I have to admit I was a little nervous about going to a sports medicine doctor. I figure these docs are probably all ex-jocks, so I pictured a super-tan aging dude with a crewcut and big biceps. It, sad to say for my feminist self, did not occur to me that the doctor would be a woman. She may be an ex-jock -- she is very tall so maybe basketball or volleyball. She was very nice.
I explained my problem and just like my family doc, she asked lots of questions and took my issue very seriously, more seriously than I had taken it myself. I was afraid I was making a big deal out of nothing. She felt around the knee joint and had me bend it different ways. I had worn loose capris to make this easier, and I was glad I did.
She did a quick knee ultrasound and looking at it, even I could tell that something was weird. There was a pointy thing that did not look like it should be there. The doctor went back and forth over it a couple of times and then sent me over to X-ray. The X-ray technician asked, "So this has been going on for about a month?" after checking the films. The doctor showed me the X-rays -- there was a triangle-shaped spur on top of my kneecap, exactly where you would not want a pointy thing. The little black triangle on the drawing is my doctor's illustration of the spur. On the plus side, she didn't see any deterioration in the cartilage in the joint.
Apparently, because of my past problems with Runner's Knee, I have some arthritis and the bone spur is a result of that. Fatiguing and stressing my knees in the new classes caused my knee to track badly, irritating everything. I'm taking anti-inflammatories (just OTC Aleve right now) and I have an appointment with a physical therapist on Friday. I also have exercises to do at home. A couple of them hurt right now so I might wait on those until after I see the PT.
I'm doing physical therapy because I want to be back to normal activity as soon as possible. The doctor said I can run "as tolerated" but should probably wait until the inflammation is down. No more Xtend Barre for me. I did, however, put Pilates Reformer back into my schedule, since the goal for my PT is to increase core and hip strength and decrease pain.
I looked into the Whole30 stuff that Debbi is doing because she said it helped her with her joint pain. I just don't understand the justification for cutting legumes from the diet -- they seem like a good source of vegetable protein. I'm not a vegetarian but I don't like eating a lot of meat. A lot of other anti-inflammatory diets include them and low-fat dairy. I'm looking into South Beach right now. The main agreements between these competing plans seem to be:
- Minimize or eliminate processed foods and sugar
- Maximize vegetables (and to a lesser extent, whole fruit)
- Emphasize healthy fats
- Avoid artificial sweeteners
I don't want to follow a strict diet at this point but I think I can definitely incorporate some of these elements into my life.