My sad ol' knee needs surgery. Both of the surgeons I consulted with agreed on the plan.
I finally understand what they mean by my patella being out of alignment. I saw it right on the x-ray. My right knee cap sits at an angle, rather than almost flat (as it should). Consequently, the wear on the cartilage under my knee has been uneven. Both doctors believe this has been coming on for a long time (many years). But, I've finally worn it down to the point where I'm now causing damage to the cartilage. One doctor said that I was able to keep on going for so long due to my strong quads. Ha! They don't feel very strong right now since I haven't been able to do much strength work or hill running for months. But, for those of you who shun strength training, you may want to rethink that choice. Merci beaucoup to Ed and Mark for their killer strength workouts. You two kept me going much longer than I could have otherwise. And, I have no doubt that you'll help me get up and running again.
Anyway, in mid-January, I'll be undergoing arthroscopic surgery where they'll do a chondroplasty (I think I got the name right) and a lateral release. I'll jump (not literally) right into PT after the surgery.
From there, I'll slowly build up my quad strength again - and hopefully, get back into reasonable amounts of running and biking -and obviously swimming,too.
Please note I wrote "reasonable" amounts of running. I would be very, very happy to get back to a point of running 5-6 miles painfree again.
My knees are fragile - and my cartilage is finite.
I don't want to say that I will "never" do another Ironman race or marathon again. But, I have a great doubts that those kind of distances are what's best for me.
Yup - it only took four orthopedic specialists telling me that AND surgery for me to finally get it.
But, I didn't say I would "never" do another triathlon again - did I? Time will tell what the distance will be.