First things first – no skin cancer! Even though the dermatologist kept saying “basal cell carcinoma” and the images I googled looked exactly like the bright red zit-thingy on my chest, it turned out to be a benign skin growth called a lichen-something-or-other. Great. I honestly was far less concerned about the biopsy than my MRI.
At today’s appointment at Spaulding, I actually met with my doctor’s resident first – Dr. W. She asked me to go over my pain with her – specific location, what brings it on, what makes it better, etc. She said that lined up with the MRI results. Uh oh… I wasn’t sure if she was going to tell me the results or make me wait for Dr. T, but then she said, “So the MRI didn’t really show anything too concerning,” or something along those lines.
No tears, no fractures. All the radiologist saw was some fluid between my IT band and knee joint, and a Baker’s cyst behind me knee. Those two combined explain the location of my pain, but Dr. T later explained that a Baker’s cyst is really more of a symptom or a result of an underlying injury, rather than the cause of pain.
His recommendation was to try a steroid injection in the knee joint itself. He explained the risks but I was relieved to hear that there are basically no side effects and I could still exercise normally. So he and Dr. W went and got everything they needed, and injected an anesthetic called ropivicaine and the steroid called kenalog. He suggested trying out a short run later in the day, as the anesthetic would last about 8-10 hours, but the steroid could take 1-2 weeks to really take effect. I’m dealing with cramps today, so not sure I’ll make it out before the Bruins game, but I can definitely give it a try tomorrow.
The bottom line is that I need to continue strengthening my core, hips, and glutes so my hamstrings do a lot less work while running. This is something Ben works with me on at PT, but I fear I may be coming up on my maximum number of PT visits soon, so it’s a good reason to really make this more of a priority for me for the next few weeks and months. I can still stick with my Covered Bridges Half Marathon training plan, but I need to incorporate a lot more strength work (ballet is EXCELLENT for this but spinning, not so much).
I have a follow-up appointment in 5 weeks, but I have to call back and go in sooner if I don’t have any pain improvement by 2 weeks from now. I’m just so relieved to learn that I don’t have skin cancer or some major ortho injury!