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.