A little over five months ago, I was in a really great place with my health and fitness.
I was spending lots of time on my mountain bike
and slowly getting back into running.
I had pretty much been having a love affair with the greenway all summer. It was my favorite place to spend the evenings!
After a lot of thought and test-riding, I purchased my very first road bike
with hopes of a sprint triathlon in the distant future.
Then one day when I was running something happened… one wrong step and a jolting pain in my knee that stopped me right in my tracks. I decided to rest, so I stopped running and biking. I iced daily and took advil around the clock. After 2 weeks of no change, I decided to get it checked out.
My x-ray came back clean and my physical exam did not indicate any issues except possibly aggravation in my plica, which is hard to diagnose. I had never heard of a plica before, but I was advised to rest and ice for 2 more weeks and I should be back to myself in no time.
Except that didn’t happen. The pain got worse. So after a few weeks, I got an MRI to make sure nothing else was going on.
It came back clean.
I had changed tennis shoes when my issues started so I switched back. Then I purchased insoles for added support thinking that might be an issue. I thought it briefly helped, but the pain ultimately returned.
At another follow-up, my doctor suggested I try some physical therapy to strengthen some of my leg muscles. Misalignment in the knee can cause pain, so tracking could have possibly been my issue.
So off to PT I went. I religiously did every exercise they gave to me.
I got iontophoresis treatments.
They taped my knee.
After 3 months of no change, I was referred to a different doctor who works a lot with athletic injuries. He wanted to start by eliminating my plica as a potential source of pain. He said 90% of people with plica issues respond well to rest, something I had extensive experience with , but I could possibly be in the 10%.
He injected my plica with lidocaine and my pain almost immediately went away. I went for a *run*… and it didn’t hurt. It was awesome.
This indicated that my issue was indeed my plica. Then I tried a cortisone injection in hopes that it could alleviate my pain once and for all. I knew it could take up to a week to work.
So I waited for the pain to go away. 1 week. 2 weeks. 3 weeks. It was obvious at that point that the injection didn’t really calm things down. More discouragement.
And here we are. 5+ months later and it feels a bit like I’m back at square one.
Today, my doctor and I talked about having surgery to shave down my plica. I asked him if there was any other intervention I could try and he told me no, that I had tried everything. So, as frustrating as this whole experience has been, I know I’m not at square one anymore. I have patiently gone through each step and tried to conservatively manage this injury for 5 months. And after all of that, my pain is still exactly where it was back in August when I originally hurt my knee.
That is why I made the decision today to go ahead with the plica surgery. The surgery itself is simple with a really great prognosis, and I feel good about moving forward with it at this point. I’m happy to tell you that today is the finale of all of my knee treatment stories The past 5 months have definitely been frustrating, but I realize now that I had to go through all of that in order to feel confident in my decision to have surgery.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has followed along on this journey and offered me words of encouragement or shared stories of similar experiences as I vented about my knee issues. Your positive thoughts have definitely helped along the way <3
If anyone out there has had their plica removed, I would really love to hear your experience with the procedure and recovery!