Draining my Bursa

When it comes to knee injuries, it seems like if you want to have some variety in your diagnoses, all you have to do is visit a few different doctors. Every one I’ve gone to now has told me I have something new. Here’s a quick rundown so far:

2004: I had an MRI done in Japan and was told there was nothing wrong. Get some exercise, the doctor advised.

2011: This next MRI (in France) showed a small amount of osteo-arthritis. This is what I’ve been assuming – and documenting here – for the last 3 years.

Late 2013: After finding out that my old ‘sports doctor’ retired, I searched down another one and he immediately informed me that it was not the joint, but a patellar tendon problem. All I wanted were the shots Dr. Shaky used to give me, but instead I left the office with my mouth hanging open in disbelief and a prescription to see a physiotherapist.

bursitis-of-knee2014: My visit took place last Friday and my Physio turned into an Osteo (he is both, it seems). He proceeded to tell that no, it definitely isn’t a tendon issue. My bursae are inflamed and it was not really a ‘knee problem’ at all, but a likely ‘imbalance’ of some sort further ‘up the chain’, with the pain just landing in the knee.

He spent an hour on me, poking, prodding and twisting the left side of my body till I was, apparently, balanced. Then he sent me home, told me to drink lots of water, avoid squatting, and take 3 days off the bike. If I am better then that’s it, if I’m not (after a couple of weeks), then come back for more.

I don’t know what to think, so I am not thinking at all. I have been living with this knee pain for a decade now and if a €50 (covered by my insurance, too, so probably free) Osteo session fixes me up I won’t know whether to jump for joy (because I’ll be able to for once) or shoot myself for not having done it earlier. If you don’t hear from me in the next week or two, you’ll know the answer.

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13 thoughts on “Draining my Bursa

  1. feel your pain, figuratively. Every kine/osteo/doctor I’ve ever seen for any pain gives me a different answer. For what it’s worth, I found a great osteopath who seems like a magician for me and my son so far. If you’re coming again to cote c’azur, let me know…

  2. Wish I’d been right when I saw the title of your post. Not knowing anything from a bursa, I thought of la bourse, and jumped to the tentative idea that bursa was slang for wallet, or some other financial device. And that by draining it, you had bought a new bike. That imaginary scenario was much sunnier than what I read here.

    Best of luck in getting whatever is causing you the pain resolved, and having it disappear altogether and for all time.

  3. And medicine is supposed to be science, not art… I didn’t recall ever hearing the word ‘bursa’ until I was diagnosed with a bursitis in my left shoulder a few years ago. Now I have a bursitis-turned-capsulitis in my right shoulder — another word added to my vocabulary… I hope you get a proper diagnosis and treatment soon.

  4. I like the idea of the unbalanced spine, pelvis etc. maybe leg length inequality, functional or anatomical. But not a big fan of the quick fix scenario. Often one can get out of pain quickly ie cortisone injections, but is the problem fixed? And now with the additional weakness of the mild OA. Hope it feels better but don’t feel disappointed if it hasn’t ‘disappeared’. Remember that you may still have tight or shortened muscles, soft tissue etc. Where is the OA? Patellar or actual knee joint?

    • The OA is in the knee joint, it appears. I’m at a total loss right now, so I’ll just keep trying things till one sticks, I suppose. Like you, I would love it if it was an ‘imbalance’ issue. Means I can get it fixed up without more injections and other drugs. Back on the bike tomorrow, so will know something, maybe, then.

  5. Typical similar presentation for multiple possible causes and the typical approach is to try the most likely/least invasive and work your way down the list until something works and continues to work- a combination of science and art, I guess. Very much agree with the comment about being careful not to merely mask the symptoms above although it can help in the short term. My approach is even if those who treat don’t know the answer now they have a better chance of finding it than I do.

    Good luck.

    • Thanks for the comment, Laurie. After 10 years with this I’m ready to try anything…invasive or not 😉 Seriously though, I can only agree with your last statement. Nobody knows your problem like you do. Are you a specialist of some sort, by the way?

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