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Painful popping in the kneecap

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I've noticed the past 4-5 years when standing in a lift line, that some times when barely lifting the ski to slide forward, the kneecap on my left leg catches, pops, shoots out an excruciating pain and returns to normal ... all this happens in 1 second.

This had never happened when skiing, until yesterday. Yesterday my daughter and I caught first turns of the year, and right at the end of the day this kneecap thaaang - catch, pop, excruciating pain, back to normal - syndrome happened on the slope and caused me to crash.

I was not tired; have been in the gym twice a week since September, legs were not tired etc. I do recall that the bumps on the slope had unweighted the ski, sorta leaving the leg hanging a bit just before the kneecap cycle kicked in.

Has anyone experienced this ... more importantly can anyone offer advice on how to stop this from happening? Might this be a strength issue wherein there's an imbalance between quads, hams and glute strength?
post #2 of 2
Transient mechanical catching of the kneecap is almost always due to rough/pitted cartilage - either under the kneecap, in the femoral groove, or both.

Occasionally 'popping' can be caused by the kneecap subluxing (laterally) but your story/mechanism suggests otherwise (especially if you're male and > 40 years old).

My guess is that you probably have a knee scope in your near future to debride (clean up) the articular surfaces of your kneecap and femur.
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