I’ve tried everything to get some strength back in both my quads after knee surgeries in 04 and 05. I’m hoping someone will see this and know of some technique that will work. I’m out of ideas.
Here is my history: Both my patellas would dislocate/slide out of place. Mine were loose enough that they would relocate themselves without having to manually do it. Both knees dislocated many times over seven years. Exercises to strengthen the muscles did not improve things. Dislocations ocurred during heavy activity and no activity (e.g. turning and twisting and even just standing up standing up.) My knees became worse and worse until I really needed surgery.
Surgery: When I was 17 I got a Goldthwait procedure on my left knee. That was in August of 2004. In July of 2005 I had the Goldthwait and a lateral release done on my right leg.
Recovery: My left quad did not recover before the operation on the right knee . My quad strength was minimal - barely usable. I knew it was a bad idea to get another surgery, but when it hurts to walk you just gotta do it. Same thing happened with my right leg - little quad recovery, barely working. Both knees work well. I have a full range of motion. They do swell up a little when the quads get fatigued, which unfortunately is often.
What I’ve tried: Initially it seemed like a simple process. I used electrical stim and commonly practiced Physical Therapy steps to try to regain quad strength. But little to no progress was shown in my quad strength. So I went back to the surgeon to see what he recommended. He sent me to a better Physical Therapist. This guy actually seemed to help. Quad strength increased from about 20% to 40%. He was able to get me jogging on a treadmill with an assisted weight harness. (The harness hung from ceiling and took some of my body weight off, until I was able to jog comfortably.) This showed promise, but in the end I never got past the 40%. Next I tried MAT (Muscle Activation Therapy.) Essentially a massage hitting nerve points done by a therapist. This is not a lay down and enjoy it massage. Every muscle that isn’t firing or working gets treated by having pressure points and nerve points pushed on. (pretty painful) MAT is very consistent in getting my muscles to fire and enabling my muscles to support me. However, when I lift weights, jog etc. the quads still shut down and I need to be retreated. I’ve been doing this for over a year. I feel really good after a treatment, but I’m not improving my muscle strength.
What I’ve learned: My surgeon has no idea what to do after the surgery. My first two physical therapists had no idea what to do when the encountered somebody out of the normal healing process. My third physical therapist just admitted he was stumped and that I should try something else. My MAT person thinks that what she is doing is a wonder cure and that it will get better with time. After one year and no significant improvement I doubt what she says is total truth. I also just had nerve conduction studies done that show no problems with my nerves in my legs.
Now what?: I have no idea. I’ve spend countless hours in the gym riding bike, doing light weight squats (the heaviest squats I can do - and they are not full range - after 90 degrees or so the quads are unable to hold me and I fall down), jogging, walking, straight legs raises, and the leg extensions which are extremely difficult even with no weight. For the last 6 weeks I’ve been to the gym almost everyday – many days I’ve spent over 3 hours. I’ve tried everything I can think of and everything the physical therapists thought of to no avail.
What I’m considering: Having another surgery to get robotic legs that shoot lasers and make ice cream. Serious thoughts are possibly: Anabolic steroids, just stick with it and hope I finally regain full strength, some other type of theraphy I haven’t come across. I live in Louisville Colorado (between Denver and Boulder) in case anyone knows of something in the area.
Any suggestions or ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org