Runner’s Knee Injury Update

9 Dec

Please, please, please, please fix my knee. Note: not my knees. A little hairy to be mine.


Well, I finally did it.  I went to the doctor again for my runner’s knee.  I was really afraid of what he might say…would I ever be able to run again??  Here’s where my runner’s knee was at prior to the visit:

  • It started a little over a year ago predominantly in my left knee, though both ached.
  • I experience pain under the knee cap and the pain increases the more active I am.
  • I went through physical therapy to improve the pain for about 2 months.
  • My runner’s knee is caused from poor “tracking” meaning my hips are too wide and my knee isn’t lining up as it should.

After going through a few months of physical therapy and months of “trying” to run, the pain has persisted.  Though the interesting thing is now the pain is focused much more on the RIGHT knee.  Odd that it has switched.  I have almost no pain in my left knee – which before was the main issue.  So after months of NOT running and continued pain (likely through all my dancing), I decided to head back to the doctor to see if it’s possible something more was the problem.

Upon arriving at my doctor’s office, I was first examined by a resident who did the usual “does this hurt?” examination.  After evaluating my knees in various positions, he said it seems like the pain is identical as I had before (just as suspected).  He left the room and shortly reentered with my doc.  After a series of physical examinations the conclusion was the same: runner’s knee.  My incorrect knee tracking (due to my big womanly hips) is causing my knees to rub continually and cause pain.

Le sigh.  Good that it’s nothing worse… but bad because, well… I already tried to solve this problem unsuccessfully!!!

So what’s the game plan? Here are some suggestions to help improve my knee:

  • Recommit to my PT exercises.  I did them religiously for awhile, but once I started ChaLean I noticed many of my PT exercises were in the videos – so I didn’t do them daily.  Looks like I have more outer hip strengthening to do.
  • Look into orthopedics.  My doc recommended Smart Feet to help improve my alignment.
  • Rest and Ice… yeah the usual.

So the big take away is that I NEED to get this resolved… because clearly running isn’t the only trigger.  I haven’t gone on a run in literally months, yet my knee is still swollen.  Dancing, bending, jumping… it seems like anything agitates it.  Once the wedding is over, I’m going to come up with a plan of attack and really see what I can do…because clearly it’s going to take a much more aggressive approach to get over this injury.

Project February: FIX MY KNEES!

Good news: My knee doesn’t appear to be broken forever.  It can be resolved.

Bad news: It still hasn’t been resolved and I’m kind of a at a loss for what more can be done.

I guess I should be pleased it isn’t anything worse!! :)  Happy Monday!



28 Responses to “Runner’s Knee Injury Update”

  1. The Sky Runner December 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    This might seem really basic… but… I had knee problems from running for a long time… I will say that I have been pain-free for about a year now. The solution for me? 1. I got new shoes AND footbeds (the $40 kind you buy that is tailored to your foot type). 2. When I started getting any sort of pain in my knee or IT band (both were issues), I would take the next day off. AND 3. I have been strength training. I think numbers 1 and 3 have been the biggest reasons. I know how frustrating it is to have pain doing what you love…. I hope this helps

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 10, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Wow I always love reading injury success stories! Make me feel like there is some hope! :) The strength training and resting I’m doing, but I haven’t looked into new foot beds. Where did you get yours made? My doc recommended that, but I was worried it would be crazy expensive.

  2. smcolvar December 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I have had the SAME problem. My chiropractor just put me on ligaplex its supposed to support soft muscle tissue. We’ll see if that helps.

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 10, 2013 at 9:29 am #

      What is ligaplex? And how long have you been on it? Good luck feeling better, injuries stink!!

      • smcolvar December 10, 2013 at 9:43 am #

        I’ve only been on it a week now. It’s a supplement, google says “supports tissue and joints to maintain connective tissue health, especially for long term support.” Id ask your doctor. Idk if it’s helping me yet but the reviews online are good

  3. Lucy @ Lucy On The Lookout December 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Ahh as always, sending your knees lots of healing thoughts! I found my insoles really helpful during a period I was getting terrible foot pain (which ended up affecting my knees) – for some reason I just needed a longish period of using them (not even when exercising, just in my normal shoes but as I was spending about 8 hours a day on my feet it was a long time per day) and then it sorted itself out and I no longer need them (nor get pain). But I think you’re spot on about investigating what works best for you and your body in this situation, and it can take a while to find out what that is… but hoping it will happen soon! Hope it isn’t getting you too down x

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 10, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks for the positive thoughts!! :) And interesting about the insoles, my doc also recommended them for normal wear as well… I’m starting to think that might be worth a solid try. At this point I’ll try anything! And the good news is I’ve been so busy that it hasn’t made me as depressed as the initial diagnosis last spring. Though once I start getting aggressive about fixing it again, I hope it actually works!!!

  4. Change of Pace December 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Sending you positive knee vibes, too. I completely feel your pain. I’ve dealt with it on and off for a few years now. Anything could trigger it/make it worse, even walking the dog. I imagine dancing could be tough on it.
    My advice: do your PT exercises, strengthen your hips and the quad muscle on the inside of your knee (mini single leg squats really activate it), and keep those IT bands loose!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 10, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Thank you for all the positive vibes, clearly I need them! :) And great advice, my doc actually felt that muscle on the inside of my knee and said that I could stand to get it a bit stronger… and I was wondering how to do that! Perfect! Fingers crossed it gets resolved soon!

