Int he last couple of weeks I had 10 "therapy sessions" on my left knee. I haven’t run for a period of 10 months and I have struggled to deal mentally with my inability to go on a long, brain-cleansing runs across the fields. My normal pattern results in knee pain flaring up on the left side of the knee after almost exactly 2km, irrespective of the terrain.
I used to talk about it a fair bit on this blog until I began to bore myself.
In the course of this year I have seen 5 doctors;
- The first of which (private) suggested an arthroscopy to look into it (priced up at a cheeky 4 grand, so I thought I might wait a bit).
- The second (NHS) refused to look at the CD of my MRI scan because "it might put a virus" on his PC. Then said he couldn't help anyway.
- The third (NHS) also refused to look at the MRI but told me I should do something other than running and that he couldn't help me unless I couldn't walk.
- The fourth (abroad) suggested Orthokine therapy, and told me to look it up on the internet when I screwed my face in total incomprehension.
- The fifth (abroad) suggested electro / magnet / laser therapy followed by ACP injections (similar to orthokine in that the blood is removed, jiggled about, made all kinda magical and injected into the knee to stimulate cartilage growth.
I decided to go with the last one because it afforded the possibility of alleviating pain through a course of electro / magnet / laser therapy prior to any expensive injections (ACP). Also it made me feel like I was James Bond in the hands of a super-villain.
Having completed these 10 sessions (the bare minimum) on Saturday morning, I flew back with hope in my heart. This morning I went for a gym session in which I attempted to run further than I have in the best part of a year.
I ran 4km on the treadmill, with a minimal gradient to make it feel a little more natural. It is not quite the most I have done as there have been some false dawns this year but I stopped myself just to not stress the cartilage and I have felt no pain all day. Although I am well beyond expecting miracles, this evening I do feel positive.
Running on a trail is altogether a different impact than the metronomic strike of a heavily cushioned foot on a moving carpet, so I will give it a good few runs in the gym before attempting anything outside.
I am so, so far away from the goal (dream?) of running an ultra that I outlined in my goals for the year but I mustn't grumble. I have been fortunate that this injury has not prevented me tramping up a few hills in 2017 - although the descent has not always been comfortable!
Right, I am boring myself again... now I promise not to talk about my knee for a while.