Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Knee injury updates

I am sitting in the doctor's office waiting room as I type this.
I am here for a second opinion.

The waiting room is packed....I have at least an hour of waiting....he better be good.

So I have not posted about my last doctor's visit.
I went to see him on May 2nd.
I was expecting a PT reference and instead he told me I needed surgery.
I was shocked because 3 radiologists had looked at my MRI and they all said no tear.

I waited in the exam room 1 hour and 15 min and then he walks in all happy and he says "I see a tear" hmmmm WHAT???
I must have had my best pissed off look on my face because he said "oh you don't look happy". Genius guess doc.

He said he knew that the report said no tear but that sometimes they miss some of the tears.  He said he would call the radiologist and discuss what he sees.  If radiologist agrees we do surgery if not then its PT.  I was pissed.   I had a million questions and by the time I was done the radiologist called.  I was there when the doc took the call.  When he hung up he said "yep he agrees with me! He said this could be a tear" He looked way too happy for my taste.

I wanted to cry.  So he said they would send the request to the insurance for surgery.
I left pretty depressed.

3 days later I walked the OC Half Marathon.

Now we are 12 days later.
I am worst.
I can barely walk today.
It sucks
I called doc #1 to see if surgery was approved and they said not yet.
We called the insurance and they told us we did not need approval for this surgery.
So I am now wondering what the hell they are doing at that first office.

I am not in a good place right now, this is hard.  No running.
I am worried about our up coming trip to Washington DC.
We are leaving in 11 days.
This is a trip with a lot of walking around.....
My head is spinning thinking about it....

I am going to blog about this journey because right now I would love to find someone's story with the same injury and read about what they did and how was their comeback to running.  I want to share what I am doing and not doing.
Don't worry I will not whine on every post.
I will swim and work on core and do whatever it takes....yes even rest.

All right will be back with what doc #2 will say.......

All right...I am back...
What a roller coaster day.
Very sorry this post is so long.

I will make this short...
I love doc #2.  He is nice and he took his time and he has a great reputation.  I thought I would wait a really long time and it was not so bad.

He listened to me and he did his exam and he said that my pain does not come from that small tear.
He is not concerned with the tear...it is horizontal and he said that he could pull 50 people off the streets and 30 would have a tear like that and not have any symptoms.

He said my problem is anteriomedial impingement.  He explained what that was with a plastic knee and it makes sense.  My joint is being pinched with every step.  He showed me on the MRI a bruise I have on my tibia, that explains some of the pain also.

He recommended PT as plan A.
He said I have to stop running for now.  For REAL.
He said bike is OK, swimming, pool running without ever extending the leg though.
He said he has a good feeling about this being the plan for me.
He gets that I want to run right now.  
I asked about the tear and surgery and he said right now he thinks it is best to give PT a shot and see if we can avoid surgery.  I like that. Less aggressive approach.
I see him again in 4 weeks.

He made a call to the PT place and asked e top guy to see me TODAY.
Top guy, Jeff the owner,  is hard to get as PT, this is the same place I went last year for my groin and I never saw him.
Jeff said yes come now.
So I did.
Lunch is so overrated anyway.

Met with Jeff and Natalie, another great PT who is a runner.  She will be my PT and he will have inputs.
They made me walk and they looked at my knees. Both said the same...knees tend to roll towards the inside when I walk and surely when I run.  I could see it in the mirror.
They said I needed orthotics to correct this and that this would take pressure off my joint and align my knee.  Makes sense to me.  It will also take pressure off the tear I have.
Did my PT session and I am going back Friday.

So I am feeling optimistic.
I need to find some patience and also not run.

I hope that plan A and those orthotics will work.
I get the orthotics in one week.

We almost had a broken nose in the family over the weekend...
Will was the pitcher for his baseball game and the ball hit him on the nose ...
It was bloody and it scared the crap out of me and him of course... but nothing was broken thank God...


