Cardio and Chondromalacia Patellae?

Discussion in 'Fitness, Health & Nutrition' started by Have Questions, May 5, 2011.

  1. I've tried to start this thread half a dozen times, but I can't seem to find the short and sweet version that still fully explains the situation, so fuck it, I'm just going to assume that all of you hard-core fitness buffs already know what I'm talking about...

    Other than biking (hate it!) and swimming (no pool) do any of you have any ideas how I can create some sort of cardio work out that will not aggravate my condition? My physical therapist has even ruled out my beloved yoga! Oh, the humanity! :(

    I've followed many informative threads here and I have a lot of respect for you guys. I would be most grateful for your expert opinions!

  2. eliptical?
  3. Thanks, I thought so too. I was disappointed when I only lasted about 15 minutes before the pain kicked in.
    I'm starting to think surgery is in my future. Oh well, maybe now's a good time to fast?
  4. i have no idea what Chondromalacia Patellae is and im sure not many people here know either

    i think a lil explanation of your condition would be very beneficial

    help us help you lol
  5. #5 Have Questions, May 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2011
    Lol, sorry...

    Chondromalacia Patellae is when the cartilage underneath the kneecap starts to fray and deteriorate. It's caused by the friction of the kneecap against the knee joint.

    The knee joint runs up and down the leg like railroad tracks. The kneecap is supposed to sit inside the knee joint and glide up and down within the track when the leg is bent and straightened. My 'track" is too narrow, so the kneecap rests on top of it, instead of inside of it. Every time I bend my knee the kneecap is pushed off to the lateral side of my leg, which causes the cartilage underneath it to rub against the bone of my knee joint.

    After many years of overuse and abuse I can't really work them to any great extant without pain. I'm just looking for ways to keep my stamina up and my weight down without doing further damage. The physical therapist really wants to me to do a lot of pilates, which is fine for strengthening my muscles, but I don't even break a sweat or maybe I've just had bad instructors. :confused_2:
  6. jump rope? doesnt involve much knee bending

    is surgery an option? or will it heal on its own maybe?

    rock climbing?
  7. No jumping or any high-impact. I've been specifically forbidden to do any type of squat or lunge, so I don't think rock climbing would be a good idea. I'm too much of a baby to even try that anyway. I rappelled once and I was stoned out of my mind, never did that again. It's not going to heal on its own. I really don't want surgery (did i mention i'm a big baby?), but I'm getting an MRI next week, so I'll find out soon enough if it is required. In the meantime my ass isn't getting any smaller.
  8. I've had several knee surgeries, for this and other knee problems. The most important thing is to keep your quads strong. If you don't, your knee will give and then you run the risk of tearing ligaments and tendons.

    I had my MPFL replaced in February on my left knee, which has little cartilage left, so cardio is challenging. I do a lot of low-impact strength training and weights. I walk A LOT, probably 2 hours a day. I also dance, which might not be appealing to some, but it really does work to get your heart rate up. A little bouncing around won't kill you, it's things like slamming impacts and deep bends while bearing weight that will cause you pain. Pilates is wonderful and you can break a sweat if you push yourself. It's really easy on the knees too.
  9. Thanks! I'm glad to hear you can still dance. I hope I can get to that point again soon. If he told me to quit yoga I can't imagine what he would say about dancing... Right now I can walk for about an hour before it starts to bother me. I'll stick with the pilates, I just need to find a really great class.

    I did have an idea last night: Rowing! I don't know about the machines, though--- if they involve any lower body action---I need to go check it out.
  10. Great news! MRI showed only inflammation, no tears. :D

    So it's back to physical therapy for now...
  11. walking, one of the easiest cardio routines around. I'm not talking a little walk around the block or anything, push yourself and increase distance, speed, the pace of your steps. You can walk relatively fast without bending your knees too much, it's more when you start jogging/running that alot of knee movement comes into play

  12. Rowing does unfortunately use a lot of knee bend if you do it properly. You might be able to isolate the upper body movement though. Consult with your therapist. Frankly I'm surprised that you're not allowed to do yoga... building core stability and quad/hammy strength is supposed to be part of the rehab for chondromalacia, no?

    I do have another idea though. You can try doing circuits and/or intervals of various exercises. Crossfit has a lot of things you could try if you just take out any exercises involving knee bend. For example, you could do the Angie workout without squats:
    5 pushups
    5 pullups
    5 situps
    repeat for 10 sets for time.

    I can probably come up with a decent circuit for you if you want... I just need your pushup, pullup, and situp maxes, as well as your max plank time. Feel free to provide bench press or rowing maxes as well if you do those exercises.
  13. #13 Have Questions, May 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2011
    Thanks so much! That's so sweet of you!!

    Pull up um, 1 or 2? I haven't done a pull up since my teens...definitely something to build up to, but I don't want to look masculine.
    Push up 10-12 per set, but I can do 15 if I'm forced to.
    Sit up About 20, if you mean full sit ups, but about 50 if you mean crunches or some variation thereof.
    Plank forearm 30 sec, hands 1 min, alternating hand/forearm 1-2 min.

    I could probably do the Angie work out you describe, except for the pull ups. Pull ups sound really difficult---I'd probably have to lower the reps for that.

    Thanks for the advice about rowing. I'll skip that. And in regards to yoga, I don't know why he's so against it. I sort of have the feeling he's just anti-yoga. I still do a little on my own, but I can see his point of view about classes. I can't dictate the routine to the yogi and I won't benefit as much as I should (and will disrupt class) if I omit the poses that put a lot of stress on my knees. Example: pigeon and chair. Those are really bad for me and my knees could potentially lock up (pigeon) or give out (warrior, chair). It's a fine balance between building up my leg muscles and not stressing the joint. Hoping physical therapy works and I can go back to it eventually.

    Thanks again, I really do appreciate it!

  14. Oh, and thanks for the reply! Yes, I walk a lot. It's great, just looking to switch things up a bit.
  15. I had similar (but undiagnosed) knee issues before that resulted in over a year of pain and several wasted doctor visits ("just take some medicine and stop doing anything that bothers it" etc.). I did exercises to work on the tracking of the patella like you mentioned and felt a lot of improvement and my knees don't hurt anymore unless the muscles around them get really tight and then stretching alleviates it. However, I found a lot of squatting with proper form and especially unilateral exercises, like bulgarian split squats, to really help along with stretching on the hamstrings and muscles around the hips. Foam rolling these areas is also a fantastic aid.

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