Knee: Wrong diagnosis but then I took an arrow in the knee

My knee utterly broke in July, it was swollen, sore, stiff, acutely painful and apparently covered by the vague term Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) aka “runner’s knee”. The GP had no idea what the problem was, the physiotherapist said it was a tracking problem of the patella femoral joint and I pretty quickly stopped caring as long as it got fixed.

It took months to get physio on the NHS and then even longer to get a MRI  scan (Magnetic resonance imaging) which led to a written report that I didn’t understand. I was patient with the medical professionals, so very very patient despite the pain and the building irritation.

Until a week ago, when a doctor’s receptionist told me that they hadn’t made the referral that had been promised three days earlier and that they wouldn’t give me a phonecall to confirm when it had been made.


(Photo from

At this point I got cross and said that I’d been nice up to this point but I’d cheerfully put in a formal complaint over this. Oddly enough I got a referral that afternoon, although apparently the initial unit they wanted to refer me to had closed down a week before – cutbacks apparently.

I ‘only’ had to wait a week to see the Orthopaedic specialist at the local NHS hospital. Although on the day of the appointment I had to wait over 90 minutes for what transpired to be under 5 minutes of face time with the specialist – this included him making a reference to what I guess is some football player.

The five minutes was useful in a rushed sort of way, the specialist confirmed that it wasn’t fundamentally tracking issue, it isn’t ligaments or cartilage. He thinks it is the infrapatellar fat pad (aka hoffa’s fat pad) and that I need to go back to physio now that we know the cause.

Which is certainly better than saying let’s try keyhole surgery! But still vexing as now I’m (hopefully) back on a waiting list!

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