The Vault Regulars

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wired for sound or just a knees up?

The day has finally come where I admit defeat. All my efforts to try and improve my knee problem have come to nothing.
I've tried almost everything that an ordinary man in the street can do and after 6 weeks of pain decided enough is enough.
I have today had a consultation with a Physiotherapist.
I have had my leg stretched, bent, twisted, plied with electricity, and wrapped in hot towels.
The verdict right now is that I don't have anything long term seriously wrong. It seems I have a problem with the medial meniscus. This stops the femur from moving side to side. He also shocked me a bit when he noticed there is some muscle wasting. He also wants to check out my Superfeet insoles to see if they are doing me any good.
The physio hurt quite a lot and the exercises I have to do hurt as well. I hope he is right in his diagnosis.
So I have to go back for further bouts of leg pulling, lol,. Next visit Wednesday. Cannot wait.
Those of a nervous disposition should look away now.






31 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

Sorry to hear all that. Do you have confidence in the physio? From your description it sounds as though a thorough approach has been taken but I wouldn't rule out a second opinion. I do wish you well. I have found with medical matters you really do have to stand up for yourself and sometimes make a polite fuss. Knowing you I reckon you will not be messed about - good luck.

John J said...

Glad to hear you're getting proper treatment - it means we can do another curry walk sooner rather than later.
Nice shreddies BTW!
JJ

Dawn Linney said...

Very frustrating for you I am sure Alan. Having been through similar circumstances a while back, suffering an injury marathon training, you have my sympathy. Hopefully your sessions with the physio will sort out the problem? Hang in there Alan and I hope you are on the mend soon.

AlanR said...

Its a private physio Conrad so to get a second opinion would cost me twice as much. Thats out of the question. I will take it session by session and see how it goes.
Its a sports injury place more than anything else so i am as confident as i can be that they know what they are doing.

AlanR said...

Look forward to it JJ.
The shreddies are Uniqlo, just incase you fancied getting a pair.

AlanR said...

Thanks Dawn,
I want to get back asap so i am not avoiding the painful exercises. I know that if i linger then other problems will occur as the leg gets weaker. As you say it is very frustrating.

Dave (B) said...

Hi Alan, last time I had physio (for a running injury), I felt the beneficial effects much quicker than I'd expected and techniques have probably moved on a fair bit since then. Hopefully this is encouraging for yourself; with the right diagnosis and treatment things could soon be looking up. You've done the hardest bit - overcoming the male's innate resistance to consulting the medical profession.

By the way, that picture's a bit 'eHarmony' isn't it? ;)

AlanR said...

Your right. With me, seeking medical help is always a last resort. I always think the body will sort itself out.
Eharmony certainly gave Sheila a laugh. I had to ask what it was.
A photo of just a leg wired up looked weird.

Alan Sloman said...

Medial Meniscus eh?
Join the club.
However, you'll be pleased to know that half a dozen bouts of physio (and a lot of exercises at home every day for three months) has it sorted, mostly.
There's not a huge blood supply to the meniscus and so it does take time to sort out - I damaged mine back in May, on the Challenge, and now I'm 75% of the way to being fixed.
A tip: In the early days don't sit for long periods doing sod -all - it twinges like crazy when you move again. Keep mobile, but not too much load bearing stuff to start with.
Best of luck Al.
:-)

AlanR said...

Hi Al. Well you know its no exageration when i say it hurts. You are correct with your regime about not sitting it out. When i do sit and watch tv it becomes difficult to straighten out the leg.
I do hope that i achieve a better improvement rate than you. I dont think i can stand much more ambling.
The excercises hurt but i am only into early days yet. My fingers are crossed for us both to get a recovery soon. Cheers Al.

welshpaddler said...

I had a scan which showed a tear. Keyhole surgery sorted it out as a day patient and it was a short time before back to the hills and the bike. I had to have a private consultation or wait 6 months for one on NHS. That surgeon then put me on NHS list and the operation took place a few weeks later. Crazy system

AlanR said...

