt » Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:19 pm

Timely thread. I have an orthopedic appointment tomorrow. Low grade knee discomfort with a stab of pain occasionally, downhills mostly. Did PT in September and it helped, and do the stretches and exercises, but it isn’t gone. I’m hopeful I’ll get some answers.
User avatar
Posts: 140
Joined: 5/14/2012
14ers: List not added

Re: Knee issues

Post by snowypeaks » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:23 pm

After 50 years of wear and tear, a bilateral TKR was the only choice. A total game changer... rehab was tough but back to hiking and skiing without pain is transformational. Nothing less than a second life!
Post Reply