This (K)needs To Stop

What needs to stop? This maddening pattern of blog posts (and the circumstances that inspire the posts) that’s basically:

  • “Boo, I’m injured.”
  • “I’ve done PT and am back to running and it’s fun and awesome and I love it!”
  • “Boo, I’m injured.”
  • “I’ve done PT and am back to running and it’s fun and awesome and I love it!”
  • Repeat ad nauseam.

“What happened now?!” I hear you asking, perhaps with an exasperated sigh. Thanks for asking, and I echo that sigh of exasperation! Here’s my newest tale of woe: The Ballad of Runner’s Knee.

Remember a few weeks back when I had a terrible Sunday morning run with the Shammies, due to everything hurting coupled with a dodgy stomach from a not-great breakfast (shared in Reason #2 to DNS my 10-miler)? Well, one of the things that really bothered me on that run was my right knee. One of the Shammies said I should probably be running with a brace, so I wore one at the Kick in for Kids race, just in case.

At the post-race party, I was peer-pressured into the massage tent with promises of a nice leg rub, only to have the PT in the tent look at my knee brace and start asking questions. At the time, my knee wasn’t bothering me at all… didn’t hurt during the race, wasn’t hurting after; the brace was a mere precaution. But I mentioned the random pain from the previous run, and instead of my nice post-race massage I ended up with a quick knee exam that ended with not-so-good news.

The PT didn’t like the way my knee looked (“a little swollen”), sounded (“it shouldn’t be popping like that”), or moved (“yeah…”). She told me to RICE it (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate), gave me her card, and shooed me out of the tent. A bit shell-shocked, I wandered away only to bump into Steve, the Shammies coach. He asked how it had gone, and when I told him my knee was dodgy, he immediately led me across the parking lot to the other PT group in attendance and introduced me to their team. I chatted with one of their PTs for a few minutes, and she told me the dodginess was likely caused by hypermobility in the knee paired with lack of strength in the surrounding muscles… a diagnosis that sounded very familiar! My trainer at the injury prevention clinic said exactly the same thing – my muscles aren’t strong or flexible enough to support my crazy mobile joints, which leads to lots of sprains, strains, and other injuries that I’m prone to. She gave me her card and an ice pack to put on my knee, and off I went to enjoy the free beer and barbecue, which distracted me from my knee pretty well.

Then this is what I looked like the next day at work:

knee1…an ice pack tied to my knee and my leg elevated under my desk with the help of a recycling bin. My knee was swollen and tender, so I started a regimen of ibuprofen, ice, and everyday wear of my patella strap. I figured it would sort itself out in a few days and then I’d get down to business with training for my upcoming half.

Nearly a week of anti-inflammatories, ice, and compression didn’t seem to help much, and I was still rocking the ice pack on the reg on Saturday:

The ice pack is my friend.

The ice pack is my friend. As is dark nail polish… great for hiding dodgy runner’s toenails!

At the advice of my visiting MIL, who has had knee issues in the past, I emailed my doctor’s office and was pleasantly surprised when they arranged for me to see orthopedics right away, without having to see my PCP first. (I think they’re starting to remember me…)

I saw the ortho Monday morning, and was again pleasantly surprised to find myself chatting with the head of sports medicine at the clinic. He listened to my tale of woe, then inspected my knee and jerked it around a bit and tested its strength and basically gave me the impression that he knew what he was doing, which was reassuring. (The other ortho I’ve seen at this clinic usually pokes at the body part in question for a few seconds then gives me a referral to PT.)

Thankfully my ligaments are all strong and I’m in no danger of my ACL or MCL shredding (which I wasn’t really worried about, but it was nice to hear!), and x-rays came back normal, so he’s pretty sure I have patellofemoral pain syndrome, or Runner’s Knee. I actually thought I had this back in October when I was training for my first half, but that turned out to just be tendonitis… or was it? I’m wondering if it started up back then but, due to foot and rib injuries that resulted in my not running very much, the symptoms didn’t really have a chance to show until now.

Anyway, yes. Runner’s Knee. The ortho prescribed me a 7-10 day regimen of Aleve, ice, and continued wear of my patella strap, as well as a course of PT. He also told me not to run until the PT can “ease me back in.” Boo! Don’t doctors and my body know that I have training to do?! Thankfully the PT can see me pretty quickly, so hopefully I can get better and get back out there ASAP.

Stylin' in my hospital gown pre-xray.

Stylin’ in my hospital gown pre-xray.

Have you ever had Runner’s Knee? How did you treat it?

Are you as sick of my “I’m injured” posts as I am??


24 thoughts on “This (K)needs To Stop

  1. Nooo, not sick of them. It all part of the running craziness!! Going through shin issues at the moment – first its torn calf muscle, then it’s shin splints, then it’s tendon inflamation and sensitivity……UGH!! But…. like a dutiful patient (not) I’m not really resting much because whether I rest or not it will eventually go away when it’s good and ready – about 6-8 weeks – because bone damage takes that long to heal and nothing much will make that any quicker!!
    Good luck with the “Runners Knee” – Something I dread is waiting for me one day……eek!!

