If you are an endurance reader of my blog you may remember that late last year I assessed various issues that I had going before embarking on my first Etape journey. Age was one, which couldn’t be solved unfortunately; weight was another, and that one I did pretty well with; the last one was a knee problem that had nagged me for years and had gotten worse over time. After x-rays and an MRI it was concluded that I had the beginnings of osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that seems to be all too common with athletes.
My overweight, chain-smoking sports doctor (he also has a most worrying nervous twitch), after wading through my poor French, figured out that I really wanted to do something about this problem, and after seeing the tan line on my legs he started taking me seriously (“Ah, it’s true, you ARE a cyclist!).
What he prescribed was a treatment of Viscosupplementation, which involves 3 weekly shots (into the knee) of hyaluronic acid. Sorry to repeat an early article, but I’m getting to my point soon enough.
After the 3-week treatment my pain virtually disappeared and, as is always the case with such things, I totally forgot I ever had a problem. For the first time in years I could push as hard with my left knee and with my right – pretty important for racing, I thought.
Well, it was never meant to last forever and it didn’t. Around the beginning of September I started feeling vague pains in the knee, and now I’m nearly back to where I was before the treatment.
What I want to say about all this is this; the treatment really works miracles, at least for me (my doctor said it’s more effective in the beginning stages of osteoarthritis), and I’ll gladly fork out the couple hundred Euros it will cost for my next round of shots, which, if I wait till December, should get me through my 2012 season pain free. I just hope he can control that twitch for 3 more injections…