I used my lunch break on Friday to head back to the Medical Center to see Ortho #2. Time to get my MRI results!
|This is my mode of transportation when I go to the doctor - the rail. I feel less like a suburbanite when I ride it. (source)|
|Downtown in the Spring - it's actually kind of nice!|
As usual, I had about 5 minutes with the doctor. He looked at the radiologist’s report from MRI, told me he had reviewed the images and that he didn’t see anything.
|I get to spend more time looking at this stuff than I do actually seeing the doc!|
No stress reaction. No labral tear. No iliopsoas tear.
Yeah, I was as baffled as you probably are. Apparently, I have “joint pain” and possibly….wait for it..ARTHRITIS.
Yes my friends, he used the “A” word.
He said that I probably never had a labral tear. It seems that labral tears don’t just heal – you either have surgery to fix it or strengthen the area around it so that you can run without pain. He wasn’t 100% sure on the iliopsoas issue and stress reaction, though. They may have never really been there, or they may have healed in the 2 ½ months since the 1st MRI. And for those of us not familiar with arthritis, per the doc, it can feel like a ligament / muscle strain.
So basically, there’s nothing terrible that’s really wrong. That’s the good news.
While I should be thrilled that there’s nothing seriously wrong, I am annoyed that I’ve spent all this time (and money) chasing down a diagnosis, only to be told that I have arthritis. I missed the Houston Marathon for this? I missed my 70.3 for this?
Well let me tell you, arthritis effing hurts!!! While I am not in a huge amount of pain now, the pain was so severe when this all started, that I could not get in and out of bed or in and out of my car without pain. I could not lift my leg to put on my pants or socks without pain. I could not walk without pain. And stairs? Forget about it! If that was arthritis, I do not look forward to getting older.
The next step?
The doctor is recommending a Kenalog injection. Apparently, Kenalog is a type of cortisone / corticosteroid that should reduce any inflammation to help with any healing that needs to happen. It should also help with the pain. I have read both good and bad about Kenalog and cortisone injections in general, so I am really on the fence here. The process includes a mild sedative administered via IV, then the rest of the procedure should take a total of about 10 minutes. Nothing major, although the thought of an IV does not sound fun.
I’ll be honest, if I were your average couch potato; I would probably just live with my achy hip. The pain is there, but it’s bearable (for the most part). If I push the hip too much, it hurts. But, I am not a couch potato and I have no desire to be. I want to run again! I want to tri again! I want to do Insanity again! I want to try Cross Fit. And Pilates. I want to help the kids get ready for their upcoming kid's race! And I want to do all this pain-free. Because of that, I will probably have the injection. The only problem is when…the doc can do it on Thursday, but it’s not the best time to take a day off from work. But, who know when the timing will be better? Ack, decisions, decisions! In the meantime, I bought some triple strength glucosamine...I figure that it can't hurt!
After the injection, I will need to continue the low impact workouts I have been doing for 2-3 more weeks. After that, the doctor feels that I should be able to begin slowly adding in running. He warned me that since I should not be in pain, so that I have to be careful not to get carried away. His exact words were, “I don’t want you to go and run 10 miles your first time out”. His suggestion – run a block, walk a block. No worries there doc, I plan to take things really, really slow!
In the off chance that the injection doesn’t work, the doc said that the next step would be to scope the hip. I didn’t think this was that big of a deal. I know lots of people who have had their knee scoped without any really problems. Apparently, the hip scope is more complicated – instead of going a ½ inch into your leg like with your knee, the hip joint is buried deep within all kinds of muscles and ligaments. He basically said that if we get to that point, I need to decide if it’s really worth it. Sigh. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
So that’s it - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Have you had a similar injection? Did it help? What would you do in this situation?