surprise, surprise, a knee injury

Often in conversation, I find the other person telling me that running is bad for me. Ok, so maybe it’s not the best for your knees with all that impact, but whatever, we’re all falling apart in our different ways, this just so happens to be my method.

Remember when I said way back that I was having some pain in my right leg? Well I ended up making an appointment with a sports doctor just so I could get an opinion. I ended up having to reschedule over and over and I finally was able to make it this time around. I have been feeling good for awhile, but I did my first long run of my unofficial training (I decided to go with a 16 week program) on Sunday, and my leg was pretty much in pain on Monday. I did some stretches with the foam roller but I felt like I was making it worse. So the fact that I still had an appointment for Tuesday morning was perfect!

I went to see Dr. Jordan Metzl, a doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery, located in NYC. I had done some searching around the Internet and discovered that he was listed as the top sports doctor in New York magazine last year. I also saw that he had been mentioned in several articles, and with good reason! He has completed 27 marathons and 9 ironmans, and he recently published a book with Men’s Health entitled The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies. Is this guy for real?!

While I waited in the office, I couldn’t help but notice all the plaques with his top doctor award for the last several years, as well as the pamphlets he had about various injuries and training. When Dr. Metzl came in, he was super animated and excited. I told him my running history and the pain I had been feeling and he seemed to have it figured out immediately. I did some leg and knee bends, and he said, “Alright, got it!” After, he picked out a pamphlet called “Sidelined: Treating patellofemoral knee pain” and told me to read it.

Here are the fun facts:

  • The patella is a sesamoid bone which sits inside a muscle-tendon unit / connects to the quads
  • Usually hurts post-activity
  • More common in women due to the “Q” angle (knock-kneed angle) because of our wider hips!
  • No two cases are the same – could be a strength or foot issue

I know I had a pronation issue, but really didn’t make the connection before to runners knee.

Doctor’s orders: more strength training and more stretching. Luckily, he offers a free strength training class which just so happened to be the next day. I would also have to make my foam roller my best friend, and do some stretches for 10 minutes every day. However, I’m a little skeptical of one recommendation he gave me: pick up orthotics. I’m not sure why I’m so turned off by them, but it just seems like so much more work to deal with.

I know I’ll end up picking them up and trying the orthotics out — I mean, the guy has to know what he’s talking about right?

So this weekend I have a date with the running store. Need to get my butt into shape. I’ll post about my strength trainining experience later!

Do you wear orthotics, or do you have any experience with them? Do you think they help or make things worse?

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2 responses to “surprise, surprise, a knee injury

  1. Sounds like the doctor you saw was pretty awesome. The hospital for special surgery is one of the best hospitals in the world for orthopedics… definitely can’t go wrong there.

    Sorry to hear that your knee is causing you pain, but it looks like you have a good plan. Hope that the strength exercises work!

    • Thanks Eric! Soon you’ll be one of those fancy doctors working in the best hospital :) Now every time you learn about the knee you can think of me!

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