Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"What? Your legs aren't broken..."

Ahhh... but my orthopedist begs to differ!

Yes folks, finally, after nearly two months since I initially developed that lovely bilateral joint instability in my knees, I have a diagnosis:

I have stress fractures in both femurs.


The orthopedist said that the joint instability was caused by a nerve reaction where my knees were actually trying to protect my fractured femurs. The problem is that knees, being knees, aren't very bright so they didn't quite grasp that trying to pitch me onto the ground probably wouldn't help matters much at all. I also have "Chondromalacia Patella" which I believe means a degradation of the cartilage in the knees (and is a common sign of aging, oh God shoot me now).

So. The course of treament for the femurs is actually less arduous than it would be if it were just one of them. The doctor said if it were one leg or the other he'd stick me on crutches and tell me to put no weight on the affected leg for a month. Well, that doesn't work when it's both legs, so instead I'm simply to stay as sedentary as possible for the next month.

If you've known me for any period of time, you know I can do sedentary. I was the child voted most likely to root herself to the couch. By my parents.

Around April 9th I'll be able to go back to any daily activities I've curtailed with the whole sedentary edict, and I will also start VERY light daily walking exercise.

I'll also start some physical therapy exercises for the Chondromalacia Patella. On that, the doctor said these exercises will strengthen the surrounding structures. It's possible that I'll eventually want surgery due to this (my knees "crunch" audibly), but there's no urgency and in fact, as long as my knees don't bug me I don't have to worry about it.

Works for me.

Oh, and apparently since I have these stress fractures, am perimenopausal, and there is osteoporosis in my family, I need to get a bone density test. Good times.

On May 6th I go back to the orthopedist and at that point we'll be reviewing the intensity of my exercise program. My desire is to raise the intensity at that time, either with incline or speed... but we'll see what the doctor says. My desire also is to not have to deal with stress fractures again, so I might have to weigh my wishes and figure out which is more important.

My plan is to follow Tricia's lead during this time and work more on my upper body, since I'm effectively grounded otherwise. Also, I'm going to be tracking my food intake like a beast. Not much change there as I've been good with that for two weeks already, but I'm glad I was already on that.

Now, if I can just get my family to understand exactly what "sedentary" means.


Choreboy said...

Just tell your parents that the doctor told you to "be yourself". They'll get it;)

(humor, in case you didn't recognize it!)

Amanda said...

It's my bones that are fractured, dear... not my sense of humor :P

Ms Snarky Pants said...

Wow I'd suck at sedentary. I go crazy if I can't get up and move around. I have an insane fear of bedrest during pregnancy. LOL I'm glad you excel at it at least. hehehe Hope you heal fast!

Amanda said...

Well, Lesley, the bad thing about being so GOOD at sedentary is that it makes me just a tad more prone to piling on the pounds. That plus the fact that for my health I really have to be more active (and I've been trying at least!), it puts me at a disadvantage :)

What's funny though is that this just bears out what my brother's always said: our parents should have had genetic counseling before they got married, because there isn't a single athletic bone in either of their bodies (apparently literally) and we children have followed suit!

Jenn said...

Well, at least you know what's going on now, right? ::Looking for the silver lining::
How did you incur these fractures, from running??

Amanda said...

Jenn, well the silver lining is that at least I know what's going on, why my knees keep giving out, and why my legs feel so tired (no wonder they're tired -- they're trying to heal broken bone!).

And yes, this was caused by running. I'm only 39, but due to heredity my bones are apparently a bit older. I'm perimenopausal as it is, and although I was working on higher impact and resistance exercise in hopes of strengthening my bones before the inevitable thinning came along, at this point it looks like I missed that boat? Or something.

Eh, we'll see. I'm going to get the bone density test done, and listen to my ortho. He's aware I still want to run ("want" as in "am stubborn, determined, and won't let little things like not liking to run or broken legs stand in the way), so my belief is that he's approaching my treatment with that in mind.

Angel said...

Here's what ya do. Grab your laptop, books, favorite jammies, come hide out over here. My bed is big and I promise we can hide and be sedentary ALL WE WANT. Heh and to think some days I complain about feeling invisible.

My 14yo cooks like a pro. Tempted yet? ;) xo

SO sorry about the DX. Lots of love and prayers your way. Of course if you need anything, let me know!!

HEEHEEHEEE Word verification:

Sciamachy Moran said...

I have the same knee problem I think, but part of the cause in my case *is* being sedentary. I took up running after a long time of no exercise & my quads have simply wasted away, my knees try to compensate & I'm in agony. I've switched to Pilates as it's renowned as a good rehab method.