Tanker's Knee (Read 98 times)

Baby Got Track

    One of my old high school buddies has decided to try and get healthy, so he quit smoking and started running.  He has always been active with skiing and skateboarding and hiking, but this is his first time running.  He is about 10-15 lbs overweight, and 37 years old.


    He used to be in the Army, and he has what he calls "Tanker's Knees" which he says is a result of jumping down off the tank all the time.  I googled it but couldn't find anything on it, so I am not sure what is going on and what kind of damage he is dealing with.


    He has been running for about two or three weeks.  He has good shoes.  He has been running on an all weather track.  I think he probably ramped up his distance too fast, he's up to three miles, almost four miles already.  His pace is a sub 8 min mile.


    The problem is that his knees begin to ache during the run.  And now it happens occasionally during the day too.  I am not sure where the pain is, or what kind of pain.  He took a couple days off and is trying to run again, but still can't get back to his previous mileage.


    Does anyone know Tanker's Knee is, or have a guess at what it might be, based on the repeated jumping thing?  I would like to be able to point him in the direction of some rehab/strengthening exercises to help him get past this hurdle.  Money is tight for him, so seeing a PT is currently not an option.


    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Leah, mother of goats 

      I developed patella femoral pain syndrome 2 years ago when I was doing a lot of trail running.  All the up and down combined with my 210-215 pound size.




      There is a center around here (SE Wisconsin) that does a free sports medicine visit with a physical therapist.  Most of them are runners so they do a pretty decent job of giving a possible diagnosis and some recommendations.


      For me, I had to purchase a few $10 sports bands and do some exercises to improve the strength of the gluteus and muscles around my hips.   I have no idea of course if this is what he has.  But it was a somewhat sharp pain, and going up or down stairs could even trigger it.  So that may not be what he has at all.


      Good luck.

      In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion





      Baby Got Track

        Thanks for the reply and link Doug.  I will pass the info along.


        I asked him to describe the pain in more detail, here was his reply:


        "It's a dull but painful dull, as in heavy, when I start running. It would be similar to arthritic maybe, on stairs, but not so w me. Only when I come down on my step when running. Behind knee cap, in the middle. No shooting. Similar to a punch in the arm upon foot strike As far as in, stairs don't bother me, walking either. Arthritic feeling for an old person doing stairs is what I could closest describe it as, however, only when running, being that I'm not bothered on stairs. That may have not made sense as I originally typed it


        I don't have any swelling, popping or giving away. Like I said, punch in the arm dull, but noticeable when my foot strikes. And longer run breaks, better it feels rather quickly. And walking and squats don't hurt a bit"


        I dont know if his explanation will help narrow down what might be going on.  But again, I do appreciate any and all suggestions that might help him get back to running.  He was really enjoying it.

        Leah, mother of goats 

          the description does not match my problem.  I had dull aches and all, but occasional shooting.


          if it really was PFPS I'd be glad to send someone a scan of the hand written notes from the physical therapist describing the different band exercises I was to do.


          Actually I just did a quick google and this was similar enough that it could help (again, if this really is the problem).



          In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion





            It could just be typical "runner's knee", and might be alleviated by changing shoes, or adjusting his form, or by easing up on the quantity of running for a while.

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.

            Baby Got Track

              Thanks again Doug, I'm sure he would be willing to try those exercises.  I've sent him ones for IT band issues as well, they certainly can't hurt, right?? Smile


              LedLincoln, I did think he ramped up his running very quickly.  He is in Salomon Crossmax shoes, which I have worn before and didn't really like, but shoes are so individual.  He is a huge Salomon fan, so getting him to try a different brand could be a challenge.  I will mention it though.  Thanks for that.

              Leah, mother of goats