Monday 22 December 2008

MRI results: Knee damage :(

Just get last weeks updates done briefly. I posted already that I did a fast 10 miles on Tuesday. I followed that up with yoga as usual. I rested on Wednesday and then did my 3 mile time trial on Thursday. I improved again, by 16 seconds, doing the 3 miles in 20:40 which is just under 6:54 minute mile pace. I am very happy with these results, and it just shows the benefits of doing this weekly session.

I did my usual gym work on Thursday afterwards.

I noticed when using my inversion bar, and doing reverse squats (squats whilst hanging upside down) that I have started pulling to the right. My left leg is not as strong as the right, so I was getting suspicious that the knee problem was getting worse.

I had the MRI on Thursday, which was a first for me. Trying to remain motionless for 25 minutes is a lot harder than it sounds. It's not just the knee I was told to keep still, it was my whole body. It becomes a mental contest, trying not to twitch your toes!

On Saturday I did a steady 10 mile trail run, taking in about 900ft of ascent.

Today, Monday, I collected the MRI film and consultant report. Normally this would have gone to the referring doctor, but my uncle is on holiday until the New Year, so I will pass it on when he gets back.

Pointless me looking at the film because I have no idea what I am looking at. The consultant reports, again I don't pretend to know the prognosis for that described, but I have some idea why I am getting pain and loss of strength.

A few extracts from the report

"There is some focal swelling and signal abnormality in the proximal end of the infra-patellar tendon at the attachment to the inferior pole of the patella in keeping with tendinosis."

Later it is simply stated as "Focal Patellar Tendinosis", which is commonly referred to as 'Jumpers Knee' I believe. From briefly looking it up on the internet it says there is 50/50 split on whether to tackle it using RICE method or surgery. Surgery does usually produce good results.

The other highlight of the report is:
"The medial meniscus appears normal. A small vertical tear i seen in the extreme posterior horn of the lateral meniscus close to the supporting fascicles but not quite reaching the superior articular surface"

Now, I'm just reading that as a small cartilage tear, and don't know enough to know how serious this is. I realise many tears can only be corrected with surgery.

The good news:
"The tendon (patellar) intact and the patella itself shows no sign of abnormality. The cruciate and collateral ligaments are intact. No signal abnormality is identified in the bone marrow and there is no sign of a Popliteal cyst."

I had hoped I might have a Popliteus problem and not a cartilage tear, so all of this isn't good news. What I do not know is how limiting these injuries can be. At the moment running up to half marathon isn't causing me problems, and my running in general is coming on very well. However, I am getting knee pain just walking around, and especially climbing stairs, pain in the knee when raising myself to a standing position, and also pain when sitting cross-legged (at yoga for example). There is an obvious strength discrepancy between the legs when I am doing the squats, which is getting worse.

I am due to do a 22 mile LDWA, which has quite a lot of ascent, on January 2nd. That is going to be the first test. If I struggle with that, then I am in trouble. I am fully paid up for the Atacama Crossing at the end of March. If I cancelled I would undoubtedly lose some money, but my insurance policy (one tailored for me) could well cover any loss. Until I get expert advice on the findings of the scan, I am in limbo. It will be two weeks before I know any more, so I will just carry on as normal and hope for the best.

Of course, if anyone here can decipher the medical speak any better, please feel free to comment and let me know what the prognosis might be?

Have a good week.

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