Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Swollen Knee?

Alrighty, working on the race report -- school takes first priority though!
Couple days letter, everything's healing...except for my left knee!

Immediately after I stopped running, my left leg became sore and painful in the quadriceps and knee area (the run ends with a paved downhill, among the other downhills).

Standing up, I clearly have a fluid buildup *above* the knee (suprapatellar, as opposed to on top of the kneecap itself). My lower left quad is somewhat painful but not any more than expected.

Q for the masses: Any experience here? Suggestions?

Looking like bursitis, just curious about any ways to make it heal faster, and if it represents any other tendon damage. Doesn't feel like it, I can bear weight. Every day gets better/less painful, but the swelling isn't going down much. Yeah, been R.I.C.E'ing and ibuprofening. Haven't seen this listed enough after marathons/ultras like I might think, mostly listed from traumatic knee impact and people with poor circulation, who are usually willing to put up with it for weeks or months as long as they can watch sports on television rather than asking much out of their bodies, so I'm looking more from a sports injury point-of-view.
Are my tight quads preventing proper/quick drainage from the lymphatic system? Should I get it drained or wait it out?


This totally went away by itself after 2 weeks.
The first couple of days, I couldn't walk without a cane(!).
I didn't run the first week and part of the second week.
By the end of the first week, the swelling started going down, and really started getting better the second week.

Nothing was permanently damaged -- I think the quads were just thrashed and healing just above the knee.

(Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? But it was an awesome experience!)


  1. OW. no suggestion but that looks painful!

  2. Damn. Nice battle wound. I'm no doctor, but I have had bursitis in my knee before (high school football). All I did then was exactly what you've been doing: RICE. It went away eventually. I would probably wait it out, but then again I hate doctors (refer to my Bighorn/sinus infection episode).

  3. Thanks Chris! Did it look similar and last for days, and how long is 'eventually'? Other symptoms I see online are usually mild after exercise and go down after a few hours. But yeah, I have that similar combination of being weary of doctors*, but also being somewhat impatient (without wanting to do anything stupid).

    *Not out of irrational fear, but mostly that I realize that "injury due to running 100 miles" combined with "wanting to run safely and soon" doesn't have much data behind it, as compared to tripping in a parking lot and only needing to walk lightly.
    (And I also realize these are all *First-world* problems, so I'm not complaining! Yet.)

  4. Mine was probably problematic for a couple of weeks. It happened after I landed directly on the knee while making a tackle during practice. It hurt like hell at first and was REALLY swollen, but those both diminished after some treatment. Then, in I think our second game (so about two weeks later), I landed on it again and thought "oh crap, here we go again" but that second impact almost served to make it feel better...or maybe just served to make me believe that it was going to be okay and I didn't have to baby it. Didn't have any problems after that.

    My medical question is, how long should I let blisters heal before I start running again? My legs feel great, but the big blister on the ball of my left foot not so much. It's drained and the dead skin is removed (nice images, huh?) but the new, raw skin underneath is not all that comfortable right now and is, really, my only source of discomfort at the moment.

  5. Thanks, your case sounds like it was due to traumatic impact, which is far more common than overuse/strain.

    You should post your blister stuff on your Blog for posterity, so somebody can find it later! If it were me, I'd /definitely/ avoid running if it altered your gait at all, and/or if the raw skin seemed prone to bleeding, as you'd want to avoid infection. Ideally it would heal enough for the skin to look relatively normal so you didn't end up with an awkward callous, but if it was mostly good within the week and your gait isn't altered then I'd go with it. I'm just making stuff up though. That's also why it's nice to have a bike around instead.

    In either case, *not* running this week isn't going to hurt any of us...and it actually might be a *good* idea!

  6. a) "Not sure if it was the most gourmet food in the world, but it seemed to do the trick for Alex and I, and I think his son may have out-eaten me, which is no small feat!"

    I respond:

    b) ""Dude, I don't think anyone's within an hour of us," Neil reassured me, but I didn't believe him."

    Looks like 0:48m WAS the actual number :-)

    c) Great pics ! Next run ... I keep the camera handy, and set up for some in-progress shots !

    d) Hope the legs recover quickly ... whether to do things of THIS nature again, or ... just so we can go play !

    Honored to have been a part. And ... OhByTheWay: your requests were anything BUT bitchy. They made sense ... the moment you said them !

  7. I just got the same thing from running - per the doctor it is pes anserine bursitis. I did end up getting a cortisone shot. So I am in the rest and see stage. Another runner mentioned they used for at home ultrasound and specialty wraps. I have not tried that but will keep it in mind if this comes back. Here is to running again .... sigh

  8. Thank you runningforlife, pes anserine bursitis sounds correct.
    Mine went away day-by-day, and was gone in less than a week.

    I wish the best for your recovery, too. I think healthy and regular running helps the body to deal with trauma and inflammation better.

  9. Picture above: looks like Inflammation of the medial bursae of the knee ( there are 5 bursae in this area). Given the location of swelling; superior and medial to the per anserine attachment point above, it looks more like semi-membranosa bursa inflammation. This bursa is located between the medial collateral ligament and semi-membranous muscle attachment.
    Osteopath & Sport's Injury Specialist

  10. Thanks for your comments, Claire -- the swelling resolved itself with RICE.
    I have observed that more training and experience has resolved in less swelling, even after long training runs and events. The body's ability to adapt is amazing!