Knee: Now with added spikes

My latest random internet-inspired attempt to take an edge of my leg pain was a spiked acupressure mat.

The logic is the spikes as like needle free acupuncture, so modern medicine would say that it prompts blood flow to the spiked areas.

Alternatively in traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture is thought to help the meridian lines channel the flow of a life force is known as Qi.

spike yoga mat

Alternatively again my yoga teacher talks a lot about prana, aka energy or life force, which also carried along meridian lines.

So basically three major things that you could decide to believe in all think that the spiky mat should help my leg, it seems worth a go!

The instructions that were on the internet page, but that didn’t actually come with the mat, said to lie down on it for 20 to 40 minutes a couple of times a week (or more) to alleviate muscle pain. It says that the spikes should hurt, but in a good “joyful” way.

I’m a little unsure about joyful painful spikes, but as the NHS are being less than helpful the spikes seem worth a go I suppose!

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When the NHS re-enact Abu Ghraib to avoid fixing my knee

I was rather excited to see the hospital specialist physiotherapist, I also had rather high hopes – these were dashed by the time I was escorted through a sticky looking door marked “men’s changing”.

Being led into a dimly lit low-roofed room that seemed to be a smaller version of an indoor sports hall on a severe austerity budget didn’t boost my hopes. It then became apparent that this was an assessment session for me and six other people of various genders.

There were no privacy screens or any attempt to pretend the ‘patients’ had any dignity as the NHS ‘specialists’ ordered various garments to be removed and actions performed.

Fortunately I was wearing clothing that let my knee be examined without the need to shed clothing – I did feel sorry for the woman who was told to run on the spot in just her underwear and the rotund boxer-clad chap told to stand on one leg with his eyes closed for 5 minutes whilst the NHS staff sniggered.

egyptian pyramids

(Photo from Wiki)

I had a nagging feeling that the whole thing was either candid camera or sadistic NHS staff having decided that the abuse in Abu Ghraib sounded a bit of a laugh

The woman that I saw made me recant the entire history of my knee pain and made it clear that she hadn’t bothered looked at my notes or my scan. She was also a master of stating the obvious, she agrees that my knee cap is high – this is an IS and can’t be changed. She also said that my muscle strength is ok, although the inside quad on left leg is slightly weaker.

She commented that the outside of my left leg was tight and this is pulling the knee cap out of alignment and that the swelling under the knee (which is presumably the fat pad) is pushing out the front of the knee cap at an angle – the top of the kneecap is the further point out.

The only  new thing was she declared that I need to build up my core strength as this would help stablise the leg – although this was a throw away comment.

So for 45 minutes I was poked and prodded, with no treatment or advice given. This wasn’t what I expected and I also wasn’t expecting there to be a three week wait for the next possible appointment slot. However I’ve taken the slot and am hoping that the next session will bear less resemblance to the abuses committed by a few bored and stupid member of global Superpower and might actually be a bit more useful.

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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.

knee

(Photo from bthcc.co.uk)

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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Patella femoral joint pain – “She likes big words although we’ll never comprehend”

What started as patella femoral joint issues (aka runner’s knee) is increasingly confusing. I would like to give special thanks to some muppet who works in my local hospital’s radiography department who ensured that I spent several fun-packed hours typing my MRI scan results into Google one word at a time in a desperate attempt to understand them.

I ended up with a lot of scribbled notes about various terms from various places on the internet – plus some guessing from my co-workers/ husband/ cat/ random strangers.

freezing from the same day that hell froze over

(Photo from the BBC – this is from the big freeze earlier this year when Hell did freeze over)

As I went to all this effort I thought I should record these definitions somewhere as I’ll probably need them again before my stupid knee makes any progress – although given the speed and efficiency of the NHS I think hell will freeze over before my knee stops hurting.

Structural Words:

Patella – knee cap

Patella alta, aka the high riding patella – the knee cap position on the leg is rather high

Trichlear groove (aka trochlea) – the groove where the patella (knee cap) makes contact with the femur (thighbone). The sides of the knee cap should be almost parallel to the groove and the knee cap should slide inside the groove.

Lateral ridge – in the case of the trichlear groove this is the outside of the groove.

Femoral – to do with the femur (thigh bone)

Infrapatellar fat pad (aka hoffa’s fat pad) – a fatty pad filled with nerves that sits below the knee cap and behind the patella tendon.

Vastus Medialis Obliquos (VMO) – a muscle group which are very useful to help stablise the patella (including its tracking) and are potential weak if you have knee pain!

Bursa – small sac filled with synovial fluid. When working correctly these reduce friction between bones and stuff in joints.

Menisci, cruciate and collateral ligaments – ligaments!

Articular cartilage – slippy white substance that helps the bones glide smoothly. Very important stuff.

Pain themed words:

Patellofemoral pain syndrome – a blanket term meaning anterior knee pain

Anterior – in humans this means “the front”

Retropatellar articular cartilage fissure –you have damage to the cartilage on the back of your knee cap.

Chondropathy – your cartilage is screwed.

Patellofemoraldysfunction – Term so vague as to be useless, aka the chap in radiology is an unhelpful individual or totally stumped and doesn’t want to admit it.

Patellofemoral arthritis – when the articular cartilage wears down and inflames. This is usually along the trochlear groove and on the underside of the patella. Owch owch owch.

One day I want to be able to NEED a list of cute fluffy words to describe my knee with.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2014 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. If you want to take my knee pain away then please go right ahead.