This post will be updated as I receive updates from medical professionals.

The Story of my Knee

I am an active person, with no athletic injuries, well not really – I broke my right saddle joint in my thumb when I was 17 playing floor hockey and numerous toes over the years but that is it.  So on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 when my left knee swelled to the size of a water melon within 2 hours, I was alarmed.  So this post is the story of my knee.

The Story of my Knee

After 2 hours of excruciating pain, and not able to bend my leg I went to the ER. 6 hours later that included an x-ray & blood work, I was sent home on crutches with the diagnose of arthritis. Yeah I didn’t like that so I went to see my family doctor. Arthritis does not just set in 2 hours and cause that kind of swelling. My family doctor says the cartilage band is thick, which is good, so she is leaning towards auto immune. So off for more blood work I go. Every thing comes back clean. Boo.  The downside is the swelling remains, pain is constant without the ability to kneel, squat or bend deeply. Standing for long periods of time ( an hour or longer ) hurts, so does sitting. Ice doesn’t reduce anything nor does heat.

The Story of my Knee

So now, my family doctor arranges a referral to an Ortho Triage & Treatment Specialist, and ordered up an ultra sound and an MRI. In the meantime I am allowed to continue on my exercise  regime as long as there is no impact. ( no running ).

The ultra sound takes place on November 24, 2017. The ultra sound results come back:

  • small leftknee joint effusion with small baker’s cyst
  • extrusion of the body of the medial meniscus. the findings suggest underlying meniscal pathology and further evaluation with MRI is recommended.

Off to the doctors for the results, it suggests big ass tear in my meniscus, which is the cushion between the Femur & Fibula/Tibia that allows movement and shock absorption of the knee. I am now off for twice a week physical therapy for a month ( December, 2017)  as a preemptive strike. Apparently the cartilage of the meniscus can repair itself and there are 4 degrees of tears, mine appears to be in the 4th and worst category. But if the ultra sound was wrong and my tear is an easy repair, physical therapy can help.  So off I go for the month of December, twice a week, the verdict is nope this is not working & the therapist’s recommendation is surgery.  Under my doctor’s orders & approved by therapy I am to continue on a strong leg exercise regime through out this whole process, just no impact. So no running, jumping or bouncing, but karate, spinning, walking & squats are good.

The Story of my Knee

January 9, 2018 I finally get to see the Ortho Triage & Treatment Specialist. He sends me off for more xrays, very specific xrays of both my knees. He says the ultra sound is useless as it does not show a tear just that something is wrong.  The xrays come back clean, meaning no arthritis. But what it does show is that the patella ( the knee cap ) along with the meniscus and tibia ( larger lower leg bone ) are not where they should be, something is moving them, which is causing the swelling & pain. So the MRI is still scheduled to find out what the foreign substance is that is moving stuff it shouldn’t be.  The concern is with the meniscus moving forward into the patella, this could cause a tear which is more problems I don’t need, surgery could be a possibility if this occurs.

So while I wait for the MRI ( February 21, 2018)  I am to cycle for 20 minutes day, every day.  I have a list of heavy leg workouts I am to do daily & I need to ice my knee twice a day every day all while wearing a compression sleeve. I am allowed to resume normal activities, that includes running ( YAY!). If something hurts or my knee swells, I must stop & rest. I need to develop awesome leg muscles which lifts the bones off the meniscus and allows proper movement of everything in that area.

MRI results:

  • Large horizontal tear and minor free margin radial tearing of the medial meniscus with meniscal extrustion
  • complex tearing of the anterior horn of the medial meniscus with a parameniscal cyst
  • moderate patellofemoral and mild medial and lateral compartment osteoarthiritis, with a small joint effusion and bakers cyst.
  • Trochlear dysplasia and lateral patellar subluxation.

According to my family doctor the only remedy is a new knee. I met with the specialist and the path I am on is:

  1. cortisone shots to bring down the inflammation
  2. if that fails, then it is scope surgery
  3. If that doesn’t work – then new knee

So that is where I am now, on a bike spinning away.

Thanks for reading!

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