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Author Topic: ultra running and OA  (Read 1488 times)

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Offline ultra1

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ultra running and OA
« on: September 10, 2011, 01:16:12 PM »
Hi

I ve recently been diagnosed with mild/moderate focal lateral OA......does anyone know the implications of this. My doc says to cut out the long distance stuff, and expect a false knee before 60....Im 39. (I am an extreme ultra runner, 200 marathons and over 100 ultras in the last 10 years)
I had a meniscus op on my right knee when 21 some meniscus was removed then again more removed about 8 years later. I ran hundreds of races after this.....John O Groats to Lands end...etc....no problems. Earlier this year I got very bad foot problems that made me rest up for a few months, then I noticed problems with my right knee....I tried running on it but it felt it was catching. I assumed this was more meniscus problems, and prayed it would settle.....it has a bit but then I got my diagnosis after this lastest MRI scan and was stunned it was early OA.
I can run on it...and do about 5 miles a few times a week...but its not right and some days feels worse than others and a few days of running is uncomfortable.
So many stories of people continuing to run with OA for ages, and stories of it making it worse. My lack of meniscus shock absorber has been the cause of my lesions. What I cant understand is the suddenness of the knee problem after resting. I always thought OA was gradual. I am assuming Ive had this condition for a few years now and because I was so active it was masked, but ever since stopping running because of the foot problems its come to the surface as my leg muscles have been rested.
I was classed as mild/moderate focal lateral OA. Has anyone successfully contimued to run for a long time and distance with this condition, or am I kidding myself and should stop and save my knee? Does OA degeneration continue at a fast level? Will running on it make it worse or stay at the same level of degeneration???? Im still in the acceptance phase. Any new treatments? Stem cell treatments? Anyone got a success story?

Offline Clarkey

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  • Neil TheElephant knee packed up carrying his trunk
Re: ultra running and OA
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2011, 03:26:30 PM »
Hi Ultra,

I also like to go out for a 5 mile jog 3 times a week that I never thought would happen after falling on my knee in October 2007 and not being able to run again until May 2011. It was agony no longer being able to run as it is something I always been good at since I started school was always one of the best long distance runners in the whole of the school.

I had 2 cortisone injections in my right knee and a scope to trim the fat pad and remove the plica as I felt catching that got rid of the catching but could still not run which was the main reason for having the scope. I then had what’s called IMS dry needling on the NHS and within 4 sessions I was able to run again and no longer felt pain when kneeling and squatting.

I may sound crazy after the knee problem I went through and do not care at the moment that I may be wearing my knees out slowly by running on a hard surface is never good even for a healthy knee. If you are passionate & enthusiastic about long distance running then it is very hard to pack it in all of a sudden. My advice which might not be wise is to carry on running but decrease the distance as long as your knees are not hurting while running do what you enjoy doing and are good at.

You have done a lot of running and does not surprise me that you have OA which will not go away and may end up with a TKR when you get older which might happen to me a few years down the line and not at all fazed by it as I will carry on running for as long as my knee can take it, that may sound crazy wearing the knee out at an early age.

You have mild/moderate focal lateral OA and maybe just do one marathon a year and do a 5 mile jog 3 times a week so it takes longer to wear the knees out. Not sure my advice is right that you should carry on running but I would still carry on running in your situation as I could not give up long distance jogging completely.

Nick  :) {2011} :)
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline ultra1

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Re: ultra running and OA
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 04:41:00 PM »
Im just surprised how the OA has suddenly appeared........I always thought it would be a slow process with warning signs. Unless I have another meniscus problem that has not been spotted, I am surprised how running has fast become uncomfortable, and Im worried about how fast OA can spread. Does anyone know how fast a joint deteriorates once OA starts, or can it stay at the same level for a long time?

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: ultra running and OA
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 05:57:51 PM »
Unfortunately there is no rule book for OA, its symptoms, rate of onset, rate of deterioration etc. Everyone is different. You may have had some wear and tear for ages but it hasn't be symptomatic. I know my kneecaps have made shocking grinding noises since I was about 18 but only  at the age of 40 after a vigorous summer of sprints and burpees and goodness knows what else did an MRI show Grade 3-4 OA. I don't think that happened in the space of a summer but it did start to become a problem when I triggered it. I am guessing that suddenly something is impinging and hence the pain the happening.

Has anyone said why you have lateral wear and tear? Looked at the angle of your knees and legs? There are options that can unload that side of your knee either through a brace or via an osteotomy. They can certainly buy you time before you need to think of a replacement.

As to whether to run or not - only you can answer that. I gave up all impact activity apart from some star jumps and a boxercise session now and then. I concentrate on spinning, rowing, weights, Pilates work....all a little dull but I was never a runner as such. It just used to figure in a lot of the workouts I enjoyed. However. I decided I would rather walk in later life than run now. A TKR will never give you a natural feeling knee. Yes people do extremely well with them - but similarly there are risk of excessive scar tissue, lack of ROM, infection, malplacement, etc etc......you always hope things go well but you need to be prepared for the risks too. It is a major surgery and everyone on here only has it when their life is untenable with their natural parts.

I'm afraid there are no clear cut solutions...

Good luck with whatever you decide..

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 Clarkey

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Re: ultra running and OA
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 06:08:48 PM »
Hi Ultra,

The amount of miles you have run over the years is bound to put wear and tear on your knee joints as running on a hard surface will slowly wear the knee out. My physio was a keen long distance runner and now has to have a mircofracture which is the done before a TKR. It is the norm to wear out the knee if you run long distance regular. I know I am at a risk from wearing out my knees but really love running long distance and will worry about knee problems when it happens.

Not many people can say they ran from John O Groats to Lands End and is bound to put some impact on the knees and even walking that distance will put strain on the knees!

Nick :) {2011} :)
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming