Monday, November 29, 2004

Oh My Aching Knee

Well, for a good bit over a year now I've used the old "ignore it and maybe it will go away" approach to nagging knee pain. Unfortunately however, it is not going away and so today I had to break down and make an orthopedic appointment. I kept thinking maybe it was just a pulled muscle or something like that. I tried gentle yoga, stretching, rest, heat, ice, everything, but nothing has worked. I don't believe it's related to singlespeed biking or dancing because the pain predates the institution of both those activities. Besides, I'm running what a friend calls a very "user friendly" gear ratio on my bike, and I always try to warm-up/stretch and cool down sufficiently before and after strenuous activities, making sure my muscles are nice and warm before doing any real exertion. The pain is a stabbing, deep ache that runs from the inner aspect of my right knee cap, across the front of the joint line, and over to the outer edge. It feels like a hot iron rod is being pushed through the knee itself. Attempting any kind of external rotation, such as sitting cross legged on the floor in the yoga "lotus" position and trying to push the right knee toward the floor causes excruciating, intolerable pain. I also have persistent, frequent and rather painful give-way weakness, especially when performing movements such as the downward pedal stroke on my bike, and notice a distinctive pop or click when flexing or extending my knee once it reaches about the 20 degree point in those movements, accompanied by pain. At times, I even have to use my hand to further flex or extend the joint, and am frequently unable to perform this maneuver with the leg raised or otherwise unsupported from behind the knee. As nothing I have tried has worked so far, I decided to take the advice of my primary doctor and make the orthopedic appointment. Hopefully Dr. Fajgenbaum will be able to identify the cause of the problem and provide a solution that won't sideline me for too long. Keep your fingers crossed!
Posted by Tammy at 8:32 PM

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