That’s the official verdict. After all this time, after three doctors, x-rays, physical therapy, personal training, self-medication, and a couple of jars of snake oil, I finally have an answer.
There is severe tendonitis of the proximal patellar tendon with superimposed partial tear of the articular sided proximal tendon fibers, comprising 50% of the tendon thickness.
I went to a new doctor in my neighborhood recently and was referred to Laith Jazrawi, M.D., a sports medicine expert at NYU Langone. Dr Jazrawi and his associates performed some physical examinations of the joint in addition to x-rays and an MRI. The MRI confirmed all the suspicions but also highlighted the additional tearing of the tendon fibers which was probably been exacerbated by my stubborn refusal to stop running over the last year.
Although slightly worse than expected, it’s actually somewhat of a relief to know what the problem is. I’m tired of laboring up stairs and popping pills to mask the pain. If I’m going to make the NYC marathon later this year I need to be more serious about fixing the problem.
The initial round of treatment prescribed by Dr. Jazrawi was a relatively simple process involving nitro patches designed to promote restorative blood flow in the region. It’s only been a few weeks, but so far so good. The pain crops up less frequently, and even more encouraging, rarely strikes when climbing stairs – the one place it would hurt the most. If that wasn’t positive enough, throughout the diagnosis and treatment process, I have been running between 15 and 20 miles per week.
I’m delighted to finally be making progress with this issue and hope that, over the next few weeks and months, I can continue my recovery process and take my place on the starting line at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island in November.