Ugggg….I decided to call an orthopedic specialist

I’ve had on/off knee problems for the last month and a half that weren’t going away with R.I.C.E. So, I finally decided to call a specialist (I’ve had knee issues in the past; osgood-schlauter) and these symptoms were new.  Last thing I wanted was to blow out my knees training for a half marathon and then never run again. Pretty sure I did something in May to strain my knee area and I just never let it heal completely.

Cartoon by Peter Vey

SO FRUSTRATED. Pain has been migrating all over my knee, but mostly it has been stiff and the backside hurts when I walk or run. So I will be heading to my parents a few days early. That way I can be seen on Thursday of this week rather than 2 weeks from now, to see someone after I get back. I’m at the point where I’d rather ‘know’ one way or the other. But I’m telling you, even if I have to walk the damn half-marathon in October rather than run it, I will. I paid $$ and I WILL show up and I WILL NOT GIVE UP! I’d say I’d crawl it if I had to, but that would be too hard on my knees. Rolling sideways may be a better option….

I’ve had many soccer injuries in the past, so orthopedic specialists are not new to me: wrists, ankles, knees etc… One time a tech looked at my file and said ‘ah so you are a regular here’.  He was commenting on my 2″ thick file. For any of you wondering, this is how it usually goes:

Doctor: “So I hear your knee (or insert body part here) has been bothering you? Tell me about your symptoms. When did they start?”

Me: No kidding, I’m in pain that’s why I’m here. “Well I did a hard run early May and was extremely sore for 4 days afterward. One morning, I woke up, planted my feet, and while I stood up I my knee made this funny pop/grinding sound. I didn’t run for a couple weeks, but I did walk my dog. Sometimes my knee felt week and it hurt to put weight on my right leg. Sometimes it would make that funny sound whenever I stood up from a seated position for a long time.  Once the symptoms began to subside, I started to do some strength training, squats, lunges and then continued running. It still nagged me when I ran, but never to that ‘weak’ point I felt when walking.  Fast forward a month, having stiffness in right knee, doesn’t hurt to walk, but my R leg feels a little different and my knee does hurt when I sit down.  I ice it 3-4 times per day with 15 on/ 15 off rule for about 2 rounds with elevation. I’m at the point where I’m worried that continuing this way will permanently injure my knee.”

Doctor: scribbling notes and/or staring while you talk “Hmm, that’s interesting…have you ever have knee injuries before?”

Me: “I developed osgood schlatter when I was about 10 years old. Not fun, had to wear a humongous knee brace, use crutches and refrain from most any exercise for 3 months. But I recovered from that.”

Doctor: “Well, this is what we are going to do…” Doctor will poke, prod, twist, bend, etc… the injured limb to see if there is any pain. If you have a broken limb, this is the second to worst pain imaginable. First worst painful experiences are the extremely contorted poses you have to HOLD for x-rays.  Ah, gives me the shivers when I think back to my broken finger day…

I’ll have been x-rayed, a radiologist will read them, tell the doctor what they see, if there is a worrisome spot, an MRI will be taken etc… The doctor will explain to you in layman’s terms what they see and what that means… Finally, once the issue is diagnosed, it will be recommended I wear some sort of brace for X amount of time, with some sort of activity restriction for X amount of time, suggested rehabilitation exercises a, b, and c and do X amount of reps for X amount of days/week, and to call back with any questions/concerns etc…

Yea, I know the game all too well. At least I will know in less than 48hrs. What am I hoping for? That I have a mild strain on some tendon or muscle attachment around my knee, that I need to refrain from activity for 2 weeks max, continue the whole RICE shindig, do strength and core training in the mean time (maybe swim too), and that all will be well by the end of July.  I might have to take it slow and might not be where I want to be before the race, but I want to be pain and injury free if I can help it. I don’t even want to go to worst case scenario that involves surgery and a time frame of inactivity for months. Eck, scary. (Second cartoon by Landers)

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2 thoughts on “Ugggg….I decided to call an orthopedic specialist

  1. Have you tried visiting a physical therapist who works with athletes/runners? I had horrible knee pain in January – like it felt like someone was stabbing me in the patella with every step. I tried to tough it out, but when it started hurting to even walk, I saw a PT.

    It turned out that my IT-band was f’d … but what I loved about PT was that she didn’t just say “your IT band is f’d, take a break.” She helped me figure out why and then gave me things to do to get stronger. In my case, it was weak hip flexors and the fact that my feet supinate like crazy when I run – I needed to get my hips stronger to keep my legs from flopping in all kinds of crazy directions and twisting my muscles weird.

    I was back to running very short distances (no more than 3 miles) within a few days and back to normal within six weeks.

    To make a LONG winded post short: go see a PT. Oh and, get a foam roller and learn how to use it to roll out your key running muscles. (Check this out: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/foam-rolling/)

    • I just saw the orthopedic specialist today and he ‘prescribed’ me exactly as you suggested! I really just wanted him to confirm I hadn’t ‘torn’ anything. So I have 2 sessions so far next week scheduled!!!! I’m also going to post about my visit tomorrow which basically says what I just told you 🙂

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