Two years ago, when I injured my ACL and meniscus playing soccer, I immediately knew something was wrong. When I saw several doctors, they all told me that nothing was wrong. That I should ice the injury they assured me was "very small, just a strain in the tendon". So, following their advice, I continued to play soccer. And I continued to stay injured, and progressively worsen. Finally, I had to go to the emergency room because I couldn't walk. My knee was so swollen.
After a knee examination, an MRI, etc etc with yet another doctor, they told me that I had torn my ACL and my meniscus had become completely shredded and was now lodged in my knee joint. They noted that this was NOT a new injury, but one that had occurred several months ago, when I first noticed something was wrong. Seven months of playing on a severely unstable knee because THREE doctors told me I could was inexcusable. I was so angry.
Here are a couple shots of my knee post-op. Some are uuuuugly so you've been warned!!
In any case, it has been 2 years and 1 month since the surgery and I still worry that any small niggling pains are about to turn into full-blown debilitating injuries. Most don't. Some are worrisome but I figure out the cause soon enough and I fix it and let myself recover.
One recent "injury" happened on the weekend. Nearing the end of my long run on Saturday, I felt a niggling pain in the quadricep of my right leg. I passed it off as regular old muscle ache. The next day, while doing a 2 hour trainer session, I felt fine but as if my legs were more tired and achy than usual. Getting off the bike, however, I knew something was wrong. My right quad HURT. It hurt not like a muscle aches when it is sore, but like an overstrained muscle.
So now here I am worrying that something is seriously, dangerously wrong when who knows? It might be nothing? Either way, I'm going to test the waters today and really make sure NOT to push it and to back off before things go too awry. If there's one lesson I learned throughout all this is that you DON'T want to be that triathlete that pushed themselves so far with an injury that it's become all but permanent. You want to back off, give yourself the few moments, days, etc to recover a minor injury so that it never becomes a major one!!
I'll keep you posted.