Dr. Google

So, it turns out I am pretty much properly crocked. After the Dorking 10 I was feeling a little fragile, and took a whole week off before attempting a little jog out on the following Sunday morning.

My knee crumbled underneath me just a mile or so later and I hobbled my way home to finish a measly two miles in some discomfort. I rested, iced, compressed but failed to elevate – that’s tricky when you have a six month old to keep occupied, or indeed work on a school site that is built up the side of a hill. I also avoided the NSAIDs that are often advised as a way to keep swelling down – I think I OD’d a little on some strong Naproxen after CCER and now my tummy doesn’t appear to tolerate them well!

I felt pretty good for another weeks rest, and decided to set out on Sunday to see what would happen for a little jog. I was happy to let the chips fall where they may as I knew that a comfortable run would be a bonus, but similarly an uncomfortable run with the onset of swelling could be put to good use when seeing the consultant the following morning. My trepidation didn’t last long, and neither did my run. Two miles in and I was already feeling a little uncomfortable, so by the time I walked home in 2.5 miles I was ready to throw all my running trainers in the bin and burn my t-shirts, shorts and toe socks!

When you have to take time of work when working in a school it can always get a little funny – especially so close to a ten week holiday – but it is particularly annoying when you don’t even walk into the office for your 9am appointment until 9:18, because the consultant didn’t even turn up until 10 past. What’s even more annoying, is when he didn’t apologise for his tardiness either. He simply asked how my knee seemed to be damaged?

I told him I had prepared a brief rundown of timescales etc whilst sat in the waiting room. Apparently, I needn’t have bothered. But sod it, I told him the whole story anyway. In fairness, he did seem to take a lot of notes. I am not sure whether he acknowledged that when I said I ran 50 miles last May, that I meant in one go, not simply in that month. He was a particularly large gentleman though, I am not convinced he is likely to be overly supportive of that phrase that will inevitably come out of my mouth at some point during our consultations… ” but when can I run again?”

With that done, I rolled up my trouser leg and he took a quick look at the offending joint. Within a matter of seconds his thumb had managed to find a particularly sore bit on the lateral side of the knee around where the fibula joins in. It was painful, I winced, he smiled and said “it hurts there, doesn’t it!?” I think he took some pleasure in that.

And there endeth the examination. At this point he quite matter-of-fact-ly told me that he believed I was suffering from a horizontal tear in the lateral meniscus, which had potentially gone on to cause a cyst on the outside of my knee. MRIs and X-Rays now follow to ascertain whether or not this is the case.

Apparently the X-Rays can be completed fairly soon – pretty much whenever I am able to turn up for one at the hospital. MRIs are a different kettle of fish, and whilst I may have to wait just a few weeks for the appointment, the reporting could be the bit that takes the time. Someone at work told me today that they had their MRI after two weeks, then waiting three months for the results.

So, I did as everyone else would do (what the hell did we do before computers?) I googled the hell out of it! And the results are somewhat mixed. Apparently, the horizontal tears are the ones most difficult to fix. But adversly, the vertical ones are trickier to sew up. If it’s on the outside, where blood flow exists, then repair is possible, but on the inner 2/3rds then its very difficult to heal. Will I ever run again? Maybe, if I choose to stick to sedate half marathons, but then someone else has had the op and is in the process of working towards his second 100miler. Oh, why is there no consistency?!?

I wonder what mine will look like

What I did find, was this particularly interesting article on the subject of meniscus tears in running, over on the Running Physio website. The only flaw being that it was titled ‘part 1’ last April and there is still no sign of part two. :-(

So, anyone on here suffered a meniscus tear and lived to tell the tale? Not sure Lyndsey is going to enjoy 10 weeks of holiday with me if I can’t go running!! :-(

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