It is crazy isnt it. I have been getting wound up by footballers who have scans the same day as they get injured. Money talks loudly but i have to stay silent.
Glad you are ok now.

afootinthehills said...

Hi Alan. Hope this resolves itself soon but for what it is worth I wouldn’t go near a physio after my two experiences with ‘medial meniscus’ trouble. In 1995 (right knee) and again in 2012 (left knee) I spent a small fortune on treatment which achieved nothing because the ‘trouble’ was a tear as shown by an MRI scan, and physiotherapy wasn’t going to fix that. A medical friend said as much weeks earlier - and that was on the ‘phone from 300 miles away! Keyhole surgery on both occasions saw me back on the hills in about five weeks. Admittedly I had to go private to get it done quickly because the NHS were suspiciously reluctant to carry out an arthroscopy, it being an elective procedure.

In the case of the 2012 tear, walking on it (keep using it the physiotherapist said) was the worst thing I could have done because I developed tendonitis in my hamstrings and my ‘good’ knee began to play up as it compensated for the injury. Those problems vanished after surgery. Both knees work just fine, even if anatomically they’re not!

You might be lucky Alan and physiotherapy will fix you up. I sincerely hope so but the cost of my 2013 physiotherapy for eight weeks was £160. The cost of a private consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon was £200. The op wasn’t cheap of course but it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.

Anyway, good luck and all the best.

afootinthehills said...

Sorry Alan. Just to clarify, though it's probably obvious what I meant to say, my medical friend diagnosed a tear long before the MRI Scan. Cheers.

AlanR said...

Hi Gibson. Was the meniscus torn?

afootinthehills said...

Yes Alan it was - a small tear at the posterior horn. Thinking back I was really stupid not acting more quickly given the symptoms in 2012 were virtually identical to those in 1995 which was also a tear. A case of hope overcoming all the evidence.

AlanR said...

OK. Thanks. Obviously I am dependant on "experts" to guide me through. Armed with your facts I can ask the relevant questions when I am at the physio tomorrow. If I am not happy with his reply I will walk away. Well limp away. I will add another comment here tomorrow and let you know what he says. Thanks ever so much for sharing your experience.

afootinthehills said...

You're very welcome Alan.

Anonymous said...

Bradley associates?

AlanR said...

Anon.
I did choose Bradley instead of Roberts. I went to Roberts with my back and was a little sceptical so thought i would try this one. Have you been?

AlanR said...

Update as of Wednesday 14th.
Had a good chat with the Physio. 1st. There has to be some period where its a grey area without going down the route of invasive surgery right from the start as what does happen if you are a pro footballer for example. So taking it step by step. The diagnosis which was quite long and painful suggests that the knee is strong and that the chance of a tear seems slim although it cannot be discounted at this stage.
With my age and history a simple x ray would only show wear and tear and probably some arthritis. An MRI scan may or may not show a minor tear. Its not 100% guarantee.
So to go down the route of physio for a short period of time which will either show an improving situation or the reverse is not a bad thing to do. That’s in the physio’s opinion and also mine too.
If after a couple more days of doing the exercises at home and one more session of physio the improvement is not highly noticeable then we may need to alter course.(Physio’s words).
As i don’t feel i am worse than i was this time last week although i am sore from the physio itself i think i will stick with the regime.
Thanks everyone for the comments above, it certainly helps to concentrate my train of thought in an area that i know nothing about.

afootinthehills said...

Seems sensible enough Alan. Certainly an X-Ray doesn't pick up soft tissue damage such as a cartilage tear although my local hospital did do one to check on the general condition of my knee. MRIs can miss small tears though in the case of both my knees it did do so. In fact the consultant I saw at Murrayfield rarely requests one and prefers arthroscopy straight off unless the patient asks for the MRI.

My doctor friend didn't have an MRI either when he developed a knee problem. He had an arthroscopy and the consultant just removed various 'bits of debris'.

Hopefully the physio will do the trick for you. All the best, Gibson.

AlanR said...

