Posted by: Kosie | 2008/09/04

Knee pain

My wife started experiencing extreme sharp oain pain on the outside of her left knee when running, after she completed the Oceans Marathon this year. This got so bad that she couldn' t run anymore. She laid off for a month, tried to start, didn' t work. Went to see a knee specialist. He did a scope and relieved tension on ITB with an incision. After 12 weeks of recovery, she gradually started training again. And the pain started again, just as originally. According to the specialist, there is nothing wrong with the knee itself, the ITB is supposed to be better, what else can it be?

Please help, we' ve tried everything and have spent a lot of money, but nothing seems to work!!

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Our expert says:
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HI Kosie

I appreciate your frustration. I wouldn't rule out ITB just yet - the surgery is good but not 100% foolproof and so it's possible that this is just a recurrence of the same thing. It's really difficult for me, over the internet, to pass comment better than a knee specialist would be able to, so I'm not really sure that I'm not speaking out of turn here. She might consider seeing a sports physician about it, for a more "overall" diagnosis - as opposed to just looking at the knee, a physician might be able to advise on things like shoes, training etc.

The thing about these injuries is that they are often multi-factorial, which means that they are caused by a number of different problems, all working together. Surgery does little more than treat one of those problems, but if you don't treat the others, then you are effectively treating only the symptom, not the cause. So a more rounded approach might be a good idea.

Other than that, I'm a bit at a loss for the best thing now. As I said, I can't diagnose, I suspect there is an underlying problem that needs to be treated first, possibly with a great deal of rehab, like strengthening muscles that are weak, improving flexibility etc. Those are likely to be underlying issues that are causing it, and all I can do is steer you towards the physician to assess it.

Good luck

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