Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How the injured runner presses on...

I am finally seeing some light at the end of this very long, continuous tunnel.
X rays yesterday to examine my bones...

And it was so great to have zero lag time - this morning I was able to go right back into the doctor's office for an updated MRI and then meet with the doctor.
Today taught me that it is always good (and necessary!) to get a second opinion when dealing with a surgical procedure.
Although I thought the first orthopedic surgeon that I was seeing in the fall - early winter was good, I realized that the surgical method wasn't the right option for me.
I am so happy with the new surgeon that will be working on my knee. And even though it took me two months to find him, book him and see him - it was worth it. 
Cause even though two months can seem like forever, for the sake of my running it was necessary.

I've talked about this before (HERE), but I have what is called an Osteochondral Defect in my knee. There is basically a good sized pot hole in my knee and the blood flow is not getting to the area. Because of that, the area is not healing and it won't heal on it's own. I also have a piece of torn cartilage that has to be fixed.

The surgery (Date: April 16th!!) will consist of taking some good cartilage from my knee in an area where it's safe to "steal" some and then it will be put into the bad area and repaired.

After the approximately 1.5 hour procedure, I will be placed in a special leg brace for 6 weeks. After the first 6 weeks, I will be placed in another type of brace for another 6 weeks. This will put me at the 3 month mark (July) and then I will be able to start running very lightly. 
The "back to normal" running will resume about five months from the surgery. This means I will be fully back to running in September. 

The chance of any runner developing an Osteochondral Defect is very, very slim. It just doesn't happen very often - it's rare.

At one point or another, all runners will suffer from an injury. Some injuries will keep you off the road for two weeks. Some three or four weeks. 
I haven't run a step in four MONTHS. When I start lightly running in July, I'll be at the seven month mark. Oy!

1. If you can cross train - DO IT.
Being able to run in the pool and bike did wonders for my mental and physical well being.

2. Remind yourself that there is LIGHT at the end of the tunnel.
I have to tell myself that every day. Some days are easier than others. It can be tough to not be able to do something that you love, but take the time to heal your body.

3. Keep active in the running community.
This is the time to read some of the running books you've had on your list or find some inspirational running blogs to follow. Connect with other runners - go cheer your friends on at a race or volunteer at a race! 
Before you know it, you'll be back out there!

4. Plan your future.
This is great time to think about your goals in running and future races you'd like to run.
It can be fun to think about a race you'd like to travel to, or simply imagine how glorious that first run back will feel!

5. Stay positive.
It can be temping to get down in the dumps, but try and stay positive! You are giving your body what it needs and it will thank you so much later.

Injured runners... any future races you are looking forward to?
I am looking forward to running Ragnar in Napa Valley with my friends this fall!

All runners...anything that you are currently doing to PREVENT injuries?

Happiness Is Running Life!


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