Patellar Dislocation FAQ Volume 1

It has been 4 weeks since I dislocated my patella.  At a wedding.  Dancing to Motown Philly.  It has been 3 weeks since I was diagnosed with this dislocation rather than a tear of any sort.  And it’s been 2 weeks since I started physical therapy.  It’s time for an update!

Q: What happened?!

A:  I was dancing to the last song, Motown Philly, at Princess Natalie’s wedding.  I felt my left knee cap give out and cut left then right.  My first thought was holy shit I just tore something in my knee and I’m running Sara’s first marathon with her in 5 months.  My second thought was I’m going to miss the bubble exit.

Q:  “Dude, that had to have hurt, right?” (an actual question maybe posed to me by a medical professional)

A:  Uh yes.  It’s actually the worst pain I’ve felt in my life.  After I learned it was a dislocation and not a tear, I’ve been told by other women that have dislocated their patella that it’s worse than childbirth.  I have nothing to compare that to experientially but I would rather run Big Sur again without training than ever dislocate my patella again.

Q: It’s dislocated, so what?  It’s back in it’s rightful place, everything’s cool, right?

A:  While, yes, it miraculously re-located itself, my patella did plenty of damage on its little sojourn out of its boney grooves.  In the process of the dislocation, I sheared off some cartilage the size of my pinky finger and managed to stretch out ALL of my tendons, strain my quad and annoy my IT band.   Basically everything in the knee and mid thigh area is over me and my shenans right now.

Q: No surgery?

A: No surgery.  8 weeks of PT.

Q: How’s PT going?

A:  PT is going great.  I did cry a little after my second appointment because I was not miraculously cured and cleared to take up my normal activities after 24 hours.  I have however regained about 80% mobility meaning I can bend and straighten my knee without want to kill myself or anyone else.  I can also walk like a pretty normal person.  Although I will say I’m being ridiculously cautious in places like Old Town.  My tendons have essentially given up no their job of holding shit together while they heal up so I’m not as supported on my left side as I am on my right.

Q: How are you feeling?

A:  I’m feeling better about it.  It has been, so far, an unbelievably humbling experience.  Taking it easy and slowly are not skills you can endorse me for on LinkedIn but my PT (who is amazing, BTW) keeps assuring me that slowly steady progress is what will have me up and running for the WDW Marathon.

Q:  Yeah, speaking of running.

A:  Dianna, the PT, and I had real talk yesterday.  She said I’m doing really well.  I’m at about 60% progress which to me, for 2 weeks in, seems really really good.  She’s also really happy with where I’m at.  I asked her about running and she sort of looked and me funny and told me that we could walk on the treadmill next week.  While running isn’t on her radar now I’m confident now that I’ll be able to get 8-10 weeks of solid mileage in for WDW.

Q: Are you exercising at all?

A:  Yes!  I joined MB’s gym which has a pool so I water walk 20-30 minutes at least 4 times per week.  I’m also cleared to ride the stationary bike for 10-20 minutes.  Those activities have to be done pain free.  When they’re not, I stop.  I also practice my little PT exercises at home like they’re the gospel and ice like a mad woman.  Next week I’m also going to incorporate upper body strength and core work.

Bottom line:  being hurt is the WORST.  But it’s also given me a lot of flexibility to focus on myself (which is selfish, I know), and address some weaknesses in my form.  I would by lying if I told you I’m not scared a lot with the marathon training start date looming large on the calendar.  But, I really think that if I stick to the plan, everything will be alright.

And Motown Philly is off my playlist.


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