I have been having trouble with my left knee for a while so I went to the doctor. She did X-rays and said everything looked fine and scheduled an MRI for me so we could find out what was causing the problem. I had the MRI done last week and my doctor sent me to a specialist. I saw the specialist yesterday. He said that I have ACL, meniscus, and patella (and maybe other stuff that I don’t remember) irritation. He also said I have a quad strain and loss of strength in my quad muscle. He doesn't know why and I don't either. He also said there is some loss of cartilage behind the knee cap and my knee cap is a little off center. He said he wasn't really worried about either of those issues because I wasn't experiencing pain in the areas where I would be if that was a real concern.
The specialist wants me to do physical therapy for a month then follow up with him after that. He said the physical therapy should take care of it and I can heal on my own. If not, he said there are other things he can do but it doesn’t want to.
He wants me to take it easy and not do much of anything as far as lower body is concerned because he doesn't want me to tear the ACL or do further damage to the meniscus. He doesn't really want me running or even pushing myself when I walk. He doesn't want me to do much, if any, lower body strength training except what I do at physical therapy. He said that should be enough. I walked, slowly (about an 18 minute mile pace), on the treadmill yesterday for 30 minutes and my knee was bothering me before I even finished. So I don't think I will be do any running or other cardio until I can walk without it bothering me.
Therefore, my running is on hold, my 5K training is on hold, and lower body strength training is on hold.
To all of my running and 5K teams, I won't be running for a while. I planned on running my first 5K in March but I don't know if that will happen now or not. The specialist I saw said he was planning on running that same race and wants to get me back up and going before then so I can run it but we will have to wait and see how things go.
I am not going to quit or give up though. I will just have to change my focus for a while until I can return to my normal routine. It is better that I caught this now rather than later though so I hopefully won't do any more damage than what is already done. Now I have to take a little time off, slow down, and let my knee heal. By doing this and following the doctor's and therapists orders I hope to return soon and be stronger than ever.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010:
Day 1 of PT wasn't too bad. My knee is feeling a little better every day even without PT. It was mostly questions (100's of them), range of motion testing, and strength testing today to find out where I am right now. All tests were fairly good but there is room for challenges and improvement.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010:
Physical therapy day 2: Today they had me go through the exercises they gave me last time plus about 5 more new ones. I did all of the exercises without any problems or so I thought. I was fine until I got up to leave. Then I was limping and my knee and leg were really bothering me. This continued the rest of the afternoon, into the evening, and through the night. I took 2 ibuprofen when I got home and put ice on my knee to help with the pain and swelling.
Today it feels a little better but I haven't done the exercises yet today either. I will do them a time or two this evening when I get home. Maybe the exercises will not kill my leg this time like they did yesterday. Hopefully, I will continue to see improvement this time like I did last time.
So for now I am still "resting" and taking it easy.
Monday, March 15, 2010:
Today I went to PT and then had a follow-up with the specialist. The therapist re-tested me on everything she tested me on the first day to see if I had made any improvements. She was impressed and said I had improved greatly. After therapy I went to the doctor and he checked for improvements also. He too, was impressed with the improvements and said that I did what I needed to do. He released me and told me I didn't need to go back to therapy.
He said I could start back on all of my normal activities but to start back slowly and build back up over time. It was the best news of the day!