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  1. #1
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Cement Mixer Knees

    To start, I'm 43, severly overweight with edema in my legs (fluid retention), and while I've had a desk job since September 2016, I had consistantly worked retail from late August of 1992 through early June of 2016 with jobs bookending my time in retail also having me doing a ton of walking. I also had a prior gym membership from '06-'14 (but only used through '12 in '13) where I did a lot of leg work and had been able to move upwards of 1500lbs on a leg press machine before doing something stupid and hurting my knees a bit with the leg extention machine at at my old gym and probably just straight up abuse from being a fat guy who worked retail for probably way too long while not skipping leg day while having a gym membership.

    Now on to current times. Legs do swell, sometimes badly, my knees generally do not hurt but I think can sometimes predict the weather from time to time, and I am pretty damned weak in that department right now from what I was seeing last night in my first real leg day since 2012 or 2013. I had my knees checked out this past summer now that I have good insurance and there the tests run on them didn't show any issues and that my knees were supposedly fine. I started doing the machine leg curls, extentions, and finally presses (would have preferred the sled, but don't think I could have gotten out of it once in), my knees were making cement mixer like noises during those lifts and felt....gritty going through the range of movement, like a ball bearing that is shot and in need of replacement. As of right now, the knees don't really hurt this morning, although I can still feel it elsewhere in my legs.

    Should I be worried about this?
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    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    My knees sound like firecrackers for my first few sets of squats. No pain so not a problem. Carbon dioxide gas can build up under connective tissue and the popping is usually that. As far as the leg edema that can be from congestive heart disease. I would seek medical attention and drop a lot of weight which will benefit your knees in many ways (your gate will likely change) as well as other possible medical issues. Eat in a deficit and focus on basic weight training and low impact cardio after being medically cleared.
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    General rule of thumb is that crepitus (popping) without pain is not a cause for concern in itself - but we're not doctors so are not the best people to ask.
    My knees have been looked at and I have narrowing of the cartilage in both and one is a lot worse than the other. I still squat but don't go heavy and strap it up well when I do legs. When I go up stairs it sounds like someone tearing velcro. Lunges are very painful in all their variations so I steer clear of doing them.

    Find the exercises that work for you and stick with those.

    To be honest, the single best thing I did for my knees was losing weight.
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    In my unprofessional op, if there's no pain, the sounds are a good sign. Knock the rust off.

    When not at the gym, work on being able to do paleo squats. Hold on to something at first, slowly improve depth over time. In 2-3 weeks you should be able to comfortably sit below parallel and it's a great stretch for knees, ankles and hips.
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    *I'm not medically qualified, treat this post with caution*

    The best medicine for knees when bodyweight is too high is to reduce bodyweight.
    Strengthening the muscles around the knee is very valuable but think how many hours a day you use your legs. Every pound of bodyweight you take off will be >1 pound of strain taken off the knee's daily loading.
    For your knee and overall health, surely this is a bigger priority than gym work?

    Like plateauplower mentions, swollen ankles in some cases can be caused by circulation/cardio vascular issues. Please get a doctor's check
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    Doctor is aware of the edema problem, it's all of the right leg and part of the left, but the there wasn't anything in the ultrasound and x-rays I had this summer that was obvious. I even had an unintentional hospital stay to get a nuclear stress test after a blood pressure med caused an issue, I thought it was the side effects of the med and the Dr's office thought it was a heart attack and told me to go to the ER. Ended up not finding much other than I need to lose weight......

    Joint wise, now that I have been away from the hobby shop I used to work for since mid 2016, my joints seem to have gotten better, even shoulders and wrists (not turning allen drivers like I was and use a small cordless driver when I can on my personal R/Cs). So long as I keep up on shoes as the ones under me get crushed, I my knees seem to be better than recent years.

    Will say this though, I'm on Furosemide (water pill) and potassium to try and reduce fluid retention.......although the sweating in the gym does wonders for what the water pill doesn't!
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    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    OP, you're already strong, and it's good that you're picking up the activity. But like others have said, the only real releif for those knees is going to be when the weight comes off. That needs to be first priority.
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    Definitely don't worry about the noise in the knees unless it is painful. I've never come across a patient who had pain free noises that turned out to be anything worth giving attention to.

    Mechanically, the knee extension machine is lousy for the knees but much better for you than being sedentary.
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    To start, I'm 43, severly overweight with edema in my legs (fluid retention), and while I've had a desk job since September 2016, I had consistantly worked retail from late August of 1992 through early June of 2016 with jobs bookending my time in retail also having me doing a ton of walking. I also had a prior gym membership from '06-'14 (but only used through '12 in '13) where I did a lot of leg work and had been able to move upwards of 1500lbs on a leg press machine before doing something stupid and hurting my knees a bit with the leg extention machine at at my old gym and probably just straight up abuse from being a fat guy who worked retail for probably way too long while not skipping leg day while having a gym membership.

