Now that a disclaimer has been placed, back to me. Last week I wrote about the knee pain I experienced at the most recent race I ran, the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k. This was the fourth race I ran since taking a year off from running, and also corresponded with my fourth episode of sharp left-sided knee pain. In the previous three races, my pain started vaguely, around mile 2, and progressively became worse, especially when downhill segments of the race course were encountered. The pain resolved over the next 24 hours as I limited physical activity, iced my knee and intermittently wore a knee brace. Rapid flexion or extension of the knee, as occurs upon getting up to stand from a seated position, or vice versa, caused excruciating pain. It was all very debilitating, as you can imagine.
|At the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k, pushing through, "I will complete this race. I will complete this race!"|
When you decide to go to a teaching hospital, as I did, you should be prepared to repeat your clinical history twice, and sometimes even three times, before you will be seen by your actual doctor. I was first seen by a nurse, then a resident (physician-in-training) with a medical student in tow, and finally by the physiatrist.
While some may find this system this annoying, I don't mind it. I have been on the other end, as both a medical student and a resident; nervous that the patient will see through my cool physician facade and realize that I am, in fact, merely, in-training; anxious about blanking out when quizzed about the diagnosis by the attending, and just overall apprehensive of making a fool of myself. The system serves a purpose, and that is to teach the residents and medical students the ability to autonomously and confidently make a diagnosis, and thus pass the threshold into becoming a real doctor.
The resident asked me many questions, which I answered as thoughtfully and accurately as I could. She then examined me. This did not yield much as my painful episode had subsided by this point. She just had to go by my description of where the pain was located, how bad it was on a scale of 1/10, and so on and so forth. Afterwards, she rubbed the side of her forehead and said "I really don't know what it could be..."
When they returned, I repeated my story to the physiatrist. After he finished examining my knee, he turned to the resident, beaming, and said, "I completely agree with your diagnosis of iliotibial band syndrome."
I tried to catch the resident's eye to give her a conspiratorial wink but she did not look me. Well, at least she will always know how to diagnose an iliotibial band syndrome!
|Crossing the finish line (far, right, in the green t-shirt)|
Have you ever had a running-related injury? Or dealt with iliotibial band syndrome?