Thanks Gibson. If i had know at the start what i now know i would do same as you. Theres obviously a chance that i will have to have an arthroscopy at some period but then again they may find nothing torn. Its worth this short period of physio i beleive but any sign of a backward step and i will go straight for the invasive route. Thanks again for your help.

afootinthehills said...

Sorry Alan I need to be more careful when replying using the iPad. The MRI scan did pick up both tears which is not what I wrote!

AlanR said...

I knew that was what you meant. I do it all the time and notice just after i click send.

Phreerunner said...

Hopefully the physio will do the trick Alan, as resting doesn't seem to have done much good. Research following my own recent knee problems revealed that my excellent (cruciate ligament replacement) knee surgeon had moved to Dunedin. So I suppose I could still recommend him should you fancy a few weeks down there, but I'm now told that Jeremy Jarrett in Bolton is very good, and a bit closer. Luckily for me, resting the knee seems to be vaguely therapeutic!
Good luck.

AlanR said...

Thanks Martin, Resting it wasn't much of an option at first because it was too sore and inflamed. Only when the inflammation had subsided could I decide what to do.
I'm doing OK at the minute. Touch wood. I will keep Mr Jarrett in mind though, just in case.

Anonymous said...

No, not used Bradley myself but I could do with visiting a physio but I'm a bit sceptical generally. I have been following stretching exercises from a BMA book. My wife went to Bradley with a bad back. He diagnosed a prolapsed disc and she had ten appointments over four weeks. I thought three appointments in the first week a bit excessive but she was desperate to get out walking. We'll never know if the physio worked or if it would have got better itself with time. A subseqsent x-Ray supposedly revealed that there had not been any prolapse but again it's just an opinion of another doctor. I'd be interested to know what he said about the use of superfeet insoles. I know he stocks another brand of insoles.

AlanR said...

Anon. (Please leave a first name at the end of a comment). Everybody’s injuries are different and you need to decide yourself which course to take. If i had chosen Gibson’s route above then i would likely to be having an arthroscopy as i type. (Via Bupa). I would probably still be taking anti inflammatories if i had gone to my local GP.
I took notice of Gibson’s comments because i know he has had knee problems recently and i was bearing them in mind on my visits to the physio.
Obviously a physio cannot look inside your injury and so its paramount that you provide them with all the information that you can about what you were doing prior to the injury as adrenalin can mask the pain when it starts going faulty. I think thats why i wasn’t too sure how mine started.
At £38 a time physio is not a cheap option and i could not just keep going at some point i would have called time on the physio and got a Bupa referral to have an MRI scan.
As it was i saw Patrick Bradley, I only had 4 treatments in total and i can honesty say i wish i had gone to see him in the first week instead of 6 weeks later. By delaying treatment i have caused some muscle wastage which doesn’t help the knee at all and my quad muscles are weak. The exercises he gave me which i presume will be the same as yours are helping greatly and i can feel the strength returning and my “cracking” knees when i bend are all but gone.
Patrick checked out my Superfeet insoles which are the green type and said that they were not causing any problems because the shape was neutral. I took an old pair of shoes so that he could see the wear pattern on the soles and he said the wear is normal and i do not have any issues there.
He stocks orthopaedic insoles which i thought looked exactly the same as Superfeet. The price was similar and i think they were Sidas.
Would i recommend Bradley’s? Yes. I have no complaints.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify my wife was very happy with the course of treatment she received for her back problem at Bradley's (Patrick) and would recommend. She had visited our GP the week before who had prescribed strong painkillers only, but she really wanted it sorting before it got worse and although physio is available on the NHS it's just easier to pay if you can afford it. I'm just tight both literally (calves) and metaphorically but I'm going to book an appointment. On another point I returned a pair of Salomon xa pro 3d after they were worn out in under 350 miles and received a replacement pair but no explanation as to why they might have worn out so quickly but I'm not complaining. Richard.

AlanR said...

Sounds like a plan Richard. Hope it goes well.
You are not the first that have had poor results from the 3D pro. I don’t know why mine have been absolutely superb and are still going strong to this day. I am in high 4 figures now. I wonder if at some point they changed country of manufacture and sole spec.

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