Tuesday, 21 September 2010

On bended knee


My left knee has been giving me quite a bit of grief over the past few years, with the pain escalating to the point where I was referred to a Sports Medicine doctor a few months ago.

I used to run, you see. And I loved to run. I would only do about 3 miles at a time, perhaps 4 - 5 times a week. Nothing major. Just long enough to give me quads of steel and the ability to eat anything I wanted.

I ran for years. Being able to get into the 'zone' within minutes of starting my run was fabulous!! Anyone who has experienced the 'runner's high' will know what I am talking about. When the endorphins flow, all is right in the universe and you simply float over the ground, striding effortlessly. It is a wondrous thing to feel!

But about eight years ago, my left knee started to get sore. Not all the time. Even now, it is not all the time. But eventually it caused me to quit running. That just aggravated it way too much.

Over time, it has progressed to great difficulty getting up from a squat, and going down stairs can often be quite painful... to the point where I end up hopping down on one leg! Not too graceful or safe! It has also taken to aching horribly at night. Sometimes I lie in bed, waiting impatiently for the drugs to kick in so I can sleep. No matter what position I have my leg in, there are times when nothing but drugs eases the pain.

So I had an MRI done about three weeks ago, and today was the day I got to see the SM doc and get the results... and the prognosis. I wasn't too keen on having arthroscopic surgery, but if that was what was need to end the pain, I'd do it!

Turns out I have a condition called ChondroMalacia Patellae (also known as CMP). This means the kneecap is not properly aligned and rubs on the end of the femur (thigh bone), causing great irritation to the normally smooth and slippery cartilage.

I apparently have the same condition in both knees but the right one rarely gives me trouble. It does make a rather horrible crunching noise when I am going up the stairs, although that doesn't hurt. I'm sure it is just a matter of time before it starts voicing it's displeasure as well.

So the plan now is to wear braces on my knees that keep the kneecap aligned properly and to get some physiotherapy to strengthen the internal thigh muscles to pull the kneecap back into place.

The SM doc said that even a 1.5 degree change will make a huge difference in how my knee feels. It will, however, be a lifelong endeavour to keep the muscles in shape and the miscreant caps in better alignment.

Time to give my physio guy a call...

10 comments:

  1. If you were The Queen, you would have RCMP!

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  2. *ack* but at least you don't have to have surgery, sugar! xoxoxox

    (still LOL @xl's joke*

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  3. Knees are such a bastard! :¬)

    xxx

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  4. Is this a condition that was exacerbated by your running? If so, do you see the irony? In trying to stay healthy, you hurt your knee. Cruel fate.

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  5. Savannah: I agree with *ack* and also with yay, I don't need surgery! xoxo

    Map: Especially as we get older, eh!? xoxo

    UB: Yup, you got that right! Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

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  6. Glad you have an option to surgery though!

    Hope it has you feeling better in no time.

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  7. Hope: CMP almost never needs surgery. It's physio and specific muscle strengthening. And the braces of course, which I hate wearing but will until such time as my kneecaps are better aligned and can stay put without the external fixation devices. Thanks!!

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  8. Mapstew's dead right: knees are a real pain in the ... pain in the knee.

    As you say, though, at least the solution isn't surgical. Is it possible that, once the initial repair and strengthening work has been done, you'll be able to start running again? It was clearly something you enjoyed and, after all, done carefully it can build knee strength too.

    Fingers crossed ...

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