So this morning after my last C-Man blog, I went to the doctor and had my very first ultrasound.
SO....is it a boy? or is it a girl? Or is it too early to see any little penises? (that's right, I totally said "PENIS!")
Oh! Oh! Is it twins?
Well, if you must know...
It's a partially torn MPFL. That's the medial patello-femoral ligament. Not to be confused with the medial collateral ligament (MCL), even though that's what Wikipedia would redirect you to believe.
Yeah, I had a diagnostic ultrasound on my sometimes complaining knee. (Did I totally PUNK you or what???) It's gotten significantly better since that #@!$(&* minivan smashed into me (or vice versa) 3 months ago in Korea (I mean, seriously I got through an ironman on it) but still wasn't 100%. Since my new health insurance just kicked in with my new job at IPO on October 1st, I figured hell, let's get everything checked out for sure. If for anything, peace of mind.
The good news is that it's not permanently damaged, and I didn't make it any worse by training with it. But since it's ligamentous, it has a poor blood supply and that's why it's taking forever and a day to get back to 100%. I'm actually allowed to continue training as long as I'm wearing a knee brace or Rocktape to help keep my patella stabilized.
No wonder I felt it when I was biking and not running--my extensive Google researching shows that "As the MCL approaches the patella it combines inseparably with the tendon of the VMO and together they insert strongly into the most ventral aspect of the medial border of the patella all along its articular surface." (Reference article is here if you don't mind seeing photos of dead people's dissected knees.)
Yes, the infamous VMO (vastus medialis oblique) is known for its patella-stabilizing powers. It's that quad muscle on the inside of your knee that totally sticks out if you are a badass cyclist, or nonexistent if you are a scrawny basketball or volleyball player. Back in college, one of the athletic trainers actually told me I'd never have patella tracking problems because my VMO's were so strong (unlike the basketball and volleyball chicks who came in with knee issues). Well, I guess "never" doesn't take into account when your knee gets slammed into a car with the same force it takes for a chin to break a window.
When I am biking under load, I'm activating my VMO's, which is "inseparable" from my sadly stretched and partially torn MPFL as they attach to the patella.
Ohhhhh. That's why it hurts when I bike, but not when I run. It doesn't look like I need to have it surgically repaired, but I'm getting an MRI this weekend, and will get a shot or two of this magical PRP injection therapy thing soon enough.
All right, well think happy MPFL thoughts for me, and be sure to thank your own MPFL's for the hard work they do. Promise them you won't take them for granted any more!