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2008-01-10 12:32 PM

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Lethbridge, Alberta
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Subject: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
How are "loose" knees usually treated?

My left knee has a history of abuse that includes a serious car accident over 25 years ago and a skiing injury several years after that. I suspect that both the ACL and the PCL, at least, have been stretched along with some muscle damage and scaring from some fractures above the knee. There are also more recent incidents caused in part I'm sure by weakness, and instability from before. Also, from few years ago, a small meniscus tear now causes the knee to catch or partially lock but only when fully flexed and carrying weight so it frees up if I just unweight it.

I did talk to a doctor about this last summer, when considering an IM. On checking, he noted that both my knees were "loose" (the right knee has some history too but it's been OK). Since I seemed to be running all right, not in pain, and normal movement was not restricted, he didn't think I should worry about it. However, in the last few months, I've noticed that harder running workouts can leave the left knee feeling looser for a week or so. At first it was causing pain, in part behind my kneecap, until I noticed how much my lower leg would shift at the knee. It's not a problem now if I'm careful about maintaining muscle support but sometimes, like when moving while laying in bed or while swimming and kicking, the knee feels like it slips in and out of alignment. That occasionally causes a bit of discomfort and/or clicking.

If I'm more careful about not over straining the knee, should I be able to fix it with progressive exercises? Or, should I revisit the doctor and try to get a brace or something?


2008-01-10 9:08 PM
in reply to: #1148120

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Coach
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Subject: RE: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
The only way is by strengthing the supporting muscles around the knee which include the quadriceps, hamstrings and gastrocnemius muscles. There is not really any way to strengthen the ligaments of your knees, the tissue is very fibrous and has little blood flow. If they are loose, they won't tighten,but if they are torn, they may scar which can tighten things up a bit - not a recommened method of self treatment.

The tendons surrounding your knee however, are connected to the muscles mentioned above. A good well rounded routine of muscle strengthening specifically for the purpose of stabilizign the knee joint will probably help you alot.

See your local friendly PT for some exercise suggestions.
2008-01-11 12:34 PM
in reply to: #1148120

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Lethbridge, Alberta
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Subject: RE: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
Not exactly the news I was hoping for, but precisely the kind of information I wanted. Thanks AB.
2008-01-17 9:01 PM
in reply to: #1148120

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Subject: RE: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
It is possible to strengthen the ligaments which stabilize the knee and actually every joint.

For the knee it is important to strengthen the hamstrings because they stabilize the knee and and will allow the ligaments to heal. Using a wobble board is very important and will increase proprioception and help strengthen the knee. Isometric contractions of the knee in all ranges of motion (flexion extension, internal rotation, external rotation). Also supplementing with Vitamin C, Manganese, and Omega 3's with help speed the healing process.

Due to the limited amount of nutrients that the ligaments absorb, they do take quite a bit of time to heal.

Best of luck
2008-01-18 5:21 PM
in reply to: #1148120

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Subject: RE: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
I just heard about this therapy and am entertaining it for my back. They have numerous athletes that have used it for knees - that's how the treatment started.

prolonews.com - prolotherapy is the treatment.

Good luck.
2011-01-06 2:19 AM
in reply to: #1148120


1

Subject: RE: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
Certain exercises are designed to strengthen the leg and knee muscles that surround an injured knee ligament, reducing the amount of pressure put on the ligament and improving its rehabilitation time.torn ligaments in the knee can range from a torn meniscus to an ACL injury. Both injuries require extensive rehabilitation and strength training to successfully rehabilitate your knee.

Quadricep Strengthening Exercise

This exercise is designed to strengthen your quadriceps, which will indirectly relieve tension on your knee ligament and allow it to heal properly. Sit down in a chair with your back straight and knees slightly bent. From here, move to the edge of the chair and extend your legs out as far as they will go. Tighten your thigh muscles and hold them in this position for 10 seconds.

http://www.arthroscopysurgeryindia.com/Articles.aspx?id=14



2011-01-06 10:15 AM
in reply to: #1148120

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Subject: RE: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
Also...quad strength is 100% excellent, and will help. But don't neglect hamstrings and hips and glutes. A good core (nips to knees) is a def. boon. Can you get in to a running-specific PT, and then have her help you design a strength plan based on yoru needs?
2011-01-07 12:03 PM
in reply to: #1148120

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Subject: RE: Tightening and strengthening knee ligaments?
I got about 3 weeks into IM training, had a TT for running and after this knee was killing me. After giving it a week of rest and ice, tried easy running and couldn't. Went to doc and had Patellar Tendinitis.
For 4 weeks I swam  with little kicking and not kicking off the wall and did leg strengthening exercises:

Lay flat on back and hold 1 leg 6-8 inches off the ground and hold for 60 secs. Do with each leg and do 3-5 sets. As I could feel leg getting stronger the duration of holding my leg increased. After 4 weeks started doing LIGHT leg extensions (high rep, low weight). As leg got stronger I slowly increased the weight to the point I had no pain at all. Throughout this whole time I walked as well (2-3 times a week). I found this to be HUGE help. I would get on treadmill and walk for 25-55 minutes. Last 2 weeks I would walk 75% of the time with a 10-15% angle and walking at the fastest pace without running.

I am now (7 weeks out since original date of injury) running with no problem and can tell my knees and tendons/ligaments are much stronger is stabalizing my knee throughout my bike and run. If your having pains, don't keep running through it bc you more than likely have inflamation. Give it rest, better to take time off now and let it heal rather than fight through it and end up having chronic knee pain.

This was my experience I just went through and is my 2cents of what worked and didn't work.
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