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No insurance and minor knee problem

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I'm fairly certain I have a case of patellar tendonitis. Came from a life of intense distance running, tennis, and a few minor incidents that probably caused some minor injury to my patellar tendon.

Anyway, I'm mid-30s, thin, good shape overall. I think I can heal this thing with conservative treatment, but since I don't have insurance, I can't afford to go to a Physical Therapist. I currently do a fair amount of yoga.

Wondering if anyone knows/has gone through therapy to rehab a torn or injured patellar tendon, and if so, if they could recommend

(a) some exercises, perhaps with rubber bands, to strengthen/heal my tendon
(b) a decent knee brace to wear while walking.

The second thing on the list I'd like because living in NYC, I'm always going up and down stairs and just walking, and I'm just getting this chronic, low-grade pain in my knee. I don't have the option or luxury of just 'laying' off it. But maybe there's some bit of support I can get, to offset the worst of the pressure to it.

post #2 of 13
I've dislocated both knees and hyperextended one; never torn or had surgery though. I use these for squatting: I did a combined 10 months of PT for both legs over various times and nothing improved my functional strength or stability more than squatting (or doing lunges). Leg extensions were worthless. Start light, start squatting.
post #3 of 13
Get some good shoes and get on hyaluronic acid, it helped my knees big time.
post #4 of 13
There's not much a doctor can do beyond surgery (which is not always the right answer). Be sure you're taking an antiinflamatory (ibuprofen) every day, probably 3-4 pills a day. I'm sure you can find plenty of info on physical therapy for the knee online (or in a book).
post #5 of 13
You should probably get insurance. If you don't have much money, get a high deductible catastrophe type plan. Won't help you with your knees but what if something happens. I'm paying $60/month so I'll be paying out of pocket a lot but if I break my head I'm not financially crippled for the rest of my life.
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by greg_atlanta View Post
Be sure you're taking an antiinflamatory (ibuprofen) every day, probably 3-4 pills a day.

Wow Greg - that can't be good for the stomach.
post #7 of 13
I'm no doctor, but I did have a ski accident last winter where I injured the cartilage behind my patella as well as the ligaments.

I had a few months of physical therapy, and I did tons of squats. One that helped was standing with the injured leg on a short stool, the other hanging in the air, and bending your knee until the other foot almost touches the ground. Do this very slowly.

Also, my physical therapist insisted I put my knee on ice for several 10 minute intervals throughout the day, especially after doing the squats. This was to reduce irritation to the tendons and prevent tendonitis.

This may or may not be right for you, but it worked for me. My knee was swollen to more than twice its normal size, and after about 3 months I was doing great. I still get the occasional dull pain, but it's minor.

Take care.
post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by quevola View Post
Wow Greg - that can't be good for the stomach.

Not if you take it with food. A doctor would probably prescribe 800 mg pills of ibuprofen twice a day, so 3-4 pills of 200 mg OTC ibuprofen is nothing.

I agree on the ice thing too, esp after walking a lot.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just read through these responses, thanks for the info. I got health insurance, so will look into PT. Squats, I'll see, but right now, I have no weights nor gym membership. Looking into getting some dumbbells, but that won't help with squats.

I spoke with my MD friend (not orthopedist) who told me a tendon can heal, but not fully. I've also managed to get the pain to disappear--unfortunately through avoiding all my normal activities (tennis, biking, running)--so I guess I'll just keep figuring out to baby her. I don't want surgery, but I want function.

Thanks again, guys.
post #10 of 13
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post #12 of 13
A lot of people in your situation would do plyometrics. You should work on focusing on core plyometrics and working outward from there.

The Breg Fusion brace is being sold very cheaply right now (about 100$) as it was recently introduced and the seller wants it out there. It has a very low profile ergo many athletes use it.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks again. This all helps. I'm looking into the brace, and looking to get some dumbbells. Anyone suggest a good brand of dumbbell that doesn't run into the 300-dollar range?
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