Q. I am trying to get back in shape and have been doing cross fit for about three months. Three weeks ago I started to have pain in the front and back of my left knee. It hurts a lot in the morning and feels a little better when I work out. After my workout my knee gets stiffer and painful. Going up and down stairs and kneeling hurt worse. My trainer says I have tendonitis and to work through it. What should I do?
A. It is good that you are working out but many times when you go from a sedentary lifestyle to becoming very active quickly you are at risk for overuse injuries. I recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon to examine your knee. The pain in the front may be kneecap (patellar) tendonitis and in back (hamstring) tendonitis. These can usually be treated with anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. The physical therapist would go over your workout program and modify it so you are helping and not injuring your knee. You would also work on proper warm-ups and flexibility. However, if the doctor feels your pain in the back of the knee is a meniscal cartilage tear or stress reaction, an MRI scan may be necessary and other forms of treatment would be necessary.
Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net