Michael said...

This sounds like great news Caroline!!!! I know it probably still sucks, but it sounds better than alternative #1. Sounds like you found a great Dr and PT...that will go a long way!!

For DC...there are tons and tons of bikes and segways that you can rent. You'll be able to get around.

Take care and do what they are telling you :)

Heal soon!

Boston Bound Brunette said...

I am glad that you feel more comfortable with this doctor. I like his approach and if surgery is needed at least you know that correct steps were taken prior to going under the knife. Not being able to run is very, very tough but you have to think of the BIG PICTURE which is getting back to running. You will get there but you have to let your body heal. I am feeling positive for you.

J. L. said...

I know not running is the hardest thing ever! But you have a whole slew of people cheering you on to be patient with the healing process.

Did you know many triathletes find the sport due to injury? Perhaps you could have a new goal ... and spend some time really working on your swimming. Just. A. Thought. Good luck with everything. And I'm very glad the nose wasn't broken.

Kate Geisen said...

Well, that's cautiously good news. Hope the PT does the trick!

That baseball think is scary. We had J's first baseball game tonight, and I'm not a fan of that hard ball heading towards my baby's face!

Anonymous said...

I worked in orthopaedic surgery for years! I am so sorry doc #1 was like that! Unfortunately, I know the type! I am glad to hear you went to doc #2 and he has a much less invasive approach! Good luck!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

"I called doc #1 to see if surgery was approved and they said not yet.
We called the insurance and they told us we did not need approval for this surgery."\

that is a bunch of crap~ good thing you went for a second opinion! glad they got you in to PT right away, hope you heal fast my friend, injuries are so discouraging!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

not that this makes you feel better but they have proven that a lot of knee surgery for torn meniscus like that is unneccessary (wow I can't seem to spell that this morning) and they found that people felt better even if all they did was put them to sleep and make the incisions to make it look like they had the surgery, but didn't actually do anything. Placebo effect. so yes PT first saves you money! maybe it does make you feel better ;)

The Unexpected Runner said...

Caro, I'm so happy ou found a doc that you trust. I really hope te PT works for you. Don't worry about DC. It will be fun and you can take your time getting around. Even bike! Which the boys would probably love. We took our boys when they were about the same age...fantastic trip :)

I'm glad your son is ok! When I saw the picture it reminded me of a couple week ago at a track meet we got freeze frame photos of Thing 1 wiping out in the steeplechase.....so scary!

Canuck Mom said...

Thinking about you and praying that Plan A right now works out well!! Sounds like you are in some good and knowledgeable hands.

Tasha Malcolm said...

Sounds like doc #2 is a winner. It is always important that you feel comfortable with your physician and it sounds like you do. They should listen to us as patients and surgery should never be Plan A if at all possible. I am walking proof of that. I was a prime candidate for a fasciotomoy exactly 12 months ago, but opted for a a more conservative route. In the end, I avoided surgery entirely. Good luck, I will be thinking about you!!!!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Great news with no surgery!! I am happy to hear this.

PT can be kinda fun if your PT makes it fun.

Coy Martinez said...

Oh friend, I went through this back when I had a very bad case of ITBS. I went to all kinds of physical therapy for a stupid band in my leg. I can completely understand your frustration. It can be so overwhelming. My only saving grace was swimming. Actually that's when I started becoming serious about swimming because it's all I had for quite some time.

I hope you start to see rays of sunshine soon. This isn't forever so hang in there!

giraffy said...

I am so glad you went for a second opinion - I am always skeptical when a doctor jumps to surgery immediately, and what the heck are they doing over there with approvals, anyway?! Shady.

Hopefully the PT gets you in comfortable walking condition for your trip!!

Nelly said...

wow, you really have been on a rollercoaster. First off, why did the first doc walk in smiling and say that you had a tear? That is definitely not pleasant news to deliver to someone.

