Monday, August 3, 2009

Doctors Appointment Recap

This morning I woke up bright and early for my doctors appointment about my knee. I was so nervous that they were going to tell me I needed surgery and I had already ran through my head how no possible time this year would work for surgery (is there ever a good time for a kindergarten teacher to be out of work and then on crutches? probably not!). Fortunately, that is not what it came to.

I got to the appointment and the first thing they did was take some XRays. I have never had XRays except at the dentist but that was pretty straightforward and not too scary. Then I was lead back to my own little room where the doctor would meet me. When the doctor came he talked to me briefly about where the pain was, what triggered it etc. Then he checked out both of my knees and moved both of them around a lot. He said that everything looks good in my XRays except for a small rough patch along, I believe the tendon? (I should always write things down). But that it was nothing to really worry about (but did explain the pain when we press down hard on my knee). He said that he agrees with the patellar tendonitis diagnosis. The weird thing is, both he and my PT both used patellar tendonitis interchangably with patellafemoral. I'm not sure if that's because they are the same (it appears different in my online research though?) or because they don't want to outright say that my original diagnosis was not right. It does not seem like the treatment plan is very different for either one so it probably does not matter.

The doctor today said that my treatment plan so far has been good and that I should continue to go to the Physical Therapy, which I cannot do because insurance will no longer cover it. I just have to make sure I continue with all of the exercises as religiously as I possibly can. He said that I can continue to run but I should cut down a lot from what I was doing. Since right now I am doing no running at all, I'm not sure if cutting down is really possible. He also said that I have to take Advil before and after running and continue to use the knee straps. I am supposed to go back to him in April 2010 if it still hurts and then I will get an MRI. I really hope it does not still hurt then. So basically this appointment confirmed what I already knew, but did make me feel a lot more confident about my diagnosis and not left wondering if I really have a tear that we just do not know about.

The big guest now is what to do next. Clearly he said I can run, so my first instinct was to do the Couch to 5k plan again, so I can slowly build up my stamina both for the sake of my own body (I am not one of those people who can just pick up at run 3 miles again) and because I am sure the knee would do better with a slow and steady return to running. However, I'm wondering if yes I CAN run, but if it would really be better if I did not. I have tried resting the knee for 2 months now (with the exception of about 3 runs) and it has improved by still does not feel 100 percent. Should I continue with the biking, swimming and walking until I am at 100 percent? Will I hinder my progress and end up back at that doctor's in April if I start running again? I really do want to run, believe me, but even more so I really want this knee to get better. I am no expert on tendonitis, but I thought rest was considered the best thing for it. Does anyone have any experience at this?

I have a fun filled day of beauty appointments (in preparation for the next two weeks of weddings) and some tutoring of the kiddos. I'll leave you with some pictures from my weekend in NH with Eric's fam.
1st- Eric and I on the boat...
On the awesome deck with the lake background...
I love summer weekends.


  1. Glad you're not stuck with surgery.
    Have you thought about acupuncture? I've heard that can be very helpful. Although the needles terrify me.

  2. I feel like a comment on runners' blogs a lot with my story, but you did ask for experience:)

    I was out of running for 6 months last summer with patellafemoral whatever. My left kneecap tracks to the outside, and I had terrible stabbing pain as a result. To keep myself fit, I biked and swam like a madwoman. Those months of just trying to forget running actually did wonders for my recovery. I stopped worrying about hurting myself and worked on getting fast on the bike. Lo and behold, all that cycling helped strengthen my quad muscles, and the time off helped the inflammation go down. I started running again in September with a knee brace that held the kneecap in place(check Brag braces if you'd like), and I immediately PRed in a 5k. I ran a full marathon 6 months later. You WILL run again with time and patience and diligence about your knee. PT was useless for me, but don't stop doing single leg lifts, etc. And never settle for a quick-fix cortisone shot.

  3. Oh man, I have only a little experience with running injuries, and that was from a stress fracture I had. From my experience the best healing took place when I seriously slowed down my workouts. I was on the track team and I was a sprinter, so I started just walking around the track instead. After walking and doing some PT my stress fractures healed. Bottom line, yeah it sucks that you have to slow down your running, but it's worth it in the end.

  4. ooh, yeah, my knee pain (after xray and mri, diagnosis: my knee is just not built to handle the stress i put on it) is managed by pt (i try but sometimes i lax), running schedule, shoes/orthotics... not a great answer, but you'll find things that work for you. when you do, keep with 'em :)

  5. Glad you can run again! I would just take it slowly and try to build up your stamina. I had a lot of trouble with my IT band, and actually my chiropractor was the one who helped it finally heal.

  6. Awww, sorry I have no experience with knee injuries so I can't help here. mixandbake's story above is very inspiring. I can only imagine you wanting to go out for a run but would have to stop yourself. Bummer. I hope slow short runs will be okay for you though.

  7. Sorry, I have no experience in this area. It sounds promising that he did not recommend surgery and that you can run. Keep up with your PT as much as you can and good luck!

  8. definitely glad for no-surgery! that's kind of crazy about waiting a whole year to go back if it still hurts! seems like a long time to have a pain to me, is all.

    it sounds very hopeful though - he did say you could run... maybe do a version of the c25k program but NO back-to-back running days? sorry i have no real tips to provide. keep up the pt and don't push a run/run-walk if it's hurting!

  9. certaіnly like your webѕitе however you need to take a lοok at the spеlling on quite a few of
    your pоstѕ. Seνeral of thеm are rife with spelling problems аnd I to find it very bothersоme to
    inform the reality on the other hаnd I will certainly comе
    again аgain.

    Μy hοmepаge tens
    my site - tens therapy units

  10. I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog readers have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

    Also visit my web site ... taxi company grapevine
    My webpage - euless taxi

  11. Outstanding post however , Ӏ was wondеring іf you could ωгіtе а littе mоrе on this subject?
    I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Bless you!

    Feel free to visit my web page Dfwseospecialists.Com

  12. Hey therе just wanted to giνe уou a bгiеf heads up and
    let you know a few of thе images aгen't loading properly. I'm not
    sure why but I thinκ its a lіnking іssue.
    Ι've tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

    My homepage ...