>Health and Nutrition>Microfracture Comeback
For those interested, I last week officially started my running back up after a 6-month layoff following microfracture surgery in my left knee. I guess my motives are mixed in posting this. Part of it is very selfish, "Hey, look at me RA friends, I'm comin' back!" Part of it is not. In my experience it's been kinda hard to find other runners who have gone through this, so this is my way of also raising a little flag for others to find on the internet who might be going through this or who might go through this in the future. For those search engines out there: marathon runner microfracture lateral femoral condyle and tibial plateau 2.5 years following ACL reconstruction and partial meniscectomy.
We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.
Good news, Joe. What does the buildup look like? A few miles every day for a few months?
"If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus
Thanks, Nader. The plan is to ramp up gradually from about 2 miles / day up to 8 miles / day over the next 8 weeks or so. Doc says this plan is OK but I need to back off if I start to experience some pain (which can be normal in recovery/return to sports from this procedure). So we'll see. So far, I feel great (although slow!). After I get a solid base of 40-50 mpw under me again for a few weeks I'll consider building on that with some quality work or longer runs. I plan to try to get a BQ in late summer just before registration opens. I don't expect to run a great time, but I think I can at least limbo under the new bar and then maybe improve my mark considerably in the winter.
BTW, stalking your log I see you set ANOTHER 5k PR recently. That's awesome, dude!! Sub-6:00! Congrats!
That is good to know. 8-milers, eh? I wonder if you can stick to 4- to 6-milers, even 3-3 doubles. Maybe that way you could avoid that warning pain from raising its head. It might make your comeback more steady. Just some thoughts; you know your body best, obviously.
Tomorrow marks 1 year post op for me and 6 months since returning to running. So far, the progress has been just absolutely phenomenal.
I'm running around 60-80 miles per week and it's not been that hard. I have almost no pain in my knee at all. Occasionally I might twist a little bit a certain way and I might feel a little pinch or something, but nothing major at all. I have been super paranoid about pain in my knee, but at the same time I've become really good at very precisely identifying little aches and pains around that joint. I might feel a little something, and then I think about and realize that it's maybe, for example, lower down and to the outside so it has to be just a little ache associated with a tendon coming from my calf or something so it can't be coming from my surgery site. And there are many little things like that -- I doubt I really feel any more discomfort on my left side than my right, but I think my brain amplifies every little tiny thing. So far so good, though. I never have any pain that sticks around. More than this, I notice when I don't think about my knee at all I don't ever feel it. When I'm listening to my mp3 player, for example, I notice "little things" around my knee almost not at all, whereas when I run without music I think about it a lot more.
I feel like with very little organized training effort I have been remarkably blessed to get back to about as good of shape as I've ever been in. Got my post-op/post-recovery 5k down from 18 in April to under 17 on the 4th of July, and also ran a near-PR marathon a couple of weeks ago. Now my sites are set on some quite bigger goals that I hope to achieve in the next year or two.
If you are reading this and are a runner and have had microfracture surgery or are contemplating having MFX, so far I would consider my case to be a "best outcome" scenario. We'll see if that holds up and for how long.