Long runs, speed sessions... and a pair of rather tight leggings.
Well it's been a long three months trying to get somewhere with the knee... but it appears that finally there might be some light at the end of the tunnel (and no, it's not an oncoming train!).
It's been a bit of an up and down couple of months running-wise, mainly down sadly, but the green shoots of recovery are definitely there!
I kind of felt like this thread was left unfinished so I just wanted to wrap it up with the end (hopefully!) of the knee saga.
It's a very, very long story so I will copy and paste from an email I sent to Sam telling her all about it...
Thanks for everyone's support throughout - it was a bit tough-going at times but everyone's kindness and support made a huge difference
So... I finally had my MRI scan a few weeks back and then had the follow up appt a couple of weeks after that. I really don't know what was going on with the consultant, whether he was having a bad day or just hated runners... but there must have been something!
When I got to the appointment, he hadn't even looked at my MRI results - he read the report while I was sat there (which shows no cartilage, ligament or tendon damage btw, thankfully, but still some fluid on the joint and a funny black spot at the top of the tibia) and said "oh, guess I had better have a look at your results then"... He didn't even mention the fluid on the joint or the funny black spot.
He looked at the images for maybe a minute at most and we had a bit of a chat about my symptoms and so on. I was trying to explain that it had always been 100% fine until the injury but he was convinced it was a long-standing bio-mechanical issue that had always been there (??), saying that "pain is a funny thing - it has probably always been there but the fall focused your mind on it".
He laid me on the couch/bed and did one quick ten second test flexing both my hip joints. Obviously, as I'd been hobbling around for two months, my right hip was a lot tighter (Sarah later said she'd be amazed if that side wasn't a lot, lot tighter than the other) but his conclusion from that ten second test was that the ball at the top of my femur was too big for the socket in my hip - how you can deduce that from such a quick, simple test is beyond me!
So, as a result of his 'thorough' examinations, he came to the following conclusion:
1) The ligament that runs down the inside of my knee is too long/thin and isn't doing it's job properly. Therefore, much more of my weight is being borne on the outside of the joint than should be (made worse by my apparently freakish hip joint!). As a result, the top of my tibia has hardened and got a lot denser as a defence-mechanism to stop it crumbling and that is causing the pain;
2) There is absolutely nothing that can be done about it, to cure it or to prevent it from getting worse. Physio will not help, no operation can be done to improve it. I said "surely there must be something, anything, I can do?!?". His response: "I suppose you could take vitamin D tablets";
3) I am guaranteed to have severe arthritis in my knee and that will start within 10-15 years. Once it is really bad, he can do something about it. Until then, daily pain and discomfort is pretty much where we're at; and
4) I should never run again. Ever.
I was a little bit devastated, to put it mildly! There was a lot that was questionable, as you can see, but hearing all that at the time meant I was a bit in shock so I didn't really question it until a while after I'd left - and had calmed down a bit! I had a couple of long chats with Sarah and she 100% completely agrees that it's an injury, not bio-mechanical.
So since then, I've been fighting the NHS to get my MRI results under Freedom of Information and got those and the report through late last week.
In any event, it has been gradually, very slowly improving for the past 6 or 7 weeks - it's more uncomfortable and I'm aware of it all the time now rather than painful all the time as it was before. And I can walk down stairs completely naturally now - hooray!
I've even been out for two 5ks this week (the 1st took 31 mins and felt like I'd run a marathon!! The 2nd was 26 mins odd, I did the final mile in 7:40 and it felt a lot easier) and they haven't made it flare up particularly badly. The main thing is that the joint constantly feels like it needs to "click" and it does pop and crack a lot, with some discomfort at times. It's definitely not right, but it
is so, so much better, a world away, than what it was. Anyway, I saw my GP yesterday and he immediately said a number of rude things about the consultant! He said that it was almost certainly extensive soft tissue damage with a possible bone bruise (which is what Sarah suspected from what I'd told her, although she hasn't had a chance to see the MRI imagery) and he has now given me an urgent referral for specialist physio. He is sure I'll be completely fine given a bit of help from the physio... although he has told me to rest for a further 4-8 weeks :'( haha. And that's where we are. I want to wait to see what the physio says before I get too excited but I'm so hopeful for the future now and can't wait to get back out and trying to dip under 20mins for my 5k
Here's a couple of MRI snaps to show the weird black thing (and for all you medical geeks out there - I loved looking at the pics! lol)
Wow, steve, really does sound like the consultant was in a bad mood. Glad you persevered for a 2nd opinion! It annoys me how many people don't and would have given up...
Glad to see you're perservering with the knee Steve! Do seek another opinion and never ever give up on your dreams of completing a marathon.
The scans look like bacon.
The human body is an amazing thing (except mine) but the wrong diagnoise could lead to greater pain. Imagine if you had an operation that you didn't need ? If you get a second opinion, who do you believe ?
I hope you are on the road to recovery, my opinion for what it is worth (cheaper than the consultant's) is that you injured yourself in the fall and the house moving and marathon training aggrevated it further thus the long recover time. Sometimes stuborn determination is not a good thing and being lazy is.
Hopefully you'll be fixed and mended in time for the Target 26,2 - Paris 2014.
Steve - really good to hear from you. Sorry that you've been through the mill with this. Sounds like a nightmare. However, I'm really glad to see you're staying positive. I hope it all works out and you'll be out there smashing PBs in the not so distant future.
PC91 - ha Bacon indeed! The first image is the most rasher like of the two. Perhaps this is a warning to all smoked back lovers out there - you are what you eat!
How are things with you - all well I hope?
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