Today was the day I’ve spent weeks waiting for: the day of my visit with Sports Medical Doctor Elliott. Last night, I wondered what he would say to me, what he would want me to do, what I should wear and, most importantly, what I should wear. I felt like I was going on a first date.
I’ve spent weeks being impatient; I want to run. I’m close to the “whatever it takes” point and still hopeful that I can salvage something for a fall marathon. I went in today hoping for a diagnosis and a timeline and came out empty-handed.
Everything seems to be pointing towards a meniscus tear, which is what I initially thought weeks ago. The good news is that he doesn’t seem overly concerned about it as it seems to be healing. However, the only way that we can be sure that there is a tear is through an MRI; I’m now on the list for one, which will take weeks.
Meanwhile, I’m doing all of the right things: resting, cycling, icing, physiotherapy and no running. When I asked if there is anything else I can do, Dr. Elliott made two suggestions: an injection and acupuncture.
There are two types of injections, cortisone and duralane. From what I understand, cortisone is more of a painkiller – a mask – that will allow me to keep running with a tear; this worries me because the long-term damage could pull me off the roads before I’m ready to stop. Duralane is not a drug but a hyaluronic acid which acts as a lubricant for the joints and a shock absorber; it’s used for arthritis patients and athletes. At this point, I’m not sold on it, but the fact that it isn’t a drug and I only need one lifetime injection appeals to me – especially when I hate needles.
The other suggestion is to combine physiotherapy with some acupuncture to get more oxygen into the effected area. Again, I’m not a fan of needles but I have entertained the idea of acupuncture; I’m ready to try anything right now if I’m sure it won’t cause further damage. My appointment is on Friday morning and I have to admit that I am a bit nervous.
Do I have a timeline of my recovery period? No. I’m now in week 4 of “no running” though so, if it is a 6 to 8 week layoff, I’m halfway there. And if I decide to go the Duralane route, then I might get there a little bit sooner.