As of today it will have been 4 sessions with the physical therapist encompassing 2 weeks. To date, I have been provided with electric stimulation, ice, ultrasound and a series of strengthening exercises for my left knee. To date, the pain still exists and while the muscles around the knee (quad,hamstring, calf) will eventually get stronger, the cause of the pain still exists. The therapists has mentioned it a few times that she doesn’t believe the underlying cause is osteoarthritis of the left knee.
While the day to day pain has subsided, there is still a pain and terrible popping noise when I walk, this is especially noticeable when climbing stairs. Even sitting with the knee in a bent position or lying down with my legs straight out will eventually increase the severity of pain. While the therapist cannot come out and tell the orthopedic surgeon how to do his job, she does recommend I push for an MRI of the left knee.
On the recommendation of a user at the McDougall Forums, I picked up a book by Pete Egoscue called Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain. This book attempts to get to the root cause of the pain through a series of exercises and stretching routines called “E-cises.” Only a few chapters in and one comments from the author stood out. “The musculoskeletal system’s worst enemy…is the x-ray machine. With one stroke of technological genius, we went from observing the body from the outside with sharp eyes to scrutinizing it with a specialized instrument from inside.” This rings true with my trip to the orthopedic surgeon. A quick 3-4 minute discussion while looking at the x-ray and I was on my way. Never did his hands or eyes feel or see my knee, except via the x-ray.
I won’t take the orthopedic up on his recommendation for a series of injections that may or may not work. That would (if successful) only provide a stop gap and not get to the root cause of the problem, must like Pete Egoscue stresses in his book. Therapy has gone about as far as it can, progress isn’t being made and the therapist recommends “further work up” as she called it. Reading between the lines, she wants to see an MRI.