Friday, December 11, 2009

Just a Flesh Wound!!!(?)

ITBS? If things were so simple and straightforward.
After seeing the results from my MRI last week no wonder my knee hurt so much after 18 miles at the NYC Marathon, when I was forced out of the race (with a few tears) and unable to walk for two days.

The good news is that with some luck and modern medicine it should be fixable.
Learning about the extent of the injury was quite a shock, however. I went into the doctor’s last Thursday thinking micro tears or soft tissue inflammation. Just rest it, stupid! Maybe a small meniscus tear, requiring a simple arthroscopy.
The reality is not for the faint.

Turns out I ran 18 miles (or a segment of that) of the marathon with fracture at the end of my femur. By the end of this failed attempt a section of bone collapsed during the run. Something did go squish at about 16 miles. Not only should I not have run, I should been on crutches for the past six weeks.
Too late for any of that that now.

How did this happen?

So I’m on a wait and see mode—the doctor wants me to try some skiing and running next month. But most likely, this will require surgery where they clean up the mess and graft some bone and cartilage from a healthy part of the knee. This is going to be a long haul, probably 12 to 18 months for full recovery. The knee will probably never be the same.

I just hope to ski fine within a year. We’ll see about running, but I'd be crazy to do another marathon.

Also, I have not been any pain or stiffness this week. That’s great news. I’m swimming and cycling and doing a little upper body work for now, and will get through this.

The onset of pain in the marathon was gradual—no pain through 4 or 5 miles, the a dull ache through 8 or 9. The fracture was hidden by two separate x-rays and physician examinations. It only showed up on the MRI.

I feel like the infamous Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Needless to say, after an experience like that I’m reassessing my priorities and psyche.


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