Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today I will run, with a cyst in my knee...

Yep. I will be lacing up today, for the first time since Big Sur, to go for a run. It's going to be amazing. I hope.

Today I had the appointment I have been waiting 29 days for. I met with an Orthopedic Surgeon. What I got was a mix of good and bad news and I left feeling quite frustrated and aggravated.

When the doctor came in my eyes lit up, he was fit and had a look about him that gave me the first impression that he would understand...he would fix this and get me back on the road. After a brief intro of myself and a life (running) history and a description of pain he looked at my MRI report and images...The good news came when he said I had a healthy knee joint that looks good. He saw no tear in the meniscus, which was a concern after Googling. The bad news came when he said he could not see a cause or origin of the cyst and he had never seen one quite like it. He proceeded to explain that he could not really drain it because of it's location. The conversation went something like this:

Me: So what are you saying doc?
Doc: Do you have to run marathons?
Me: (Cold as death stare right into his annoying face.....)Yes. I'm already registered for OBX in November.
Doc: Wont it be cold then?
Me: (Freaked out because this man must be an alien...) Probably? (Thinking, do your legs NOT work in the cold?)

So you can only imagine how the appointment when from there. Basically he said I have a cyst in my knee (Duh...you went to med school to figure that out?) and it's not going anywhere on its own. It will not shrink or dissolve. It may or may not grow, but probably will, but wont go away. Impact will result in inflammation and worsening and pain...so his answer? To not run marathons. Oh and prescribe an NSAID and topical NSAID. He briefly explained that surgery would leave a large, nasty scar on "nice legs" (Uh, well they wont be so nice if I STOP RUNNING JERKFACE. I DONT GIVE TWO FLIPS ABOUT A SCAR.) He did explain the surgery would be complicated and require cutting through an artery, ligaments and tendons just to reach the cyst on the inside of the knee...great. So a surgery would be a pretty significant recovery, I think? He said to me three times, "Do you have to run marathons?"

So what is my option? Leave it in there to annoy me and cause me pain for the rest of my life, never run further than a 5k again and just deal with it until it grows so much I don't have a choice but to cut it out or have an elephant leg? Or just get the dang thing out now and deal with it. I'm not one for bandaids and he didn't even give me a cool Spiderman bandaid. He gave me a cheap-o , lame bandaid.

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks. In the mean time I will begin running again and keeping a very detailed running log (at the advice of my sister) making note of distance, pain level before, during and after the run, and recovery time, and anything else I need to note. Also in the mean time I am going to work on getting a referral for a second opinion. I am not happy with what I heard today...
There it is..that white blob. =/

So I'm gonna put on my happy face, happy shorts and lace up my barely-broken-in running shoes and hit the road....Maybe even find a race to do soon...


  1. I am going to think the very happiest of thoughts for you! I hope your run goes well and maybe if we all think really happy and hard that little white blob will just disappear!? I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
    I gave my dr a similar look and response when he told me, "Perhaps 26.2 just isn't your distance. You might just need to stick with the 13.1's."mmmK, doc.. sure.

    Happy running!!!

  2. I would definetly get a second opinion. Maybe do some research for some doctors that are not alien and actually understand that running is a big part of your life and your not willing to give it up.

    I think the journal is a good idea.
    Maybe start running super fast so it's less time on the knee?

    Sending good thoughts for your run tonight :)

  3. This sucks. But I would like to give you some hope. When I trained for my first marathon, I cyst developed in my right ankle joint. Over the last four weeks of training, my distance run without pain became shorter and shorter. A week before the race, I went to the doctor. They did an MRI and said they would call me with the results, but that I probably shouldn't run anymore. I didn't hear from them before the race, so I ran. At mile 18, the cyst ruptured. It was some of the worst pain I have had in my life. I walked the next four miles of the race. At mile 22 I decided to suck it up and finish. Two weeks after the race, I returned to my regular running schedule and the pain was gone. It never came back and that was 4 years ago. (Meanwhile, they called me the day after the race and told me not to run and that I could have it drained if I wanted. I told them I was pretty sure it ruptured and they said, "Yeah, that makes sense too.)

    Good luck!

  4. 2 words... SECOND OPINION. I didn't sign up for OBX to run it alone ;) I have faith!!!

  5. Well, if Tonia is right, and you just need to rupture your cyst, then I could kick you in the knee. I'd do that for you. I'm a good friend like that...


  6. I would definitely get a second opinion! My sports medicine doctor thought I had a possible stress reaction/stress fracture in my navicular bone. After 2 weeks off I couldn't take it anymore so I got a second opinion - tendonitis, which went away in a few weeks!

  7. Oh man, that doctor really sucks. I mean, even if he isn't a runner (which he so obviously isn't) he should at least be sympathetic to your concerns and lifestyle.
    Find another doctor, okay?
    And good luck.
    P.S. I have a nasty scar on my knee from a trail running injury and love how rugged it makes me look.

  8. Hang in there my pretty friend. I know you will find a way to work through this. UGH!!

  9. Ugh!!!!!! Def get a second opinion! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers girl.

  10. I just came over here because of your newer post and I HATE DOUCHEBAG DOCTORS. Mine said "you can't go run because your blood pressure is too high. diet and exercise can lower your blood pressure." In succession, just like that.

    Freaking idiots. Second opinion, definitely. And if you figure out how to find a doctor who runs without actually calling the office and asking, let me know. That's my new approach. LOL

  11. I am so sorry! That kind of a meeting blows! I suggest bringing a bat to your next appointment and if they say your only option is to "stop running marathons" then you tell them your ONLY choice is to hit them with the bat till they can figure out a different solution!

  12. Oh yeah, chicks dig scars. I hear guys do too!

  13. Oh my goodness! I think you need to get a 2nd opinion! I don't think stopping running is ever the answer.

    However, I think in my case I may need to cut down. Once this broken bone heals I think that I am going to buy a bike:-)

    That way I can do 50/50....well, maybe 70/30:-)

  14. He clearly isn't a runner. I would recommend to get a 2nd opinion,ideally from a sport doc. Amazing how 2 docs can see differently sometimes. Don't give up!


You're pretty much awesome!!


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