Challenges come in so many forms. I’m used to the challenges presented to me when I freelance - having to design something that suits the magzine I am freelancing at. I’m used the challenges presented to me by my clients - them wanting to lose weight, build more muscle etc. I’m used to the challenges presented to me in the classes that I love taking - i.e. Circle Drill at Tone House - no words needed for that one. But a few weeks ago I was presented with a challenge that kinda threw me for a loop. I injured myself. Couldn’t tell you how or what happened. There was no dramatic moment where I fell, twisted something or heard any kind of popping noise. Simply just got off of a treadmill and it all went south from there. After having a MRI I was told that I tore my medial meniscus, had a bone contusion on my medial condyle and my knee was filled with water. The doctor said I should try and get crutches, stay off of it as much as I could, go and see a sports orthopedist and I would most likely have to do physical therapy for 6 to 8 weeks. Wait what??? Back track...6 to 8 what? I’m not a fan of pain and I definitely was in quite a bit of it so, I had no intentions of going to go workout that day or anytime soon but 6 to 8 weeks - what? I began seeing one of the physical therapist at Studio 26 (yay! F Squared Physical Therapy) and they basically said the same thing. Not that I didn’t trust either of these highly qualified people but...the time just seemed so extreme. I read numerous things on the internet and...them too. I have a full life and I am relatively happy but fitness is a huge part of my life and its one of the things that truly brings me joy. I also had been training with my trainer at S-10 and had gotten to a point where I was kinda happy with my legs, proud of the things I was doing with my legs and overall just feeling more confident and now...6 to 8 weeks? To some you might be like “get over it” or “it will fly by” but to me it was a lot. So now my challenge was to accept that I won’t be able to take classes or do lower body weight training, be okay with the fact that during this time off my body will probably change, be patient with what I am now able and not able to do and slow things down - way down. Again to some this might be no big deal but to me it was a huge deal. I spent a few weeks having my own personal pity party and then realized it wasn’t doing anything to help me get better. That is when I realized the challenge that was before me and that I needed to wholeheartedly accept this challenge because I wanted to come out of this feeling stronger than I was before. I know it not gonna be easy (at least not for me) but I accept the challlege and I am so grateful that I am able to walk (ok its slower than I am used to and the stair are a killer), that Studio 26 is a part of my life (physical therapy and I can use the facility to do my PT exercises and I can do upper body weight training) and I have great people in my life that are trying to keep me on a positive track. So I accept the challenge and I am moving forward towards a stronger, healthier body!
The knee is the largest joint in the body. It is made up of 4 main components: bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
Bones - 3 bones meet to form you knee joint: your thigh bone (femur), shinbone (tibia) and your knnecap (patella).
Articular Cartilage - Is the smooth, white tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints. The cartilage in our joints make it easier to move by allowing the bones to glide over each other with very little friction
Meniscus - Two large C-shaped cartilages (medial and lateral menisci) that act as shock absorbers between your femur and your tibia. Different from the articular cartilage in that the meniscus is rubbery and tough to help cushion and stabalize the joint.
Ligaments - Bones are connected to other bones by ligaments. We have 4 ligaments in in the knee: the medial and lateral collateral ligaments (MCL, LCL) and the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL, PCL). These ligamnets stabalize the knee.
Tendons - Muscles are connected to bones by tendons. The quadriceps tendon connects the muscles in the front of your thigh to your patella. Stretching from your patella to your shinbone is the patellar tendon.
Things I learned:
- Tears in the meniscus can occur when twisting, cutting, pivoting, sudden stops and more. Meniscal tears may also occur as a result of arthritis or aging.
- The first steps in treatment usually include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). This may be helpful in easing the inflammation that occurs with a torn meniscus. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), may help relieve pain and inflammation.
- Because the blood supply is different in each part of the meniscus, knowing where the tear is may help determine how easily a tear may repeair (with or without surgery). The better the blood supply the more potential for recovery. The outer rim of the C-shaped cartilage has better blood supply than the inner portion of the “C”. Plain X-rays cannot be used to identify meniscal tears.
- An MRI is the test of choice to confirm the diagnosis of a torn meniscus.
- Often it is possible to treat meniscus tears conservatively without an operation using anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy rehabilitation to strengthen muscles around the knee to prevent joint instability.