    Now on to current times. Legs do swell, sometimes badly, my knees generally do not hurt but I think can sometimes predict the weather from time to time, and I am pretty damned weak in that department right now from what I was seeing last night in my first real leg day since 2012 or 2013. I had my knees checked out this past summer now that I have good insurance and there the tests run on them didn't show any issues and that my knees were supposedly fine. I started doing the machine leg curls, extentions, and finally presses (would have preferred the sled, but don't think I could have gotten out of it once in), my knees were making cement mixer like noises during those lifts and felt....gritty going through the range of movement, like a ball bearing that is shot and in need of replacement. As of right now, the knees don't really hurt this morning, although I can still feel it elsewhere in my legs.

    Should I be worried about this?
    In general, people grossly overestimate their daily walking mileage. Anyways, lose weight and do these exercises at least once everyday. The last two can be done sitting at a computer and lying in bed. Before you get out of bed in the morning is the perfect time.

    Standing Leg Lifts: Stand with your back against the wall. Lift one leg up as high as you can with the knee straight. Hold for five seconds, then bend your knee to relax, hold for five seconds. Straighten your leg again, and do five of these before switching to the other leg. Over time, see if you can build up to ten seconds.


    Foot Turns: Lie down or sit in a chair and stretch both legs out, knees straight and feet pointed up toward the knees. Tighten your thigh muscles and turn your feet out as far as you can, holding for ten seconds. Now turn your feet in as far as you can and hold for ten seconds, keeping your thigh muscles tight for the entire exercise. Do three of these sets.


    Foot Press: Either sitting or lying down, put one foot on top of the other and pull up with your lower foot as you push down with the upper foot. Hold that for ten seconds, and then switch feet and repeat. Try five sets of these.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by matthewkelling View Post
    Definitely don't worry about the noise in the knees unless it is painful. I've never come across a patient who had pain free noises that turned out to be anything worth giving attention to.

    Mechanically, the knee extension machine is lousy for the knees but much better for you than being sedentary.
    I may have screwed things up tonight, wasn't watching where I was walking when going to ger a drink from the fountain and tripped over some rather obvious equipment and hit the ground HARD, landing left leg and knee first on a floor that appears to be concrete with a rather course carpet glued directly to it, then rolling onto my right side pinning my right arm between that same floor and my rather flabby torso for a moment. My right forearm hurts a little and my right knee definately hurts still even though it happened around 8pm on 1/15/2020. Haven't seen anybody about it yet, but am prepared to visit the local Urgent Care in the morning if needed.
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    As a matter of priority, and for your own well being, you need to lose weight.

    I'm pretty sure all your other issues will either disappear or reduce as your weight comes down.

    Hope you haven't injured yourself too badly from your fall.
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    Just got back from Urgent Care (took the day off work) and luckily there is no bone or joint damage from what the Dr could see, so what pain I have is likely contusions instead, although she did spot some signs of arthritis in the left knee. Other than taking care of what I hurt, I may look to see if there was little localized seismic activity around 8pm or so last night...................

    Did get the shock of my life when they checked by blood pressure and it came back 125/80, last 2 Dr's appointments I had, it was more like 169/ and 180/ (can't remember the lower number at this time)......just about fell off the chair when I saw that!
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    Just got back from Urgent Care (took the day off work) and luckily there is no bone or joint damage from what the Dr could see, so what pain I have is likely contusions instead, although she did spot some signs of arthritis in the left knee. Other than taking care of what I hurt, I may look to see if there was little localized seismic activity around 8pm or so last night...................

    Did get the shock of my life when they checked by blood pressure and it came back 125/80, last 2 Dr's appointments I had, it was more like 169/ and 180/ (can't remember the lower number at this time)......just about fell off the chair when I saw that!
    That's encouraging! Shows you're on the right track!

    Mend up, and jump right back into those shark-infested waters. You're doing good.
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    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    That's encouraging! Shows you're on the right track!

    Mend up, and jump right back into those shark-infested waters. You're doing good.
    Thanks, looks like the exercise and cutting back on caffeine helped alot there, only problem right now is that Mom is back in the hospital, (she is prone to infections that cause....issues) which means I won't be able to hit the gym, but usually works out for cardio when going into visiting her since it's always a walk to get to where ever she is at in the hospital.
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    Won't hurt to take some fish oil for the joints as well.
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    OP: I would not worry about the gym right now, look at your nutrition. I would say 80-90% is nutrition and the other 10 to 20 is gym.

    Stop the sugar and refined carbs for awhile focus on whole foods, protein, and leafy greens, start tracking your calories. You will start losing weight even with out going to the gym. Once you get to a decent weight you can focus on strength training.
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