Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Knee Pain

Speaking of injuries, I am hoping someone who reads the blog might be able to help me...

My knee pain is on the inside of the top "ball" of my left knee. I felt it 2 Fridays ago while walking around after my run and I can't seem to place how/when it started...but it wasn't something that happened (at least that I felt) while running. I ran over the last two weekends fine but last Monday morning, when I woke up, my leg was stiff. I tried to run, but decided it was best to take the day off. I iced and Advil-ed. Last Tuesday the knee felt better and it warmed up quickly...it was a little worse on Wednesday morning and about the same Thursday. Fast forward almost a week later and I still have the pain...not worse nor better. It warms/loosens up after 30 minutes and I can still push hard, but my guess is that I don't want to aggravate it. I've been icing 2x a day and using heat pre-run. The pain is more severe in the morning when I wake up (no movement for 8 hours?). It almost feels like I banged my knee against something and bruised it...and I don't think that happened. If I lift my leg up and down (bending at the knee) there is sometimes a slight pop.

Again, I can run, but it can be a bit distracting. Any thoughts on what it might be or what I can do - someone on this list has to have had this pain before.? I seem to notice more today (Tues) and I will likely take two cautionary days off and see how it feels come Friday, but I invite feedback in the comments below. Thanks in advance.


JARRIN said...

Jake - I have one word for you: Plica. Look it up on google and we can talk about it later. Usually requires arthroscopic surgery to really fix it. The real test is if it hurts when you weight bare on it. Try doing some walking lunges and if when the bad knee is extended away from your body behind you it hurts like someone is prying your kneecap off with a screwdriver, it's probably Plica.

havegoats said...

a lot of the description sounds like typical tendonitous- fine when loosening up, hurts worse in the morning... no specific impact- there wasn't any "snap", "crack" or "pop" that triggered it. my instinct, but I am not a MD.

Ben said...

Jake I had Dr. K from Georgetown remove the plica thing from my knee. I ran well after but being out as long as I was did not help the motivation. I can def give you more incite on this. I dealt with it for 6 months before I had surgery.

KLIM said...

Thanks everyone.

Jarrin & Ben - you scare the bejesus out of me. Stop with that plica talk!

Here is what someone else told me...I like his diagnosis better.

The fact that is is worse in the morning and loosens up during a run, means it probably is the VMO tendon and not runner's knee or a tracking problem or a cartilege problem or some sort of tear. The VMO is the tear dropped shaped muscle on the inner thigh just above the kneecap. Its tendon attaches to the lower leg, the patella tendon and the patella itself. My guess is this tendon is inflamed and hence you have tendonitis. Also because it is inflamed there is a little pop when the kneecap glides over the region. I would continue to ice and Advil and back off running whenever it takes a turn for the worse, but would generally keep running. I am not sure you should heat it for a couple more weeks and if so only before a run and never after. Also you should lightly stretch the VMO muscle to elongate it to put less stress on the tendon to allow it to heal. You do this by grabbing your foot and pulling it up to your butt while standing on one leg. After you get some flexibility, you can sit on your inner calves with feet pointed outward and then you slowly lie backwards. Don't try to do this right off the bat as you are probably way too tight. The best time to stretch is a little light stretching a few times during the day, a little before running and a little more vigorous stretching after an easy run, but not after a hard or long run. Also, start out with very gentle stretching for a few day as pulling on the tendon too much too soon could make it worse.

That is my amateur assessment!

havegoats said...

does the oracle get credit too? it doesn't speak with as much medical mumbo jumbo, it goes with its trance induced spirit