Monday, July 27, 2015

Diagnosis: Torn Meniscus. Next up: Surgery

Since the first week of February, my knee has been injured.  In the 5 months that followed, my road to recovery has had many false summits. I would post about an amazing run where my knee felt great - only to have it flare up again with swelling and pain. (Examples of great runs just before this post, also here... quickly followed by crushing bitch-fests here and here.) Believe me, the irony of posting "I'm back!" about 4 times over the last 5 months only to not be back isn't lost on me.  Hopefully, it is with an MRI last week and the resulting diagnosis, that I reach the TRUE recovery summit and start to get back to myself..... I have a torn meniscus and will require surgery to repair and/or trim it.

Before I could get to where I am with (hopefully) a final diagnosis, I jumped through many hoops. If I had it to do over again, I essentially would do every single decision differently.

Where did the time go!? It seems like just yesterday, I was lubing up my undercarriage with Body Glide!  Boy do I miss those days. (KIDDING! I still do it all the time for old time sake)

To summarize:
  • I somehow hurt my knee the first week of Feb
  • Like any good runner, I ignored it for the first 4 weeks or so and went on a bunch of "test runs"
  • Also, like any good runner, I self diagnosed myself (Thanks, Dr. Google!!) and did Active Release Therapy / non-prescribed Physical Therapy for a month
  • When that did nothing (shocker!) I finally went and saw my sports med / orthopedic doc who diagnosed tendinitis with 95% certainty and prescribed physical therapy
  • I then went to 10 weeks of physical therapy
  • When physical therapy did nothing (after 2 failed test runs each 3 miles long), I went to the doctor again and he scheduled an MRI
  • The MRI showed a 30-40% tear in my lateral meniscus and I was referred to a surgeon
  • Oh, and I bitched to Laura the entire time.  The. Entire. Time.

If you have never had one, MRIs are so expensive they require Vasoline to handle very interesting procedures. Even though I've had a handful in my life, I always seem to forget how loud and terrifying they are. I seriously thought the thing was going to rip apart the entire time.  Plus, it is fascinating that shooting magnetic energy at me can produce detailed pictures of the inside of my body.....all of which essentially look like I'm pregnant.

In fact, here is one of the images from my knee MRI looking straight at my knee.  As you can plainly see, I am almost certainly pregnant.  My uterus has enveloped my little peanut in a protective cocoon of whatever that white stuff is (likely, a mixture of beer and French fry grease).

I can’t wait to meet my new baby

The best news is that I am obviously going to have another baby boy!!! I mean, what else could this “appendage” be? My son is going to be so excited to have a play buddy.

Chip off the old block!

I go in for a surgical consultation on August 3rd and will know the specific course of action after that.  The silver lining is that I do indeed know what is wrong, but the process to get to where I am now has been more frustrating than trying to take off a sweaty sportsbra. (I mean, I’ve been told. I don’t normally wear those. Just sometimes I like to have a bit more support when I run.  You know what, I’m getting off track…)  I’ve spent more money than I would like to admit and more importantly spent twice the time that I should have.

But, at least I know and can FIX it. I’m not excited about being told some of the long term risks of cutting away too much of my meniscus or the prospect of downtime, but I’ll do about anything at this point to get back out there.


Gracie said...

I remember feeling so relieved once I finally knew what was wrong with my hip!
My new rules for running pain: Step 1 is always see the MD and get imaging.

Johann said...

Eish, all the best with this. I know how you feel as I'm on my way back now after some serious stress fractures of my femur. The up side is that it has gotten me into cycling and I'm enjoying it a lot. said...

I'm glad you have an answer. Not knowing is sometimes the worst part of the entire process. I would rather know and know how to fix it then question whether I can fix it the entire time. Good luck in the next portion of this mess. I can't wait to see you running healthy again!

One Crazy Penguin said...

At least you have an answer! Plus, a meniscus is a pretty simple in and out surgery. my only recommendation would be to have it trimmed and not repaired. I've had both of mine trimmed (with ACL reconstruction) and have had significantly less problems than friends who have had repairs. Just my two cents :)

Jamik Ligon said...

I did something similar back in March. I tweaked something with my achilles and I ran through absolute pain in my April marathon. I collapsed over the finish line like a dramatic end of a movie except no one cared. Haha. I have since recovered after proper care, rest and some advice from my sister-in-law the PT. I listen to my body little bit more. Even though I am a runner and I am stubborn and weird, it is more important that I continue to do what I love for as long as possible.

Julie D said...

Glad you have your answer now, and good luck with the next steps.

Sue's Ramblings said...

I'm so unlucky...I've spent loads of $ and no one has a clue what's wrong with me. There's no injury or pain but I can't run without a limp (walking is fine). In fact the sports doc commented that my muscles look good after viewing my MRI.

Elaine said...

Ouch. I have a friend who had this with both of his knees. Recovery was long, but it worked. So frustrating.

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