Friday, December 29, 2006

Osteoarthritis and ????

So, I went to the doctor yesterday. I saw a doctor that two people in my office go to, he is an orthopedist and a sports medicine specialist.

They took x rays of my knees, which is standard procedure. Then, the doctor did an examination of my knees, bending and twisting my legs, pushing on various points on and around my knee and all that. The good news is that I have no ligament problems and nothing jumped out at him during the exam. Except that he definitely noticed some arthritis in my right knee. He showed me how my right knee has a grinding/clicking sound that is absent in my left knee. He said it's possible that was caused by my fall, but of course there is no way to know. He said it's definitely not IT band syndrome. Oh, and my hamstrings are tight. Other than that, no obvious problems.

However, he did say that the pain I described (which is behind my knee) "worries" him a little. So, he ordered an MRI to rule out a meniscus tear (which he's nearly sure it is not) and a stress fracture in my femur. He said that it's also possible I just have a tiny muscle tear that hasn't healed yet, but he wants to make sure it isn't anything else.

So, I am scheduling an MRI for next week, and I see the doctor again in 2 weeks. In the meantime, I am taking prescription strength anti-inflammatory (Relefen) and NO running. He told me that all other forms of cross training are OK. Except stair climbing, and no squats or leg press since that is hard on the knees. He told me to stretch my hamstrings and ice is good. Heat won't necessarily help, but isn't bad either.

I don't know how I feel about all this...

I'm not too worried about the arthritis, because I've never even noticed it and it doesn't hurt at all. He told me that (in the future) I should avoid running on hills, which I don't do too often anyway, so that's fine. There's a lot they can do for that anyway (from medicine to injections to arthroscopy in extreme cases).

I'm not too worried about it being a meniscus tear or a stress fracture, but I'll be glad to know for sure either way. Plus the MRI will show anything else that might be happening, such as the extent of the arthritis (I think) and any muscle tears (I think).

Best case scenario: In two weeks, the doctor tells me nothing is wrong, and I'm ok to run. He gives me advice for the arthritis. I try running and feel ok. I ramp up my mileage gradually and feel great and get in a couple solid long runs and do Boston.

Worst case scenarios: Stress Fracture, meniscus tear, they find alien eggs hatching under my knee cap, they discover robot parts and I find out my real dad is ZX-005, they decide I have two left knees.

Most likely scenario: The doctor tells me nothing is wrong, gives me advice on the arthritis, I can run, but won't be able to ramp up mileage enough to prepare me for Boston without risking either another injury or a really shitty race. I run Boston next year.

I was a total baby about this last night, I cried and pouted and was a bitch to my husband who has been nothing but nice. That's gotta stop. It's not the end of the world. There were people in the doctor's office yesterday in WHEELCHAIRS for God sakes. People who would love to be able to walk around without pain. I can cross train! I will run again! I am young and healthy and will heal. Every runner faces these situations and we get past it. It makes us smarter, better runners. I'm going to be a big girl and quit my bitching. This blog is called Running Stories, and this is one of my stories.


Michele said...

Ok, I got my fingers crossed for the best case.
Cross training is a good break, so enjoy it and maybe you can become a triathlete.

Michele said...

I made my husband read your post.

He is a PT...his advice, ice after any activity. It might just be the arthritis flared up and not letting the inflammation go down.
15 minutes of ice every 3 hours. More then 20 minutes may cause more problems.
When you start back to running avoid concrete. Might even be better to start back on a treadmill.
Yuck (that was me not him)

His 2cents. I am pulling for you to recovery quickly.

jen said...

Thank you Michele and Mr. Michele!!! :) I really appriciate it. I will keep you updated. Off to ice!

Arcaner said...

you gotta be careful. Here's to hoping that you're better in two weeks, though I think it would be cool to have robot parts in my legs. You could be the new bionic woman! happy new year!

Bob Gentile said...

BEST CASE scenario is U never GO back to the Doctors again...ahhh I am SUCH an anti-doctor the way they just throw in a MRI just in case...ya MRI is a great profit center for them surprised he is not doing any other tests and taking blood samples--lol

ok sorry for the doctor hater blurb :-(

WORST case --would be U have 2 left knees but u would have known that by now as you are alwaystrying to run straight--lol so I dont think u have to worry about the 2 left knees :-)

I love Target too...last year a SUPER Target OPENED up right up the block from me...

so know I can get my shampoo toilet paper and a rotisserie chicken and milk and cream for my coffee all in one stop -

Take it easy Jen,heal up!!


Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

"Worst case scenarios: Stress Fracture, meniscus tear, they find alien eggs hatching under my knee cap, they discover robot parts and I find out my real dad is ZX-005, they decide I have two left knees."

Ok, that's damn funny! At least you still have your sense of humer. Cross training is never a bad thing. It has been three weeks now for me with not running, but lots of weights and lots of other cardo. The last week is the first week in 6 years that I haven't had any knee or back pain. Just keep the faith.

Oh, and tell michele, "no triathlons." I'm sure your husband would like to see you once in a while.

McBrideFarm said...

Ugh! I'm so sorry about all your knee trouble, Jen. :( That is really frustrating. But you're right that cross-training is better than nothing (though it may be annoying sometimes). I'm guessing once you're all healed up you'll come back stronger for all your cross-training. :) I'll be thinking of you in the meantime!

Cait said...

Hey came across your blog. I have in the past been a marathon runner and feel for you. I've had a stress fracture, a meniscus tear, and osteoarthritis (i'm 23).

just felt like sharing. i'm trying to find treatment for the oa so i can maybe get back to running. i'm permanently cross training for the time being.

Good luck.

if you have anything i hope for your sake its a stress fracture. no surgery. :)

Nik said...

Hi - its been about a year, I think, since your wrote your entry. I was wondering how the osteoarthritis is and how your running is going? I am going through the same thing and to tell you the truth - its extremely depressing because it hurts to run. I just ran the NYC half marathon in August and I was supposed to run the marathon in November -and then all this OA stuff started. To make things worse, since I stopped running, I've put on about 8 pounds - even tho I go to the gym!

Anonymous said...

Just came across this blog. I feel for you all. I just ran my first 1/2 in January 2012 and had knee surgery 3 days later due to severe degenerative joint disease (OA) I was told I may never run again and I have gained almost 20 lbs not running. it is depressing!!!! I have a personal trainer so hopefully this will help and I can get in the gym. I guess its back to walking on my treadmill