Doc #2 sounds way better to me. Hopefully you are able to avoid surgery. You may be dealing with what I had in May 2011, and now in some respect too. My left knee sometimes caves inside when I do a squat or similar exercise, so right now in PT I'm doing exercises to strengthen my glutes and hips. They also said that I had an alignment problem with my patella in my knee.

I would be careful about the orthotic inserts, I wear superfeet inserts in my work shoes for more support, but that is about it. Everything else I just wear as is. Hopefully you are able to stay fit without running, today I'm actually going to get back to swimming, might also help me with some cross training.

Terzah said...

I'm sorry I'm late to the commenting party (I saw some of your posts on FB, but I'm not in Google Reader so much any more so I missed the blog post until now)--but this sounds like much better news. I promise you can get through the time of no running (I did!) and I bet this will make you stronger when you start again. I'm very happy you don't have to have surgery and I hope you're feeling less stressed about the D.C. trip.

Black Knight said...

No surgery is a great news. Be careful about the orthotic inserts, I had problems and the things went better without them.
However ... I have a broken scapula.... I can run but no swim. The 3rd fracture in 6 years, the second in 2 years: my PB!

Anonymous said...

SOOOOO glad you got a 2nd opinion!! he seems very knowledgeable and it helps that he has some connections! Good luck with PT!

Nelly said...

The main reason I said to be careful about the orthotics is that they can prevent the foot from going through it's natural gait cycle of rolling from outside to in within the shoe. Since this is natural for the foot to do this with every foot strike.

My problem was that my hips and glutes were too weak, and the surrounding muscles around the knee as well - so that when I ran my knee went inside, putting more pressure on the meniscus. So for me the key was strengthening those muscles to provide enough support to not do that.

Generally how I understood it is that orthotics are most of the time only supposed to be a temporary solution, but strengthening should be the permanent solution. Some people really do need orthotics to correct something though - not sure if you are in this group. I hope that you got evaluated by a podiatrist to fully determine whether you need permanent orthotics or just need strengthening.

I'm assuming that you follow Gracie? She is the one that first alerted me to be careful about orthotics when I was dealing with them in May 2011.

This is a doctor that I read his articles sometimes, very interesting stuff:


I asked my PT person whether I should still be wearing superfeet inserts in my work shoes and she said yes, maybe I need to confirm this with her again. I don't wear anything in my running shoes.

Elizabeth said...

your story is SO similar to mine-just different parts. my labral tear was causing the impingement...but obviously PT didn't help. I totally understand on the no running- it sucks. it really, really sucks. I'm so jealous that you can swim and bike. I can't wait for that. saying prayers that all is okay with you. hugs!

Anne said...

Ouf! Toute une histoire! Je suis contente que tu as eu une 2e opinion, si tu peux éviter la chirurgie ce serait tellement mieux! J'espère que la physio t'aideras...et que tu pourras reprendre la course bientôt!!!
Moi, c'est le genou droit qui entre en dedans (mais, je ne crois pas que c'était aussi sérieux que toi). J'ai du faire de la physio pour renforcer les muscles et changer un peu ma façon de courir. J'en ai fait du vélo. Aujourd'hui, le genou entre encore un peu, surtout quand je suis fatiguée, mais ce n'est plus un problème. Lâche pas ma chère Caro! Gros câlin ((()))

Anne said...

J'oubliais...une chance que ton garçon n'a pas le nez cassé...toute une photo ça!!!

Unknown said...

Great news! I love a doctor that is willing to try PT before making a surgery recommendation. I also like that he agrees there is a tear but that isn't your problem. Yay for a doctor continuing to look past the easy answer.

I know this post was a few days ago, so I hope things are going well. I'm excited for you for your trip to DC. I hope these PT sessions will get you through.

Unknown said...

I am also a runner that's why I can feel the sorrow of a runner, while passing through the pain or displacement of knee or ankle. In such condition, runner need to be patience and ore on the tend.
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