    • Oh no! Torn calf muscle sounds terrible and painful. I hope the 6-8 weeks goes by speedily for you! And as long as you keep your leg muscles strong, Runner’s Knee should probably leave you alone… that’s what I’m learning! My leg muscles are absurdly weak. At least I know what to work on! πŸ™‚

      • Lol! It was strangely not painful – that’s how I damaged everything else! For some reason big pain just doesn’t register! Still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing!! Ha! Core training! Always core training for one injury or another lol!

        • I guess that’s good…? But not good if it led to other things being damaged… at least that didn’t happen while also being terribly painful! πŸ˜‰ And yes… core training ALL the time!

    • Thanks, me too! Haha, shredded ligaments does sound terrible… I didn’t think I was in immediate danger of that, but nice to hear regardless! πŸ˜‰

  2. Definitely not sick of them! Just feel so bad for you 😦 being injured sucks! How are you feeling? I do really like the blog title (I’m a sucker for a pun) but i hope all this subsides for you so you can get back out there πŸ™‚ Love the icing at the desk move! What better way to do it?!

    • Thanks, it does suck! I’m feeling okay for the most part. Knee is a little tender depending on how I move it. Mostly I’m itching to get out and run now that the weather is finally nice… argh! And it’s true… if I’m sitting at my desk, might as well take advantage of the situation and ice! πŸ™‚

        • The PT told me to rest it completely for a week and not do anything that hurts it (kneeling, bending it too far, walking too much, etc.). When I see them next I’ll probably ask when I can start transitioning into doing other things like yoga or cross training. We shall see!

  3. It’s encouraging for other runners who feel like they are endlessly injured, or have their training on hold while they heal to know that there are others out there going through what they are going through and feeling what they feel. Getting better seems to take forever! Hope your healing goes quick and you are back at it soon!

    • True, that’s a good point! Thanks πŸ™‚ And yeesh, getting better does seen to take forever, doesn’t it?!

  4. This sucks! But I’m glad you finally found a doctor who seems to know what’s going on. My prescription is MORE STRENGTH TRAINING! Or whatever the PT tells you, I guess, considering I’m not a doctor πŸ˜‰ I’ll be sending quick recovery vibes your way!

    • Thanks! Me. Too. I felt like I was in much better hands! And YES strength training!! That is what I’m being told I need to do, and this may just be the kick in the bum I need! πŸ™‚

      • I just downloaded a great app called 30 days–it tracks your progress for lots of different 30 day challenges–planks, pushups, squats etc. It doesn’t do reminders, which is a bummer, but it tells you what to do every day. It’s pretty cool, and it’s free!

  5. Nope not sick of them at all……it happens sometimes and we runners learn from each other….so I know it sucks for you but it can also be helpful to others….thank you for sharing!!! You know I”m still dealing with my darn hamstring and I really hope to be back on the pavement Monday (fingers are crossed). I think I had runner’s knee (self diagnosed of course) when I first started running. I just stopped running for a while (i think 3 weeks) and just waited it out…..Hope you feel better and back on the pavement soon!!!

    • Thanks, that’s a good point! When I get injured I definitely search around the blogosphere for advice and just the knowledge that others have gone through it and come out okay on the other side πŸ™‚ I hope your hammy starts behaving itself soon!!

  6. Not sick of them at all! I never want to hear of someone hurting, but it is nice to know I am not alone, running injuries suck! I have not posted for a while as I am not running, so nothing to post about. Hopefully I will get more info at my physio apt tomorrow. Great to hear that they at least know what it is now and you can be on your way to recovery and getting back to it! Looking forward to hearing about your recovery! πŸ˜€

    • Oh no! Sorry to hear that you’re injured too! 😦 I know what you mean – I never like hearing about other people hurting, but it is nice to know I’m not the only one who experiences these things. Good luck at your physio appointment, and I hope you can get back to running ASAP!

    • Thanks, I hope so too! I should have already been training for the half… oops! I’m hoping the race organizers will let me switch to the 5K option, because that will be so much less stressful for me!

  7. Ugh I’m sorry about your injury, I know how that goes. You probably know it was a similar tingling injury (a broken foot) that never quite got better and sidelined me… for 9 years.
    NOT that I think this will sideline you for that long (if at all)!! There are far more/better ways to rehabilitate a knee as opposed to a foot. All I mean to say is that I can commiserate on how stupid/frustrating it feels to think you might finally be better only for the same injury to rear its butt-ugly head. URGH!!!
    Keep on keepin on, sista- you’ll learn how to work with this knee o’yours eventually and be ship shape soon!

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