01-28-2011, 04:25 PM
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When I was 11 I jumped down the stairs at school and broke the growth plate in my right ankle. I was put in a boot for a while and it healed, though both of my ankles have always been very weak. When I was about 19-20 I started having severe knee pain and after a few years of dealing with it(I know, I shouldn't have waited) I went to the doctor and found out that presumably when I broke my ankle it chipped a piece of bone off of my thigh bone and it had floated around under my knee cap long enough to do some serious damage. The tendon that goes straight over my knee cap is also under an enormous amount of tension(born that way) which causes my knee caps to track in a very odd way. I finally had surgery, they cleaned out the bone fragments and released the tension on one of my knee caps, and 3 months later I started riding. I could only manage it with a brace in the beginning, but gradually it got stronger and now it's about 90% of what it once was. I still have pretty bad pain if I ride for long periods of time, but stretching and kicking my feet out of the stirrups throughout the ride give me a lot of relief. I find that it's worse when I ride Western.
The BEST thing I have ever found is my cryo cuff. I got it after the surgery and it does wonders. It looks like a brace, but it hooks up to a little cooler you fill with ice and water and the water fills the brace. You wouldn't believe the difference it made in swelling right after surgery. I highly recommend it!