When I have knee pain, does it mean I need a knee replacement?
I developed right knee pain about 2 months ago. I didn’t fall or traumatize the knee. How did this happen? From what my physical therapist tells me, I have been using my hamstring too much for strength and stability in the right leg; not using the right gluteus maximus enough. It has become short and tight as well as my iliotibial band. My lower leg muscles have become tight as well, making full bend of the knee, especially in kneeling and squatting.
It is surprising to me how much less I want to use the knee due to pain. If I try to fully squat, or get up and down from the floor, my knee hurts, so I tend to avoid it. Being a physical therapist, I know the importance of staying active so I have been making sure I fully bend my knee, even if it hurts, but with no weight on the leg (laying down or sitting with my leg out straight). I have also been working on hamstring stretches, iliotibial band stretches, and strengthening the vastus medialus portion of my quadriceps, which has become weak. My calf muscles are also tight, so I have been stretching those, both the upper calf muscle (gastrocnemius) and the lower calf muscle (soleus). My front shin muscles are tender and tight and part of my treatment has been myofascial release from the physical therapist.
X-rays were completely negative for knee arthritis, and I am so excited! The last thing I want is a new knee as the rehabilitation process for that is very very painful!
I am about 50% better; I’ll let you know how this goes in the future