  5. anna December 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Oh no, so sorry to hear about your running knee! I agree PT exercises can be such a chore, but I hope they help you feel better! I do the same things Change of Pace does (single leg weights with most exercises), though I’m unfamiliar with the tracking diagnosis. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you!!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 10, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Thanks for the happy thoughts! Fingers crossed it gets resolved sometime in the next few months… I’m definitely tired of it! And you are so right.. PT exercises can be such a chore but I just need to get back in the habit of them to get myself strong!

  6. Luv What You Do December 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    I have recommended the smart feet before and think they are a good place to start over the counter. My advice is TONS of stretching and length through the legs AND try taping your patella to keep it tracking in the right spot. Then get at the strengthening, especially the glutes! Good luck!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 10, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      Glad to hear some nice things about Smart Feet. My doc said I could do custom, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to invest that sort of money yet. I’ve been taking the stretching thing to heart with lots of yoga and leg stretches. And you bring up an interesting point… I’ve taped my knees for races, but not just on a regular basis. May be worth exploring at least when I’m working out. And thanks for the luck! :)

  7. bayrunnerjamie December 10, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Sounds frustrating, but so good it’s nothing worse. Can you take some time off of all activities that have any impact? I know that sounds like a bummer, but it might help you in the long run. I’m sure some more physical therapy would help you greatly as well. Good luck!!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 10, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Agreed – I’m definitely relieved it isn’t worse OR it isn’t anything that requires surgery etc. I think that’s one reason this doesn’t have me terribly upset. And currently I’m doing no cardio/high impact stuff during my workouts – but I am dancing several times a week for a musical. Once that is over I should be able to give myself a decent rest… here’s hoping it helps!!

      • bayrunnerjamie December 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

        Yeah, not being able to run is one thing, but surgery, and medical bills is another! That’s good you can take some time off soon, hopefully that helps. And good luck with the musical!!

        • bayrunnerjamie December 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

          I really enjoy reading your blog, so I’ve nominated you for a blog award!

        • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

          Thanks so much Jamie! And you’re so right – to me surgery is pretty much a non-option. I’m confident I can get this resolved with enough experimenting!!

  8. Catherine @ A Two Storey Home December 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Oh man. That is so frustrating! I don’t know what exactly you were doing in terms of PT exercises, but it sounds like if the one knee got better, then whatever you did worked…now you just have to focus on the other one :) I’m sure I’m oversimplifying it, but I hope it gets better! And like you said, I bet the dancing has a lot to do with the continued pain :-/

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

      Yeah it’s interesting that happened… the doc was saying that sometimes when you correct the alignment in one knee it can mess up the alignment in the other… which I feel like makes sense. And is probably what happened. I just need to get a renewed sense of hope and get after my exercises again. Once I have some brain space open again this will be my big project. I’m happy that it isn’t anything worse though!! Only 4 more nights of dancing! (tear/happiness?)

  9. stevenburkard December 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    I had the same problem a couple of years ago; knee cap tracking wrong and causing crazy pain. It took 6 weeks of no running (swimming and biking were okay) and exercises from my physio to correct the muscle imbalance. I then changed my shoes to a zero drop and my strike to a mid-foot strike. No more issues. I would avoid the insoles/orthotics.

    Good luck on the rehab. It can be frustrated to say the least.

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      Interesting. Glad to know I’m not the only one. And I have been very hesitant to try the insoles… I can’t put my finger on exactly why..but I feel like I’d rather resolve the root cause than put more stuff in my shoes. I’m about due for new shoes so will definitely keep zero drop in mind. Thanks for the thoughts and luck, hopefully this will all be behind me soon!

  10. FitnessFatale December 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    I’m glad it’s nothing worse but also can’t imagine not running for so long! I hope the strengthening and other solutions help and you are able to run happy soon!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Me too! And you know, this actually couldn’t have happened at a better time. With the wedding and musical I’m busy enough that I definitely miss running, but I’m not nearly as mopey/inconsolable as I would be had this happened at another time. Excited for February to get serious about getting this resolved for good and back to running!

  11. sincerelylily December 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Ahhh glad it is nothing serioius… and I think I read your blog out of order…… b/c I think I’m behind in posting a comment on this. ? I can’t read apparently. don’t mind me.

    ANYWAYS, kick butt in PT, rest up and I do believe you will be better than ever! Esp after the big day, your knee will be the knee of a wife, which is like 10355 times cooler than just a plain ole knee. ;)

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings December 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Bahaha well there isn’t a strong flow or order to the blog, so I think you’re in good shape ;)

      And your advice actually made me outloud. Because it’s the knee of a WIFE I should DEFINITELY be good to go. Gosh wouldn’t that be sweet if that just magic-ed my knee to perfection?? Either way I’m happy to have a lighter schedule come February to really get serious about getting these old bones fixed!


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