Friday, December 12, 2008


My knee hurts. It's a precise pain, centered in a spot maybe half an inch in diameter, on the outside of my right knee, where the middle of the kneecap seems to meet the top of the bottom leg bone. That's from feeling around where it hurts. Looking at a bunch of diagrams of the knee, it seems like it's actually where the patella meets the femur (i.e. it's really the bottom of the top leg bone--above that sticking-out piece that makes a bone look like a dog bone), and perhaps involves a ligament (I don't want to write the word tear).

It started yesterday morning. I went to the gym, noticed on the treadmill that my knee felt a bit twisted, thought maybe it was time for new running shoes, and then thought no more about it. Until I was walking up the stairs at work, when suddenly I was in terrible pain. When I'm still, I can't feel it; when I walk, it aches a little; when I go up and down stairs, it's terrible.

S thinks it will go away, because that's the way he is. My mom thinks I should see the doctor immediately, which is not the way she is, but she has a friend with knee pain and is, I believe, a bit battered by the subject.

I cannot tell you how panicked this pain makes me. I don't think of myself as an exercise fiend. I don't run very far or very fast. But I do run pretty often, and when I don't run, I walk, and when I don't run or walk, I go to the gym and do the treadmill and the elliptical (and in case you haven't noticed, all of those activities involve the knee, as does yoga, which is the other thing I do, but I didn't mention it outside the parenthesis, because I haven't been doing it lately). I probably get a significant chunk of exercise at least five or six days a week, if not seven. And the idea of not being able to work out...well, panic is the appropriate word. The potential physical and mental effects of not working out...ok, the idea sends me into such a state of anxiety that I have to stop writing this, and not move my knee, and hope desperately that the pain goes away (though what I really want to do is go to the gym, which demonstrates the strength of my compulsive reliance on exercise to alleviate what ails me) (Monday, Mom, if it still hurts on Monday, I will call, I promise).


Libby said...

Just make sure you read this article before you go to the doctor.

As a survivor of what I now believe was unnecessary knee surgery, I can attest to both the desperation the pain can drive one to, and the probable truth that waiting it out is the best medicine. Sigh. Physical therapy can really help, though, and that feels like exercise, too--bonus!

(OTOH, we've spent all fall dragging M to doctors all over town about her debilitating knee pain, still undiagnosable, still debilitating.)

Jenny Davidson said...

UGH. Hope it gets better very soon. Do go to the doctor if it is troubling you for some more days. Have a swim this weekend!

Anonymous said...

maybe iliotibial band? (unsure of spelling). it can cause very specific pain where you describe. very common with runners, happens more in colder weather, not enough stretching and with incline/decline. if this is your problem, there are great stretches you can do before/after exercising to loosen it up (also warm with heatpad). once the pain starts it usually doesn't go away for while so if you get it in the middle of a run you have no choice but to stop. but with consistent stretching (in particular stretching the hip which i know sounds weird for knee pain, but the band runs from him to just below knee cap) you should be ok.

addy said...

Indeed, it sounds like an IT Band issue. Stretch. Ice. Motrin. Are you still in pain?