On Tuesday, I announced that I ran 2.5 pain-free miles. Ehh, so what. Well, if you’ve been reading Nutrition Nut for a while, you may have seen me mention something or two about my troubling right knee.
Way back when – December 2, 2012 to be exact – I woke up with rather significant pain in my right knee. I don’t remember a particular event the day before, or even that week, that may have been the source of my injury; but, in those days, I was being a bit ridiculous (if I think about it now) with my exercise regimen. I was training for a 10K race and enamored with CrossFit (I completed five WODs that week in addition to my 10K training). I felt my exercise was somewhat balanced; yet, in reality, I was “over-doing it.”
I won’t recap the past nine months of my first sports injury. For one, this isn’t meant to be a pity post; and two, it would be a bore of read anyway. Instead, I want to give an update on my knee by highlighting the pros of this injury. As I said, this is my first athletic-related injury. I feel fortunate that I haven’t encountered any others until now; but, nonetheless, it’s still a drag to be sidelined from your favorite pastimes.
In the last nine months…
- I have seen 2 primary care doctors, 2 physical therapists, 2 orthopedic surgeons, 1 manual therapist, and 1 acupuncturist.
- I have had 1 x-ray, 1 MRI, 9 physical therapy sessions, and countless tapings.
- I have purchased 2 different knee braces, 1 foam roller, 1 pair of running shoes, 1 pair of orthotics, and many bags of Trader Joe’s frozen peas.
And guess what… after all that, my knee pain is still a mystery. I find in peculiar that both orthopedic surgeons (and PTs) couldn’t diagnose what is up inside. Doctors have all the answers, right? And a $1,270 photo of my knee has to show something… something! Wrong. The body is a complicated piece of machinery, and I’ve concluded that there is something to say about rest vs. the many methods of Western medicine.
Determined to maintain my fitness through an injury, I stubbornly pushed through the discomfort for months. I returned to the box after a 10-week hiatus and trotted through early morning roommate runs. The situation wasn’t progressing; I felt as though I was just spinning my wheels and not traveling down a road to recovery.
That was it: the gym membership was cancelled, and my running shoes turned into walking shoes. I had to trust myself and my body that letting go of intense physical activity was acceptable. It wasn’t a forever type of deal.
After my appointment last week with the second orthopedic surgeon, I am finally finding peace in the situation. There have been countless tears and bouts of frustration as I searched for an answer that wasn’t to be found. Of course, I wish someone – somewhere – could have given me an answer along the way; but, alas, my wallet needs a break from trying to find one. The second doc didn’t think cutting me open was the right solution at this point in time, while the first doc was willing to do exploratory orthoscopic surgery for my lateral meniscus that “looks funny.”
Because we can’t pinpoint the problem, I’m going to stick with my plan of more R&R. Once I disciplined myself to stop running completely, I’ve felt slight improvement that leaves me hopeful — the pain has minimized, and while my range of motion is limited, I’m still highly mobile.
One year with minimal running, and less exercise overall, is better than an expensive, unpromising surgery in my book. At least this injury has been a lesson in disguise…
The Pros of My Knee Injury
I have learned to be patient with my body.
I have learned to appreciate walking and 10:00 minute-mile pace runs.
I have learned to not take running for granted.
I have learned the anatomy of my lower extremities.
I have learned that proper footwear is key: fit > fashion.
I have learned to better budget my bank account, as I paid off said medical expenses listed above.
I have learned to love planks and push-ups.
I have learned that going “gym-less” does not directly correlate to turning into a couch potato.
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Have you dealt with a sports-related injury?
Have you had any knee troubles? If so, what helped your recovery?