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Author Topic: MRI results - running/other forms of rehab ?  (Read 898 times)

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Offline ldcurrey

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MRI results - running/other forms of rehab ?
« on: March 20, 2011, 02:37:53 PM »
Hi, I am new to this site and I would appreciate some guidance.  I just received MRI results from an ortho.  Here are the findings 1. Moderate join effusion and Large Baker's cyst 2. prominent degenerative tearing, body and posterior horn, medial meniscus 3. Secondary osteoarthritic change in the medial joint compartment with osteophyte formation and areas of near full-thickness cartilage loss.  Also some less severe chondromalacia involving the lateral femoral condyle. 

I am a 43 year old female and I started doing triathlons 2 years ago.  I love competing and running helps me maintain my sanity. (I am a mother of 4 - 1 boy and 3 girls ages 11, 9, 6, 3)  I can fit a run in by pushing my 3 year old in a jog stroller while the others are in school.  My doctor's advice to me was to cut my running down to once a week and bike and swim the other days.  He also suggested that I take glucosamine and chondrotin. He didn't suggest any strenghthening exercises.  I am wondering if I have to resign myself to running only 1 day a week or could this condition improve?  Also any ideas for strenghtening exercises?  Is is best to rest and let it heal and then I will be able to resume the running part of my training? 

Any ideas would be appreciated. 

Thanks,
Laura   

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: MRI results - running/other forms of rehab ?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 05:39:31 PM »
Full thickness cartilage loss won't heal as such. Once it is gone, articular cartilage is gone. Osteophyte formation means the OA changes have progressed, probably with some joint space narrowing. You also have degenerative changes to the medial mensicus (shock absorber) part which won't help. There are some earlier stage changes in the corresponding part of the lateral side of the knee but they sound less severe.

Running is high impact - as you know. Did you ever have knee issues before your triathlon days? You could run, and it may stay as it is for years. But it might denegerate rapidly, and when it does, with full thickness loss and reducing meniscal support you're looking at loss of joint space, bone to bone contact and pain. Then its time for replacement bits....

You can certainly help the knee function and reduce the stress on the joint by seeing a good PT and getting leg strengthening exercises. Glutes, hips, quads etc all help the knee joint. I'm guessing that you've had proper gait analysis done for your running? The right shoes? Possible orthotics? A sports podiatrist may assist to make sure you are looking at the right fotwear for your foot strike and to help that medial compartment. But, you can't realistically reverse what has been done. Methods exist to try and repair cartilage but OA damage is usually too widespread and doesn't give enough surrounding cartilage for techniques such as ACI or OATS to work with. I have to say that running a LOT isn't going to help you long term. I have OA and I had to take all impact work out of my exercise regime. I never run now. Tough but I prefer to be able to walk without pain and not have new parts at 42. I also have Euflexxa shots to help lubricate the joint - may be worth asking your doc about them or similar visco injections.

Good luckm bummeed knees stink when you're very active. But, life can go on.

Lottie  :)
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline ldcurrey

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Re: MRI results - running/other forms of rehab ?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 11:48:42 PM »
Thanks for your response Lottie.  I learned a lot more from you than my doctor.  I haven't had my gait analyzed or been fitted for proper shoes.  I am flat footed, maybe that has added to my problem.

Thanks again for your input,
Laura