Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Meniscus Blues

The good news is that I am apparently pretty proficient at reading images from an MRI. The bad news is that I have a medial meniscus tear in the posterior horn on the medial side. How did this happen?!

Well, I think I have some idea. You may recall a couple of blog posts ago, I didn't exactly train for the Saint George marathon. Also, you may recall in my last post, the Saint George marathon was mostly down hill (especially at the end when my muscles were tired).

I think a combination of those 2 things has lead to a tear in the meniscus in my right knee. I noticed some pain after the marathon and didn't really bother worrying about it until a week afterward. I felt pain on the medial side of the right knee and it didn't really get too much better. I could walk fine but it seemed kind of irritated. I went to PT and to an ortho and he recommended an MRI. They actually handed me the DVD of the images afterward and in the time between the scan and my appt I became an amateur MRI expert. I knew going into my meeting today that I had some kind of tear and where it was.

Turns out it is a horizontal undersurface tearing involving the posterior body segment medial meniscus. I also have some grade 2-3 chondral fissuring of the lateral weight bearing medial femoral condyle. What that means is

1. I have a tear in the cushion between my 2 main leg bones. It is likely degenerative in nature and not something that would (or should) be solved surgically. The prescription is to diversify training (including yoga) and do more leg strengthening.

2. Also, i have grade 2 (mild) or 3 (moderate) degeneration of part of the cushion as well. If i get to stage 4, it could be problems. So the prescription is the same.

There is actually no evidence that the tear occurred because of the marathon nor is there evidence that the degeneration is due to running. In fact, it is quite likely that I would have similar or possibly nearly as sever degeneration just from being alive and moving. That being said, if I make some changes I should be ok and running again fairly soon. The tear may have been there for years and only got irritated by the marathon. This guy seems to know what I am going through. And this is also an excellent explanation as to why it hurts, how long it will hurt, etc.

What I am going to do is the following:
1. Skip Las Vegas this year. I did 2 marathons this year already, Las Vegas is in 2 weeks and I already limped into a marathon this year. I regret trying to cram these in anyway. I love doing them and I have like 9 left. Plus, cramming them actually may cause issues. So, i'll lose some money but canceling a marathon due to injury is not an unheard of thing for me (see Ann Arbor). My mom pointed out that maybe going to Las Vegas this year (due to the shooting) wouldn't be the best. Also, I was just literally in Las Vegas when I flew in for Saint George 2 weeks ago.

2. I do yoga now! I went once already and go again tomorrow. It's healthy and something I can do with Emily!

3. PT with Jaime for a while, leg strengthening

4. Purchase leg compression sleeve. Done.

5. Get good at swimming. I did 3 miles last week (a record) and hope to do 4 this week.

6. Gradually start running again and build up for possibly a half marathon in December or at the very least a half marathon at the beginning of spring season (February'ish).