Friday, October 28, 2016


Not my knee, but it looked like this.
So I made an appointment and went back to the orthopedic sports doctor about my knees. This time we had x-rays done before the appointment to rule out some of the things that could be causing my troubles. So, for the first time in my life other than my teeth, I got an x-ray. It was an interesting experience. Always concerning when you have to cover your balls with a lead apron, but I'm sure they're fine.

Anyways, once those were done I met with the doctor and... everything looks normal. Based on his physical examination there is no tear of my meniscus, and based on the x-rays there are no bone spurs or deterioration of the meniscus that would be causing any issues either. He said the x-rays looked completely normal. Pretty much like the picture I included, which is a top result for "normal knee x-ray."

He doesn't seem to think an MRI would really reveal anything other than inflamed meniscus behind the knees, so that was the diagnosis. Based on my symptoms, pretty much everything lines up with that. Now, normally the inflammation goes down with rest, but in my case progress has been glacial at best. This was something, the knee stuff, I was struggling with for a long time if you look back in my blog. So I built it up over time. That, coupled with the fact I seem to be a slow "recoverer," whether it be muscle soreness, a scab, or inflamed meniscus, has led to this point.

Another issue is that your everyday life continues to irritate the meniscus if it is already irritated. So just day to day walking and going up stairs is enough to keep it from healing very much once it is bad. So what's the next step? Knee braces. I am the proud owner of nearly $400 worth of knee brace technology. Now, I really only have to wear these during physical activity, but since I have gotten them I have pretty much been wearing them all day. Can't hurt, and I wasn't healing much, if at all, when I was a total coach potato.

Sexy, right?
The braces basically take a majority of the load that would normally put stress on my meniscus. I don't know exactly how, but instead of that pressure going to my knees, it is transferred to the brace. My knees do feel better with them on. I purposefully flared my knees up over the weekend before the appointment, and in the doctor's office a squat which was super painful without the brace was now doable with the brace. Same with the stairs. Instead of walking down like an old man, I was able to walk down normal. It didn't solve 100% of the issues, but it took away 95% of it. So that was nice.

Long story short, we are trying this. In fact, I have even been cleared to run with them. I'm not super eager to start running right away, I'll probably test a little bit, but we'll see. I don't want to really start running until the inflammation goes down for a while. The next step is cortisone shots in my knees, which would probably help, but I'd like to avoid if possible. Don't wary fair readers I'll keep you in the loop!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


The Portland Marathon was last weekend. I kind of missed it.
It's been about five months since I stopped running due to my knee weirdness. Is anything better? It's hard to say. A little perhaps. The random muscle soreness has gone away. The leg muscle pain was always after activity, so I think it is pretty clear that was tied to whatever was going on with my knees. I did have some muscle soreness after some activity recently (I think it was when I played tennis) but it was minor compared to when I was back running. The only thing that really remains now is the knee stuff. So I think it is clear the knee stuff is really the root of all this.

Still zero answers in the knee deal. Per the doctor request, I've been taking it easy. VERY easy. Two months of very limited activity other than walking for my normal life. The frustrating part is my knees are still sore. Is it better? Ehhh. Hard to tell. It definitely "flares" up... there are days where I feel almost normal and then there are days were it is bad. When it is bad walking down stairs or down an incline really can hurt. If I "warm" my knees up though it gets better, not gone, but better. I should probably start a spreadsheet to track how my knees are doing because the progress might be incremental enough that I'm not noticing. Still though, it's been FIVE MONTHS and I am still having the problem.

The next step is to go to the doctor and get some sort of imaging done. Considering I'm 70% of the way to my $1500 deductible I should probably do that soon. In fact, I think that'll be my next step in a couple of weeks. Could I continue on my current course and have things get better? Maybe. However, in the end I still wouldn't know exactly what was wrong and if it would happen again. So I really would like an answer. I would like to get back to running, maybe next spring if I can get well, so I don't want to do that and just have this crap all happen again.