Surgery is the Answer

Yesterday I met with Dr. Yuri Lewicky to discuss my knee injury. We went over the MRI, which showed some Plica syndrome. The options are to continue doing physical therapy and hope the pain goes away, get a cortisone shot or arthroscopic surgery.

The PT option is working slowly, as I have been able to run 3-4 miles every other day with little to no pain. The issue with continuing with this route is that, even if the pain completely subsides for a while, there is still a possibility that the pain will return later on. My worst fear with this knee problem is that it will go away for a while, perhaps allowing me to compete this outdoor season, then come back while I am training for cross country.

Dr. Lewicky did not recommend the cortisone shot for a couple of reasons. First, because the Plica is rather small, it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly where it is. It is likely that the steroid would not be injected in the appropriate location. The other issue is that the steroid can cause problems with fat tissue atrophy.

The final option, arthroscopic surgery, was the doctors recommendation. From what I have learned about Plica surgery, it is very noninvasive surgery. Recovery time is rather short, with only about 10 days until I could resume running. More importantly, there is basically no possibility of pain related to the Plica returning.

So with that, I have decided to get the surgery. I will be getting the surgery during the week of March 1-5. This would leave me about six weeks before the Mt. Sac Invitational, where I am hoping to open up 2010 with a 5k, if all goes well.

Read more about plica syndrome and recovery.
NAU Tune Up

Last night was the NAU Tune Up, the last meet in Flagstaff of the indoor season. There were a couple of huge highlights, starting with the pole vault. In the women’s pole vault, Berlin silver medalist Chelsea Johnson won and another athlete broke the Canadian national record.

The men’s pole vault was absolutely ridiculous. The 2000 Olympic Gold medalist Nick Hyson and 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Tim Mack both cleared 17′ 6.5″. Watching from the sidelines was Arizona State coach, and 1996 decathlon Olympic Gold medalist, Dan O’Brien. Crazy.

Then there was David McNeil. Dave woke up yesterday morning and decided he wanted to qualify for nationals in the 5000. He had to run 14:25 up here in the dome, which would convert to an automatic national qualifier. He ended up running 14:17, which converts to 13:39, a new national leading time. Dave now leads the country in the 3000 and 5000. Impressive. Congratulations Dave!

7 Replies to “Surgery is the Answer”

  1. I just have to say, I enjoy reading your post. Maybe you could let me know how I can bookmark it ? I feel I should let you know I found this site through google.

  2. I just had plica surgery 1 week ago and I am worried that I may never run again. How long was it before you were back running? I was hoping to be further along than what I am. I started PT, and that has helped. I just was able to walk without my crutches, but I still have a lot of pain.


  3. Had plica surgery October the 4th 2011. Still not able to run in December the 12th… Improving very slowly. Very slowly indeed.

  4. I’m going to be having the plica surgery next week and I’m scared that I’m not gonna be able to cheer again. Cheerleading is my life and I would be crushed if I couldn’t do it. I’m hoping that this was a good decision.

  5. Abby, obviously I know very little about your situation, but I can tell you that I am very glad that I went ahead with the surgery. It has been very successful, with very few issues in the last couple years. I wish you the same.

  6. Hi, I have been a competitive cyclist for the last few years. I used to run and play tennis as well. During the last year I have had bilateral knee pain that has been varying in intensity over the year. MRIs have been normal and shown nothing. At first I was diagnosed with chondromalacia so I did all the PT for that. I finally got a second opinion back in August and the doctor diagnosed me with plica syndrome. Of course I had never even heard if this so I have basically spent months researching this online. His told me I could either deal with the on/off pain or have them removed. I have taken the last 2 months off cycling which did help, was able to run a little and play some tennis and did all the hip/glute exercises consistently again. I then inflamed by SI joint slightly from the tennis and thus have only been doing the elliptical, swimming, core, light strength, but through all this I still have medial knee pain that some days is really bothersome even just walking around. I’m about to explode, I literally have tried everything and am going to get a third opinion about surgery bc if it’s really a 2-3 week recovery to be back biking and 4 to running I’d definitely go for it. I was wondering if you could detail your recovery and time to return to pain free running, etc. I am extremely diligent with PT and would do everything they told me. Any advice would be much appreciated !

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