Monday, March 16, 2009

Revenge of the Knee Brace

"Yooooooooooouuuuuuu...I thought I was done with YOU, knee brace."

During one of my last lacrosse games at UK, I injured my right knee. Basically, my foot went one way and my torso went the other and my knee got all heroic tried to get in the middle of things.

And it hurt. I tried to keep playing but eventually had to sit it out. I went to the sport's medicine clinic and was given two diagnoses:

1) I had strained my LCL (lateral collateral ligament), the lesser known sibling to the MCL and ACL. It's kind of the Marlon Jackson of the ligament family. Or...

2) I had developed IT Band Syndrome or "runner's knee."

I thought for sure it was my LCL. It seemed like an acute injury versus a chronic one, because I had an "oh crap that hurt" moment during the game.

But after a while I got REALLY TIRED of telling people about the injury. Seriously, I'd tell someone I hurt my LCL in a lacrosse game and they'd say "Oh, yeah...but you mean your ACL." Yeah, I do that sometimes...mix up my "L's" and my "A's" like that. Silly me.

Whatever it was that was wrong with me, I got a sexy Robocop knee brace to wear and eventually the pain went away.

When I started running again, the pain slowly returned. The dull, bone-rubbing-against-bone pain that sends shockwaves all the way up your hip.

So...yeah, it's ITBS after all.

My concern is this: if I start wearing my brace again, will it change my stride enough to cause injury elsewhere?

Anyone have experience with running with this kind of hardware?


  1. Yep I do.

    In high school track I was told I had either ITBS or meniscus tears. I got that exact same brace after physical therapy to hopefully strengthen the knee enough that the tears would heal.

    In college track, the impact of bounding ( I was specifically a Triple Jumper in hs and college but did long jump and hurdles and sprints) was too much for me to continue.

    This past July I started running again. In August I tried to fix my bunched up shorts by shaking my leg- BAD idea- The orthopaedic told me he was fairly certain I had dislocated my left knee cap and then popped it back in based on what happened OR it was ITBS. I was put in another , shorter knee brace but still the one with the gel cup holding your knee cap in place.

    So, here is what helps me... I know it sounds crazy but doing the cha cha for about 5 minutes before a run works wonders because it loosens your IT band like no other. Hip circles and knee circles also help.

    For the knee brace- Wash it after your run- the thing gets disgusting! I was scared to wash mine at first but then I realized you can without a prob. It helps hold your knee cap stable while you run, which means its not constantly aggravating your LCL, ACL and MCL

    Hope this helps, anymore questions feel free to ask- I also broke my ankle in three places and walked on it for three months before getting a diagnosis and I had stress fractures and shin splints all through high school track.

  2. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Sorry you were plagued with so many injuries though-- not fun.

    I was in desperate need of some good IT band stretches. And I will be sure to wash that stanky brace. So gross!

    Thanks again!