By the time I had reached 30, I was diagnosed with bilateral chondomalacia patellae - a misalignment and, as a result, faulty tracking of the knee cap. Over time, this causes wear on the articular cartilage and, oh, a lot of pain. Four surgeries later, including the fantastic procedure known as microfracture, I'm good. During a three year stretch of procedures, however, it was hard on myself and friends/family. I'm naturally impatient and invasive orthopedics take patience and time to work.
So, here I am. Thought I was out of the woods. No - oops - another patch apparently rests just ahead. Aging brings on aches and pains. I guess if I've had some I've always felt so good that it wasn't my knees creating it. Hips, back, wrists, whatever. That's the pain that's okay to have. Well, at least in the case of my hips, apparently not.
Just before Christmas 2009, I started to have pain on the pointy precipice of my hip. As time went on, it got, worse and worse. While not think too much of it, I thought it was good to get it checked out. So, I went in to see my PCP. He manipulated my joints and ordered an x-ray. Truth be told, I was a bit anxious as I waited to get my picture taken. This made it especially satisfying when I finally saw the results for myself. To the untrained eye, the radiograph looked great. Symmetric spacing between my joints was ample. There appeared to be no osteophytes or early signs of change in the cartilage or the bone surface. My Doc felt the same way. He turned, gave me a smile and said "you've got a bursitis. Do these exercises, take 600 mgs of IBU every five hours and call me if it gets worse."
Well, it didn't get worse, but it didn't go away either, so back I go to the PCP. So, we're sitting in the exam room and he looks over to me and says, "Oh, here's the report from your x-ray - you have hip impingement." Huh. Okay. So, I think to myself, "before I move on to the issue at hand, I have to wonder if there was any way I was going to find out about this without actually having made the appointment?" Okay. Whatever. It's not going to help to go there. So, what follows is the typical chit-chat about referrals and Sports Medicine.
Okay. That's good - I like Sports Medicine. The whole idea of Sports Medicine is to treat the problem at hand and get you back to activity as soon as possible. I've got no pretense or vision of running through the fields, ripping up daisies, but I do want to be a functional father with a 3'er.
So, that's it. That's where I stood. I left the office and already had a plan of action. Get to the Mac, be smart and assess the extent of things, from worst case scenario to best case scenario. Also, don't overreact. I think to myself..."You've been here before and survived. You can do this. You HAVE to do this."
At this point, I wait for a phone call to come from UCD Sports Medicine.