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From triumph to heartbreak to trying to find myself.... after a pretty catastrophic knee injury/diag

Friday, June 07, 2013

I've went from the high of finishing my first half marathon, and under the time i had set for myself (finished in 2 hr 22 min) but in a lot of knee pain (a knee injury flairing even with it taped and braced) to being told 2 days later I had to see an orthopedist and likely needed surgery (after they took x-rays) by a Dr when I went into family medicine for pain in my knee that was not getting much better.... to being told a week after that (a week and a half ago from now) by the orthopedist that I indeed did need surgery to correct the mal-alignment in my knee and to shift the weight load to the outside of my knee where I have healthy cartilage. The orthopedist had also unfortunately told me I have osteoarthritis in the inside half of my knee. He ordered an MRI and a hip to ankle bilateral standing x-ray (the x-ray to determine angle of correction for surgery and the MRI to check for soft tissue damage since I was showing signs of a lax LCL).

I went in for the MRI and x-ray this last saturday and then went in to see my orthopedist a few days ago (tues)..... the tests reconfirmed I definitely need surgery, and unfortunately it is worse than he thought. The degree of bone he'd have to put in or take out is about double compared to what is typically done. :( The MRI fortunately showed only small micro tears in my LCL.... but unfortunately showed a complete grade III ACL tear and a moderately severe grade II partial PCL tear.... along with some small micro tears in cartilage (a relatively minor thing all things considering) and of course the cartilage loss and bone spurs developing in the inside half of my knee. So, along with the major bone surgery I have to have a double ligament reconstruction (the ACL and PCL)

The orthopedist also told me after seeing the test results that instead of the maybe 20 years he was hoping to put off a knee replacement for me that it may only be 8-10 years.... but I'll take it. I am considered younger than usual for the surgery they want but not really considered a candidate for total knee replacement yet due to failure rate for someone as young as me (turn 30 in 2 months). I was told that long-distance running is no longer an option for me... and that it will take a lot of work after surgery to increase my range of motion enough to bike.... lol, bring on the challenge :D I would love to distance bike if I am unable to run. It will give me something to work towards.

I've been going through a torrent of emotions the last two and a half weeks.... from triumph, to heartbreak and loss, to the watch this gonna figure it out and kick butt anyways.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hey buddy! I am a distance runner too and have had some knee issues also.
    I got a second opinion and that doctor advised watchful waiting.
    I got a couple of different bikes, changed my diet to avoid foods that contribute to inflammation and dropped a few more pounds.

    I was also diagnosed with arthritis, and with bone spurs, etc. etc.

    I hit the weight room. Upper body muscle mass could help we stay at my new low weight. And lots of ab work.

    I am not a doctor, but I do know that the mind has a lot to do with healing. I decided to try a different approach and see what would happen. Watchful waiting like Dr. number 2 suggested.

    Long story short, I have not attempted another marathon but I did complete a half marathon and run up to 6 miles in training with no pain.

    Injuries do heal. If you do need a knee replacement so be it. But it is not the end of your athleticism.

    Hang in there buddy.
    1737 days ago
  • KAB7801
    1774 days ago
    Wow, that is a lot of not so good news. I don't like to be to negative but you sound like someone who will jump back, bc you have a wonderful outlook.

    I read your blog, not knowing you bc, I related to the title after just having had a major knee surgery (a left knee replacement) and I have had all that you mentioned on my right knee after an injury being thrown from a horse. I actually have a cadavar ACL and all the other stuff repaired. I am also having a right knee replacement on July 27th. Oh boy!

    I love your outlook and your positive approach to a change in a sport you clearly love. I have to say when I see people running and they have knee braces on, I usually say to myself. Yep, there goes another knee replacement down the road. LOL! I am sure they keep the doctors busy and with job security with all the 5-K, half-marathons, and mud runs. Of course running is not the only knee killing sport. Soccer and football do a lot of damage to the legs, knees and back.

    Keep up that positive outlook and I can't wait to see you in your new sport, "Cross Country or Distance Biking."

    1777 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your knee. I hope it does not turn out to be as bad as it sounds.

    1777 days ago
  • AAIEE1985
    im so sorry~! if you need a friend to talk to im always on facebook.
    1777 days ago
    Thinking of you and sending lots of prayers and positive thoughts your way! Take care!
    1777 days ago
  • CAROLYN0107
    Sorry for your injuries and osteop. On March 5, 2012 I smashed my left tibia in front and two ligaments tore in my knee as well as my artery supplying my leg with blood and oxygen. Then I fell and crushed my ulna in my wrist and also displaced my wrist. After five surgeries and two months in Hospital and Rehab I was still in a wheelchair. 3/12 months after I broke my knee I had a knee replacement. Anyway, I am up and walking. Never could run nor did I ever desire to do so!

    I also have osteoporosis, diagnosed in 2009. It had just changed from osteoporosis to osteopenia before my knee and wrist break but I'm sure a scan would show me back to osteoporosis.
    You are young. I am 63 y.o., almost 64. Do the rehab..... to get your knee to bend correctly so you can use a bike. I never could get my knee bent enough to do so but I had a lot of swelling due to all the trauma with five surgeries on my leg.

    emoticon emoticon

    Congratulations for finishing your half marathon!!!
    1777 days ago
    Sorry to hear this Kat. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you undergo this surgery, and wishes for a speedy recovery. I have seen your determination. I know you will find another goal to set that you can achieve and go after it. For now, take it easy and do what the doctors tell you! *Hugs*

    1777 days ago
    My heart goes out to you; I was told a couple of months ago that running is off the table and it was such a blow. Perhaps this is not the time to hear this, but there are alternatives out there. It just takes time to adjust to the diagnosis.
    1777 days ago
    Yeah - the grief process for serious injuries is just like the grief process for a death or the end of a marriage - but we do move on and we can - and do - build great lives after grief. Sounds like you are already picking up the pieces.

    Stay strong.
    1777 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear this news. Surgery is always scary. You will find something new to challenge yourself with once you heal. But please be good to yourself and your body and do the right things! Best of luck to you, dear girl. Hugs!
    1777 days ago
    I had very similiar surgery in 2004. I would be glad to answer any questions you have. You can have a very active lift post surgery. Do your rehab and you will be on the mend sooner than it seems!
    1777 days ago
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