So I went for the MRI on my knee on Sunday night (after a broken machine caused me to reschedule!) and had my follow-up appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon yesterday. It turns out that my knee pain isn’t due to a meniscus tear, but due to some degeneration within the meniscus. Apparently the meniscus isn’t designed to last forever, but this degeneration doesn’t generally start until people are over the age of 30 and primarily starts in people who are around 50-60 years old. My situation seems similar to this guys, I think. The doctor explained it like a jelly donut, where the outside of the meniscus seemed alright, but it was the inside that had deteriorated a bit. Not the most uplifting news in the world!
The good news was that it wasn’t a tear and there is no need (or would be no benefit) for surgery at the moment. The doctor recommended physical therapy, which I start next Wednesday. I’m hoping that with the therapy it can start to get better, since I can’t imagine that I’ve already reached the peak of my meniscus! In the meantime maybe I’ll test out a few different styles of knee braces to see if they help. There’s also some patella (knee cap) tendon pain as well, so maybe the braces can help out with that as well.
While researching this condition, I did stumble across another condition called a meniscus contusion, which someone asked about on a Runner’s World forum. I know the doctor is the expert, but for some reason a meniscal contusion sounds better to me than meniscal degeneration…so maybe that’s what I’ll convince myself I have.
I want to get back out running, but the weather has been so bad around here lately that I don’t feel quite as bad about not getting out there. When the weather warms up though, I know I’ll be Jonesin’ pretty bad.
Anyways, now I can add meniscal degeneration (contusion?) to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction as my current ailments affecting my running career. How come I can’t get normal (or NO) injuries!!!