Evidence based medical wellness for active people from a doc who walks the walk

Best exercises for knee pain


The latest on my knee is…no healing. The dead bone is still there, with only minimal improvement 8 months later. I have spoken to two orthopedic surgeons, both of them recommend surgery: one a partial knee replacement, and the other a core decompression with stem cell transplant.

I don’t want either. My first experience was less than optimal (ya think?), and I am undecided as to what I should do.

Everyone agrees that I have to strengthen my knee, and after 8 months of no use it is pretty pitiful. I go back to PT next week, but have already started my own program.  (Doctor, heal thyself.)

Exercises I am doing:

  • Hamstring curls. I have to hang off the bench to avoid putting weight on my knee cap, ’cause it hurts. I am not using any weights.
  • Wall squats: I am not going all the way down by any means, and do not even have my thighs close to parallel to the ground. (See previous post on what NOT to do.) I hang there for about 30 seconds or so and do it a couple of times.
  • Straight leg extensions.  (I.e. goose step.)
  • Single leg extension on a ball. I do not go to full extension.
  • A new one I will try: single leg dip. Basically you support yourself between two chairs, lift one leg slightly off the ground and do small (mini) knee bends.
  • I also am going up and down the stairs, which I was previously doing only with the good leg.

I also am beefing up my core exercises and hip/buttocks exercises.

PS: And for anyone that is a mother: my 17-year-old daughter is back in school for her senior year. I miss having her home all the time when I get home from work, and am fighting the back to school blues. Trying (and minimally succeeding) not to comfort eat.  Too bad there isn’t  “comfort exercising”!

LAST PS: (promise!) if anyone out there has had core decompression and stem cell transplant, would love to hear from you as to your impressions!!!

Oops: below is a picture of my knees. Not to gross anyone out (this is a family program!) but the left knee is the problem child and is atrophied.


Author: PookieMD

I am a board certified internal medicine physician. I love medicine and seek to bring evidence based medicine to the fitness and wellness world.

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