From https://maryomedical.com/2013/02/18/icy-days-and-mondays/ January 28, 2013:
I checked the weather and found that school was starting late because of icy conditions. I put on boots and took the dog out. It seemed to be raining – if it’s raining, it must be warm, right? So I didn’t really pay attention (and I had other things on my mind!) and completely missed seeing the black ice. Next thing I knew, I had fallen on one knee, my cellphone in my pocket bruised my other thigh and my left arm hurt where I’d reached out to catch myself.
I fell in the bathroom in the middle of the night and hit my left knee on the tub. I used a brace for a few days and it seemed better.
Around January 27-28, 2016, I was in Walmart and had to get a produce bag that was way over my head. I had to stand on tiptoe…and my knee felt like something ripped. Thankfully, I had a cart available to use as a temporary crutch.
Got home, used the brace, took Tylenol but the pain got worse.
Thursday, I drove home from choir at church. My car is a manual so the act of using the clutch, extending my foot that way, made everything worse again.
Friday, we went to the Limp-In Clinic in Greenbriar. That doctor was going to prescribe Cortef or NSAIDs but I couldn’t take either due to my history of Cushing’s (Cortef) and kidney cancer (NSAIDs). He prescribed Vicodin and sent me for an x-ray.
January 31, 2016, I got very itchy, presumably from Vicodin so I stopped that and started taking Benadryl for the itchiness.
February 2, 2016, I went back to the clinic for the results of x-rays and I mentioned the itchiness. Since I have very limited meds available to me, he recommended an Orthopedist. I called him when I got home and he didn’t take my insurance. I tried another doctor who supposedly took my insurance but they didn’t.
February 7, 2016, I really needed the sleep so I took half a Vicodin. No pain and no itching. HOORAY!
February 8, 2016, I saw my regular doctor. She thinks it’s a possible “lateral collateral ligament vs meniscus tear”.
I was surprised that she thought my knee was swollen but one of my therapists showed me later that it was.
She referred me to Physical Therapy (PT) and prescribed Ultram. As of this writing, I haven’t used that yet.
February 11, 2016, 8:30 am My first appointment with PT. Since my blood pressure was high, we mostly did assessments. I had a main therapist and a student. They had to use 3 types of BP machine to do this.
I bent my knee and they took measurements with a caliper. I lay on my front and they manipulated my knee to see what happened. They also concluded that it was a lateral collateral ligament.
A suggestion – to rest my foot on the walker without the brace and see if gravity helps my knee straighten out.
After this, there was more pain than before but I know this is the right thing to do.
February 13, 2016. My leg feels a bit better. I had the brace off last night and almost straightened my knee out.
Somewhere in this period, I learned how to manually move my kneecap (patella) around. I saw my day 1 therapist again and he said my knee was angry. Swollen, angry, whatever. I just want a normal non-hurting knee!
One of the therapists had me doing a stretching exercise and my hip was out of kilter (everything is attached!) since I’ve been walking with my knee bent. So she manipulated that back into alignment.
February 22, 2016, A new-to-me therapist had me do an exercise with a basketball under my knee, pointing my toe to the left. I didn’t remember doing that before but she said I had. Hmmm…
That hurt too much so we moved to a foam roll under my knee. It was still uncomfortable but I did it, a bit too much, apparently.
Turns out this exercise hurt my “VMO”, which is short for Vastus Medialis Oblique.
“This is the most important quad muscle and arguably the most responsible muscle for knee stability. The VMO’s main function is to control knee extension…”
February 25, 2016, My VMO pain still hurt. I told my regular therapist about it and she worked on it some. She concurred that my knee was swollen.
February 26, 2016, I went all day with no brace at all!! A bit of pain but manageable.
February 28, 2016, and I haven’t worn the brace since the 27th. I still need assistance to get up from sitting but I can see huge improvement.
I still have 6 more PT sessions, finishing on March 16, but I’m really impressed with what they’ve done for me. I still have twinges of pain and I don’t plan on stepping on tiptoe anytime soon but I can tell I’m on the right track.
March 8, 2016 at 9:48 am
Physical Therapy is sapping what little energy I had
I can tell it’s working but I am even more exhausted all the time. I’m taking extra Cortef but it’s not enough…
From https://maryomedical.com/2016/05/05/bees-knees-continued/ May 5, 2016
My left knee is still bothering me, even after doing Physical Therapy since January. <sigh>
It seems to get better, then something happens and it’s back to pain again. When we were on a trip to New York a month ago, we walked a lot and climbed so many stairs, I had to buy a new brace.
Today is supposed to be my final PT but I don’t think I’m ready.
When this clinical trial came to my email, I just went through the whole survey for this but there was no doctor nearby:
Osteoarthritis Research Studies. Knee and hip arthritis studies enrolling now. No-cost medication. http://curec.lk/1VL5hu9
Fast forward to September 5, 2018
My knee has been bothering me off and on for a while. I’ve been taking water aerobics and was careful not to do anything that would hurt my knee. The hot tub afterward was a great place to aim hot water jets at my knee – that would numb any pain for a while.
This last week or so, the pain has been getting worse again so I decided to try a new doctor. This one seems like maybe – just maybe – he’ll fix things.
He said: “Your previous knee injuries made sense for pain but this spontaneous onset of medial knee pain is a bit strange. I can only do a limited examination due to the pain and difficulty bending, but it seems to be over the distal insertion of the VMO (quadriceps muscle) with possible inclusion of some joint line tenderness on that same side.
I’d like for you to use ice packs in your knee brace at least three times a day with the goal of calming down the inflammation.
My goal with getting you to sports medicine next week is to re-evaluate it, hopefully with better ability to examine and flex. It may need ultrasound evaluation and/or steroid injection. Since you cannot take NSAIDS, I suggest trying the Ultram that your previous doctor gave you so you can sleep.”
So, next Wednesday, I have an appointment with sports medicine – I might be moving forward. Or not.