Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Trick Knees

I am sore this morning. Sadly, it’s not from any workout or physical activity.
Yeah, I hurt myself doing laundry.
I have trick knees. The tendon that is supposed to be growing down the middle of the kneecap is actually growing down the outside edge of the kneecap. It came from a growth spurt when I was younger, and the muscles on the outside of the knee were stronger than the muscles on the inside of the knee, so they pulled the tendons outward.
At least, this is what I recall from the doctor back around 1989. I was in middle school and in a lot of pain at the time, so my “facts” could be a little skewed. You see, the problem with these tendons being in the wrong place is, well, essentially my kneecap doesn’t stay in place. It gets pulled to the side, and the bones go out of whack, and essential parts rip, and I hear a loud cracking sound, and I’m going to shut up now because just thinking about it is making the knee throb. In fact, I was going to Google up some more precise information, but just looking at the pictures in the search results made me cringe.
Anyway, the first time this happened was playing dodgeball in middle school. I heard a loud pop/snap, my left knee was in pain, didn’t hold weight, and I went down. Being a wimpy dork who never really was big on gym class in the first place, the substitutes for the class just had me sit and not worry about it. Luckily, the NEXT time it happened, a few months later during Volleyball “Bumping” tests, the actual gym teacher/wrestling coach/trained physical therapist was there, and knew exactly what happened. That’s when I was pulled out of class, had my parents called, and brought to the doctor for X-Rays and what not.
There was no real surgery or anything, just exercises. At the time, I was told that surgery MIGHT fix the problem, but the odds were just as good that it wouldn’t, and could be worse, so we didn’t worry about it. I would just be careful, wear a brace on the left knee, and live with it.
I had minor problems through school, including some pretty bad incidents like having it pop out while running down a steep hill, but one of the worst was when I found out BOTH knees had the problem. It was the first official day of track practice my senior year, and we were running a hard 100 to cool down. I had to run with two distance runners, which was a joke since I did shotput and discus, and even those I didn’t do very well. I mainly did it to get into shape for summer camp. Anyway, I was actually almost beating one of the distance runners when I crossed the finish line, started trying to stop using my “good” leg, and CRACK! The snap was heard by the coach 10 feet away, I slid down the track, and I learned my right knee was also giving me a world of hurt. It was swollen to twice its size for a few weeks, wouldn’t hold any weight for a month, and my track experience came to a quick, painful end.
I am very careful these days, but it will just randomly give me issues. It caused me to miss Further Fest and most of Horde Fest in the summer of 1998. Almost every time I move apartments, I have it either slightly pop out, or drastically pop out of socket. That time it happened when I was stepping off the tailgate to my old Dodge Dakota was the worst. Wow.
So, this is always my major fear when I’m on a treadmill, walking, or doing leg exercises. Plus, it’s a constant worry when I’m playing with the Geekling. What if it goes out when I’m carrying her on my shoulders? No, I don’t let these worries STOP me from playing with her, but it does go through my head.
Which leads us to last night. I was home, I was fed, and I was starting some laundry before getting ready to go outside for a walk/shuffling jog. I picked up the laundry basket, turned from the bed to the bedroom door, and POP! I’m down. That kinda put a damper on my evening.
So if you ever see me tweeting about my knees bending the wrong way, or anything like that, now you know what’s going on.
Til tomorrow,


  1. I like that you still call it a "trick knee". Seriously, not making fun. I really do love old-timey names for things. Reminds me of Grandpa Simpson.

    "Ohhh, you must be sick! Lets see, what's old doc Washburn prescribe? Do you have dropsy? The grip? Scrofula? The vapors? Jungle rot? Dandy fever? Poor man's gout? Housemaid's knee? Climatic boo bow? The staggers? Dum dum fever?" - Episode 4×07 - Marge Gets a Job

    1. I like saying I have trick knees and a trick ankle. Except they don't do any neat tricks, they just make me fall down and swear in situations where I normally shouldn't.