Knee Report – Doctor Visit

Knee showing the pes anserine bursa

The pes anserine bursa under the hamstring tendons and right below harvest scar.



Pes anserine bursitis, to be specific. At least, that’s what the doctor thinks.

The theory is that scar tissure around the harvest area is irritating the pes anserine bursa and causing my pain.  In many ways, this makes sense. It’s a common enough ailment among healthy knees, and any one of the things associated with the surgery could haved caused it in my case. 

For treatment, the doctor suggested a shot of cortisone.  And  when he administered it, he had trouble getting the needle in and then injecting the cortisone in and around the bursa.   A pretty clear sign of some tough scar tissue.

At the very least, the cortisone will reduce the pain in the short run and likely reduce the internal scarring as well. But there are no guarantees. I don’t think we’ll know for sure for another couple of months. More suspense.

For good measure

I also got another cortisone shot in the shoulder. This was my second since my ill-fated attempt to try swimming as a way to stay in shape. The first shot seemed to do wonders, and I had no troubles with my shoulder until I got the flu a couple of weeks ago.  It got into my joints, which all began to ache, and I guess the area around my rotator cuff got irritated enough to stay angry beyond the illness.  Oh, joy. 

Starting over

My next karate class is just a couple of days before I hit a full 4 weeks off from exercise.  If the knee feels better, I’ll go.  But I’m thinking that this time I really need to slow down and kind of start over.   Go through the basic katas and movements only as a way to recondition my legs.  

At my school, blue belts are often called “black and blue belts” for their penchant for finally hitting targets with good power, but less than stellar control.    They also tend to have knee pain, which I believe is because,  at this point in the training, your body is working to keep up with all the stuff it’s being asked to do.  The knees are bearing the brunt of this, and I think they’re adjusting and even reworking themselves.   

This was echoed by another doctor for a follow-up of a study of ACL injuries I’ve participted in.   He said that my body is likely still “learning” the new knee — the one with new scars and fewer tendonous material.  He seemed to think that it will ultimately make the necessary adjustments, but that it could take awhile.  

I hope he’s right.