Tuesday, July 12, 2016


So where does one start? I've been running for as long as my memory stretches back... 40+ years! And today finds me lying in my bed with my knee in a brace dreaming of those days... I'll be back but the road will be long! This story goes back to 17 April 2016... remember this is my story and I tell as I think it could have gone down. JMC was run on the 17th and while I wasn't running well I was in the running for a top 3 in the 40+year old race when I kicked a rock (not very bright of me) and took a tumble, or should I say whacked my knee hard as I hit the ground. While there was a lot of blood the knee was fine, but I believe I might have tenderised the meniscus, but not torn it.
The knee

Two weeks later I raced HMC and that didn't help it recover. Cartilage doesn't heal fast like muscle or bone... a week later 8 May I raced VWS and did some hard downhill running with a couple of turns and dodging of slow runners in the shorter race. At the end of the race I was sore. .. mostly quads, but that's normal for this race! Now the back of the left knee was sore! Not a sore that worried me and it wasn't there the next day, but over the next days I felt my knee would 'lock' if I kicked my leg up. Not sore or inhibiting to my running.

A monster 3h45 training run with 2000m climb was great training but didn't help the knee, not that I felt any difference to it. The sessions in the week were getting faster... my knee wasn't a problem. Then on an easy run through Kirstenbosch it started to hurt... The session the next day turned into an easy run and a week later I was at the physio!

I saw her again the following week and it was off to the Doctor for a second opinion and then a MRI on the 27th...That afternoon I got the call from the Doc... Dion it's not good!  Like that my running streak ended 1661 days without missing a run!!!

I was wheeled into theatre on Wednesday the 6th...Ok so what did the scan show and what was the plan of the doctor? I had torn the medial meniscus at the back of the left knee. Not a little tear,  but all the way through. This is not good news. Again, this is how I see it: picture the top of the shin bone (tibia). Indented to take the 'ball' at the bottom of the femur. Now you don't want bone on bone so the meniscus is attached to the indent of the tibia to act as shock absorbers... tear that and every step of bend of the knee can cause pain or trouble. If it was a little tear they pop in there and trim the area and in a couple of weeks you are good to go... me not so lucky it was really torn! Like in two!
Mine is the left knee, and torn all the way through!

So the good Doctor went in with a needle and thread and sewed it up...Surgery went well and now it's up to me to be a good boy for the next month or so... but that's not all since the meniscus is made of cartilage it doesn't really heal like muscle or bone it also need a lot of encouragement!  (Stimulating, blood, prayer. ..)

Feet up!

For now it's no running... it's hopping around on crutches, I hope to be in the pool and on the bike in a month or so!
That's all he did!