I wrote about my knee pain in More Ouch on 11th June. My self-diagnosis was Plica Syndrome. The prescribed treatment for Plica Syndrome is rest. After a few days of rest, the pain knee ceased. I started walking and cycling again.
The pain in my left knee came back and did not cease after a few days of rest. It was time to see a professional.
Dr Chan Kin Yuen is the surgeon who did the ACL replacement in my right knee fourteen years ago. He still practices at Gleneagles Hospital. He bent, straightened, rotated, and pressed on the knee. His initial diagnosis was a medial (inside of the knee) meniscus tear. He sent me off for MRIs and X-rays to confirm.
Three days later, I was in Dr Chan’s office again to review the results of the imaging. I did have a medial meniscus tear. The initial injury was an old one. I aggravated it by jogging.
My options were to rest the knee for six weeks and see if the pain subsided or do an arthroscopic meniscectomy right away. Given the multi-planar nature of the tear, it was unlikely that rest was the answer.
Three days later, I was in an operating theatre under a general anaesthetic. As Dr Chan had seen from the imaging, the tear was too complex to repair. So the torn portion was removed.
A further three days later, I was at home with instructions to regularly ice the knee, take the anti-inflammatory drugs Celebrex and Myonal, and report for physiotherapy three times a week.
It has been four weeks since the surgery. I have the full range of motion in the knee. I have to say that it was a painful journey to get there, not least because of the swelling in the knee.
The swelling is in the bursae, fluid-filled sacs and synovial pockets surrounding the knee joint cavity. The irritation to the soft tissues of the knee during the arthroscopic procedure caused the swelling.
Dr Chan gave me the go-ahead to start cycling a couple of weeks ago. I rode almost every day, culminating in a climb up to the Lookout Point in Ampang and a 55km ride a few days later.
On my most recent visit to Dr Chan’s clinic, he told me to skip the climbing and limit my rides to 50km a day. While the movement is good for the knee, overdoing it will irritate the bursae and prolong the swelling. My knee does ache a bit after physiotherapy and biker rides.
Today’s ride was just over 50km.
Followed by icing after I got home.
Dr Chan is pleased with my recovery so far. I don’t need physiotherapy anymore. I do need to ice my knee regularly. I am off to do that now.