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18-year-old with knee issues seeks advice

Samuel Gerencser, [01/06/2023 09:43]

Hey all, I’ve got a pretty big decision to make and I would love to hear anyone’s advice. 

I’m 18 years old and had knee surgery around 20 months ago to remove a small extra piece piece of my kneecap that was causing issues (bipartite patella). 

The recovery was projected to take “6-8 weeks” until I could start running again and here I am almost 2 years later and still don’t have that ability. 

During the past 20 months of rehab I have been following the ATG system religiously and attempting to never work through any pain. I have done purely the zero program for around 5-6 months then started experimenting with my own programming of the system as I was frustrated with the slow progress. 

Incorporating things like reverse Nordics and flossing in an attempt to break up scar tissue and help with a patellar malt-racking issue (causing chondromalacia) I have been incredibly diligent with regressions in all movements yet it has been almost 2 years of ATG and I still am unable to do a full body weight squat without pain and have only progressed my split squat to 4 bumper plates of elevation where it is now and I am yet to return to my sport. 

 I just had a consultation with my surgeon who was also baffled by the prolonged recovery and was not entirely sure on the next step. He  suggested a keyhole scope surgery to have a better look at what is going and potentially remove scar tissue build up from the previous surgery and potentially smooth out any cartilage damage from the lateral patella compression/ maltracking 

It doesn’t seem to be a major surgery and I will be doing ATG afterwards anyway, yet I was confident for a long time that I wouldn’t ever need to have another surgery as I had found ATG. 

but with such a drawn out process of recovery I am lost as to whether I should bite the bullet and get the surgery to see if there is any success in scar tissue removal to release the pressure on the outside (lateral facet) of my kneecap, or if I should just continue to do ATG in hopes that I will eventually have a break through… 

Literally any suggestions/ advice or experiences with a similar issue of maltracking / Lateral patellar compression syndrome would mean the world to me as I am pretty desperate right now. You have all been such a big help so far but at the moment I am lost 

Ben @keegancoach @Kneesovertoesguy @TheATGClinician

Ben Patrick, [01/06/2023 21:02]

@SamuelGez first advice would always be to work with an in-person coach. Last thing I’d say…

Sometimes when someone is on their own, they don’t make the jump to actually load full squats. Especially for a younger body, this can be gold for the knees.

In-person I’ve never seen a case like yours. This tells me you need a coach experienced in getting people into full squats. Loading full squats with slow eccentrics, at a young age, can work at knee relief within a single session.

ATG Sledding, Reverse step ups, ATG Split Squats, ATG Squats, Stretch - Knee Flexion – Tib.

I’d say visit a coach or visit HQ before more surgeries.

@SamuelGez your message STRONGLY indicates you needed someone to guide you into loading to produce more adaptation. That being said, I think you can have that surgery and still do great. The advice would be the same

If you aren’t loading after 2 years, you’re missing a coach, big-time. If you are 18 and not doing full exercises within weeks of starting ATG, I would advise hiring a coach. 

Even one live session of: Sled, Step up, Split squat, Squat, with an experienced ATG coach, is LIFE CHANGING for someone who can’t squat, run, etc. That one session by an experienced ATG coach is probably worth $10,000+ for someone with low knee ability.

We’ve regularly been able to get people into full squats with load in the first session, who had been years trying and thinking they couldn’t.

Again, I never once had a case like yours in person, so I’d be a jerk not to give you my honest advice. Get with an experienced ATG coach in-person, ASAP. Go see Ben Clarfield in Toronto or visit ATGHQ.

@SamuelGez I sent some advice above. My heart aches for you. I hope to see the day when you conquer this and are squatting deep with weights, and running!

Maybe we could get you there at HQ. We even have an Air Runner and I can teach you how to scale running.

Josef Gether, [02/06/2023 10:15]

If Samuel Gerencser really comes to HQ, then I think this would be a great case to study in detail and then share, wouldn't it? I am super curious about his condition.

I hope Samuel would not mind being a lab rat 😅 ?

Ben Patrick, [02/06/2023 13:38]

Josef he would be one of thousands of strange cases who already resolved. He’s 18 years old. Likely just needs an ATG Coach to guide him. Becoming a great coach at anything requires experience.

Josef Gether, [02/06/2023 13:58]

Ok, right that is what I need, experience.    However, so if I understand it correctly introducing gently the ATG protocol without working through pain, yet still get some load going where possible should work always, right?

Ben Patrick, [02/06/2023 13:58]

Josef for someone 18 years old (not 65), load would likely be needed to cause the adaptation. Especially for someone who’s already had knee troubles. Gotta bulletproof up. For example, in-person I never had an 18 year old not progress to solidly loaded full squats. So it would be hard to compare results if the same route wasn’t followed.

But not everyone is the same. A coach can help ensure results. A single summer of: Sled, Step up, Split squat, Squat, not to mention jacking up knee flexion.

With an experienced ATG Coach, can change the rest of that person’s life by building up the knees and surrounding muscle tissues in a more protected manner. And a single session can usually get someone into loading, and teach them in a way they can use it the rest of their life.

Quentin himself was one of these types of cases. Young, doing ATG from afar, moved back to Florida just to train with me. Completely changed the long-term outcomes. Like me, he’d probably be on 5-10 knee surgeries by now, and surely not be slamming and playing basketball. He was already one knee surgery in, doc thought he needed another, and I still remember him calling me and truly thinking he should give up basketball.

@SamuelGez ATG is made up of real cases JUST like yours. And that even includes people who tried ATG from afar for years, prior to working with experienced ATG Coaches in person.

Online OFTEN works out the same. But when it doesn’t, it would be crazy of me not to advise seeing an experienced ATG Coach in person.

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