Sidelined by a knee injury
I’m Hobbled. Sidelined. On crutches.
And I don’t even have a good story for what happened to my right knee. No athletic heroics, barroom brawls or massive gym feats.
I was sitting at my desk yesterday and noticed that my knee was sore. It was one of those way-too-many-meetings days and I had been sitting a lot. So I stood up and almost fell flat on my face.
My knee swelled to the size of a melon. The pain was intense. I made it through the afternoon, taught a class on my feet for 60 minutes, limped out the door and headed home. There was no sleep. On a scale of one to 10, the pain was a solid 8, with spikes to 9. I’m talking teeth-gritting, moaning kind of pain.
I found some Vicodin in the medicine cupboard from an old dentist’s prescription for my wife. I took one at 3 A.M. Didn’t touch the pain. At 8:30 A.M, I ate two more. Nothing.
Finally, early this Thursday afternoon, I got into an orthopedic doctor from the practice that repaired a torn meniscus in the opposite knee a couple years ago. A bunch of X-Rays later, I got the grim news.
My knee was bone on bone. Severe, arthritis . The doc marveled that it hadn’t given me more troubles and attributed it to my long distance cycling and spinning fitness programs.My doc thinks cycling is the perfect cardio for most people.
Truth told, the knee was shouting warning signs. In recent months, when cranking heavy or climbing a hill, the knee had been twinging. Same when it torqued at night in bed. But no pain no gain, I stupidly told myself, and peddled through.
Yesterday and this morning I paid the dues. I don’t think I have ever experienced such intense pain for so long.
The doc drained what seemed like a bucket full of fluid from the swollen knee. He injected the knee with Cortisone and out me on an anti-inflammatory and gave me a new 500 mg Vicodin script. I’m to wear a knee brace and stay on crutches for the next week or so, he said.
He also gave me a script for three-times-a-week physical therapy, which will start Monday.
No spinning or cycling for a week or 10 days.
If the knee improves after that, I can get back on the saddle.
But, the doc had little doubt that I’m going to need a new knee. My knee looks like the right side picture above. Like I said, bone on bone. A knee replacement, though, is heavy duty surgery and I’m hoping it’s later, rather than sooner.
I have a lot of bike riding I want to do this summer.