Posted: 14/01/2014 at 12:17
Long time no see!
Now that I know, I can tell you...
My last post was back in March '13, saying that I was not doing the VLM as timings were wrong, training was a bit off, slight colds, wind blowing in the wrong direction, and the crows were cawing in the copse at 4:17 on a Friday afternoon. Well, it may be that my growing unease had an underlying cause. I went back to way shorter distances, then working travel threw all plans into disarray, but eventually I was settled back at sprint training. Max weekly run distances of 3 miles, usually every other day but sometimes consecutive.
My knees began to hurt. Really hurt. It was a progressive thing, so progressive that I can't even remember when it started. But I can remember when I decided to call it quits! I was running up and down a sand dune, soft, loose sand, and the aching became too painful. That was September. My knees swelled up, both of them, and it was time to see a specialist.
Pretty tough to organise things when you're overseas all the time, but managed to eventually get to see an orthopaedic consultant who specialises in knees. This was after about six weeks off them, walking only (but still eating like I was training!). They were still swelled up. And four weeks later when I got in for two MRIs one was still swelled. Finally, following the hols, I got to see the results yesterday.
There are little, or not so little, white cloudy areas inside the bone of each knee showing in the (negative) MRI images. Apparently these are areas of fracturing of the bone underneath areas of weak or cracked cartilage. Everything else about my knees is fine, but both have these areas. The result is pain when the affected areas hit, rub, move in the knee. They won't heal completely - though they can recover - because the weakness or cracks will always be present. There are surgical options, but they won't cure completely, or not for ever, as ultimately the cartilage can not (presently) be replaced.
So for the moment it's about management. I've been effectively in recovery for months now, and the consultant reckons I should simply test the limits of what I can do. Swimming, yeah, no problem... Cycling, possibly good as long as there's no issue with rotation, but the impacts are much lower... Running, well, that may just be a step too far! It might be time to hang up the spikes for good!
So, kids, don't take up sports when you're young that send you for numerous knee operations - it won't help when you're older!
As you were.