Knee pain - First major injury?

andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
edited July 5 in Health + Injury
I have been running 8 years - done 25 marathons in that time and many shorter races but been really lucky and never had any injury that's put me out for more than a few days. Until now.... i have very painful pains around the base of my kneecap and up the inner side. Initially i thought it was tendinitis but the pain is slowly beginning to move around the sides of the kneecap. It hurts driving, sitting for too long and i also wake in the night with pains. Its been sore for at least 4 months now but is getting worse all of a sudden. I can run on it although i do get sharp pains and i can deffo feel a lack of power in the joint. Read a lot about patellar tendinitis and i need to strengthen quads etc but my legs are strong enough as i run steep hills daily and can maintain a strong pace up them (7mm) - could i be looking at something else being wrong? i have read that tendinitis can sometimes not be cured by rest alone. Worried that my NYC marathon in November is in danger as i am in the training window now.


  • Jake FrickerJake Fricker ✭✭✭
    I would advise going to see a professional as you want to nip a long term injury in the bud quickly before it gets to the surgery stage.
    If you must run, lay off the hills, ice it or at least cold water in the shower on it once or twice a day. Get your foam roller on the hamstrings to avoid tightening around the knee.
    Sounds like you are a seasoned runner, so you should know when you need to rest, but 30 mins with a physio should tell you exactly what is going wrong.

    Good luck

  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    update : bought a ultrasound machine on Amazon and been using it twice a day for the last 4 days - noticeable improvement already - no pain at night (had three good nights sleep) and driving is noticeably easier - running still a little sore but hopefully that will improve - i know it may simply be down to pain reduction rather than repair at the moment but its deffo helping. 
  • MrmoggaMrmogga ✭✭
    I agree with Jake – get a professional to look at it, I had knee pain and messed around for 12 months having ultrasound, Physio and doing strength exercise and although they eased the pain it did not fix the cause so never totally went away. I ended up having an MRI and found I had a tear in my meniscal cartilage – got keyhole surgery and back on my feet running in 8 weeks I now feel I wasted year.
  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    gave in and went to Docs -  always reassuring when he takes one look at your knee and in 10 seconds has you booked for a scan! Messed with kneecap and it was 'cricking' as he moved it too easily around - said he could visually see a difference in my two knees - sounds ominous :(
  • Jake FrickerJake Fricker ✭✭✭
    Ouch! Good luck.
  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    wow - went back for results from GP - was expecting a tendon issue which he confirmed but he also said signs of arthritis in the left of the knee and told me to stop running!!! Felt terrible, its been my life for 10 years and i'm only 43 - cant stop! Initial thoughts where dejection but now its more anger at the way he never suggested anything to possibly help treat it. Also reading up on the condition it should not really happen through running it seems. Not sure what to do or where to turn. Could still run and come hell or high water i am completing the 6 majors (NYC in Nov and Tokyo in Feb) but will have to re-evaluate training and the pace i am going at. I am open to any suggestions or advice - find it strange that with all the medical advances they have never been able to either regenerate cartilage or create artificial stuff! willing to be a guinea pig to any mad scientists out there - just need to keep running! 
  • PewpewpewPewpewpew ✭✭✭

    Depends largely on the degree of arthritis.  Is the pain coming from the tendon or is the pain coming from the arthritis, or a mixture?  Without seeing the scans it's impossible to give you advice.  The tendon issue needs to be cleared up before you even begin to worry about arthritis. Scans can often show degeneration that doesn't actually cause problems - treat the patient, not the scan.

    Assuming you do have arthritis that is causing you prblems, common treatments usually involve physical therapy, injections, braces and anti-inflammatory meds.  If the arthritis is mild I would ask your doctor about arterial embolisation.

  • Sorry to hear that Andy. I would not take your GP results to to be the end of running. It is worth going to a doctor who specialises in running injuries as they deal with this all the time.

    Good luck- fingers crossed for you.

  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    cheers guys - weighing up the options - not really sure where to turn though - once the GP says live with it - everything else costs money! trying to reach out to people on Twitter etc - happy to try anything, read about regeneration outside the body and then re-insertion - sounds interesting. Here's hoping something comes up.
  • PewpewpewPewpewpew ✭✭✭
    Any history of trauma or injuries to that knee?
  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    no - was thinking that as usually that eventually causes it - and no history in the family so no idea why its happened other than the sheer number of miles i've run (daughter worked out in 9 years i've run from London to NYC and back 3 times with training and races). But i did think running should not directly cause OA. Drink about 4 pints of milk a day so calcium dosage is high. 

    Started dosing up on Glucosamine and Chondriotin but at the proper levels of 1500mg/1200mg (that stuff in the supermarkets is too weak to do any good). 

    Still want a second opinion - i know my GP was only reading the notes from the doctor who assessed the Xray but its just too odd that its happened. It has been sore for about 6 months now but ive never truly rested it (sorry doctor i lied) just ice, compression, ultrasound. Quads are strong as run hills regularly, footwear and gait ok as got checked by Adidas years ago. At first i thought it was just a patellar tendon issue (jumpers knee) as the pain was localised around the bottom of the knee cap but the pain does move around to other parts a bit more now.

    puzzling - in the mindset now to just keep running till it needs total replacement - i just know the clock is ticking! Also trying to reach out to any mad professors who are conducting trials on OA patients - willing to try anything to keep going. Swimming just doesn't have the same buzz as running down The Mall on an April morning.

  • Hello Andy, been living with a mirror image of  your problem for a few years now. Been told to lay off hills and that seems to help my hammys. My knee problem came about through a twist a few years ago and has been with me over since. A few x-rays and a MRI scan a year or so ago confirmed a 'slight tear' of the meniscus  but no help offered with surgery. So for Berlin marathon training program i have been jogging 10:30 min miles on the nearby recreation ground. This has helped relief the dull to sharp pain in my right knee until i decided it was time to road run my LSR. Today i have to rest up with bad knee pain. Lots of ice packs. (i recently brought an icepack inside a sleeve and i fasten this to my knee with the velcro) simple but does a great job. Not too sure about Berlin. I thought i would live and run forever but someone knew something that I didn't.If i can achieve 12 decent weeks of training out of the 18, then I'll be in the back penn at the start line. This will be my 4th consecutive Berlin. Done 2 Paris, 1 Brighton and 5 Londons since my first in 2010 to celebrate my 60th birthday. I came out of the London ballot on my first attempt. I will deffo ask the GP to refer me for key hole surgery, after all they have the results of my MRI scan. Us marathon runners are all infrequent attenders to see the GP. They owe us something for helping ourselves. Best wishes with your recovery and lets all try and stay injury free. Fred
  • PewpewpewPewpewpew ✭✭✭
    Most meniscus tears do not require surgery.  Partial menisectomy is a common cause of arthritis.  If you do choose to have surgery find a surgeon who skilled at suturing / repairing tears rather than removing pieces. Surgery increases your risk of needing a knee replacement.
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