Physical Therapy Now!
Yes, now I'm receiving P/T for something that's wrong with my left knee. The story gets weirder and weirder!
After the "Ride the Lobster" race back in June, I had a moderate case of tendinitis in my left ankle. This went away with rest and some ibuprofen. Then I started feeling pain in my left arm, especially centered around the elbow. I saw a few doctors about this and had it diagnosed as tennis elbow -- tennis elbow from unicycling. Apparently this was a direct result from holding the extension that comes out of the uni's seat post, and considering that I was holding this thing for dear life all thru the race, this isn't surprising. I also made things a bit worse by riding 85 miles in one day, but that was in September, after the pain had already set in.
Then a few weeks ago, my left knee started to pop. It didn't hurt at the time, but I knew it would soon enough. This time I saw a specialist, and he proclaimed it to be chondromalacia* or maybe something similar. I was given a referral for physical therapy and the use of a TENS device, which causes muscles to flex (and relax) by stimulating them subcutaneously.
The TENS device uses electrodes that attach to your skin on rubbery squares. It can be used while driving, so I have it on during my commutes into and out of Manhattan.
So far the treatment seems to be working, and it also helped that I went back to wearing orthodics in my shoes. I'd been prescribed them years ago but had switched to shoes that they didn't fit into.
If my knee didn't respond to the treatments, I'd be a candidate for arthroscopic surgery, but I don't think that's going to be necessary.
Note: That is not a picture of me.
* According to some website, my illness is... (pronounced KON-dro-mah-LAY-she-ah), also called chondromalacia patellae, refers to softening of the articular cartilage of the kneecap. This disorder occurs most often in young adults and can be caused by injury, overuse, misalignment of the patella, or muscle weakness. Instead of gliding smoothly across the lower end of the thigh bone, the kneecap rubs against it, thereby roughening the cartilage underneath the kneecap. The damage may range from a slightly abnormal surface of the cartilage to a surface that has been worn away to the bone. Chondromalacia related to injury occurs when a blow to the kneecap tears off either a small piece of cartilage or a large fragment containing a piece of bone (osteochondral fracture).