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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Soccer Player with Chondromalacia Patella and Swelling in the Knee

I'm 36 years old. I was diagnosed with a condition called CONDROMALICIA PATELLA in 2005. I'm a soccer player and in 2004 I was no longer able to bend my left knee all the way. I was still able to play soccer with almost no problem. I'm very competitive and played soccer until about October 2008 before surgery. In early 2008 I started experiencing swelling in my knee. It was later diagnosed as a bacteria infection which required my knee to be scoped on November 26 and November 28, 2008. Ever since I have not been the same. I have been unable to play soccer because of the pain and the swelling. My X-RAY show very little cartilage and meniscus tear.

Photo: Alama Moller kicking for a goal

In your opinion, do you think I can play soccer again? I just started taking glucosamine and chondroitin MSM from Whole Food store. Should I keep taking it or do you have another suggestion? I saw your presentation but I don't know which product applies to me. Thank you so very much for your help.
Gary responds:

The first action is to double check that the infection has not come back. That you have little cartilage left, you are going to have to look after that knee very carefully for the rest of your life. It is approoriate that you explore healthy outdoors exercise that you can do post soccer.

Have a look at this video and do the exercise every 2nd day.

It will help ensure your knees are properly aligned. You could add a pair of Formthotics Shock Stop inner soles to your shoes and boots.

Take the joint food you have three times daily for at least three months then reduce to 1-2 per day ongoing. The one I sell that is suitable is Balance Joint and Cartilage Repair for Athletes. It is possible that more surgery may be needed for the cartilage tear; but give the Joint Food several months unless your orthopaedic surgeon advises earlier intervention.

Avoid activities that cause pain and or swelling for as long as it takes - even if it runs into years. Your knees must last a lifetime so do not wreck them any more than already.

Take up other activities that do not stress the knee like aquajogging, swimming, upper body weights, boxing (non-combat, upper body work), canoeing and so on. You may find working out on a rowing ergometer is fine on the knee and a great cardio, thigh and butt workout! After my own knee surgery many years ago, I took up kayaking and have loved the sport ever since. Use your injury as the opportunity to broaden your sporting and fitness horizons.

Once you are able to run pain free, gradually introduce soccer skills like dribbling and easy kicking. Only return to competition when you feel confident you can do so without undue risk of reinjury.

Photo: Bruce Moller - Porirua Grand Traverse Race 2009

Above all else be patient! At the same time remain positive and the best way to do that is to engage in meaningful exercise that protects and nurtures your dodgy knee while it heals properly.
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