Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MRI results

Picked up my MRI results today. Why is it that the medical profession try to keep you from finding out what's going on in your body by sealing everything up tight and marking it, "Confidential. To be opened by referring doctor"?

I don't think so. If I pay a fortune to have a scan done I'm opening the results. So, taking no notice of aforementioned sticker, I tore the big envelope open to have a look.

FINDINGS: No oedema in the femoral head/neck. No oedema in the proximal femur. There is a tiny amount of hip fluid on both sides. No oedema in the muscle but there is substantial oedema at the hamstring tendon origin bilaterally moderate on the right and moderated to severe on the left in keeping with the suspected diagnosis of tendinosis at this site.

That's the whole shebang. It's less than was written last time I had an MRI for the same injury (2011), which I'm hoping is a good thing.

From these results Dr Kuah will determine if I need PRP injections in one or both legs next week. I don't care either way - I just want to be fixed.

Things are definitely improving, which is making me very pleased I followed the instructions of Brent and Dr Kuah (well, almost all of them. I did do a couple of runs when I shouldn't have but overall I have been incredibly compliant).

I had my longest run since November on Sunday - 72 minutes. I have no idea what pace I was running or how far I went because I have hidden Greta (Garmin) in the cupboard until I am running properly again. I have no pain up under my sit bones now, although I'm pretty sure if I started to push things to quickly I'd break again. It doesn't feel quite stable, although it's definitely feeling stronger.

I'm developing more muscle on my butt, which I need if I'm going to avoid this happening again. My Mum called me laughing hysterically the other day while she was watching Serena Williams in the Australian Open. Apparently she and Dad were trying to imagine me with a bum like Serena's. Serena's an incredibly powerful, muscular and fit woman and I really admire her, but somehow I can't see myself getting a booty like her, no matter how many butt exercises I do.

Had a massage today. Michael said my body was in the best condition he's ever seen it - not in athletic/race-fit terms but in terms of how tight and stretched/stressed everything is (or in today's case, isn't). I guess the body might be benefitting a bit from having some time away from strenuous training.

It better not get used to it because I'm getting back to training as soon as I'm given the go ahead. 2013 isn't going to be a dead loss if I have anything to do with it.


  1. HI Johanna, after running through pain for most of 2012 i decided to take a break and figure out what's going on with my hamstring/"butt" - it is exactly as you describe as high hamstring tendinopathy. Curious how many weeks straight you took off from running and what seems to be the treatment that helped the quickest? And the best Glute strengthening exercise you do?
    - Michelle

  2. Hi Michelle,
    I wish there was a simple answer! I've actually had this twice now - about two years ago I got it in my right side and no amount of physio seemed to help. I continued to train and race through it (doing both very badly) and it was about nine months before I was running OK again (and I've continued to have pain in my but whenever I sit for long periods of time). This time I did things entirely differently. My coach put me on to a great physio and doctor who are both really experienced with HHT. My physio told me not to run AT ALL. - he was really insistent on that. So, except for a very short 10 minute test run, I had just under four weeks of no running but loads of bike riding and swimming. The general rule from my physio was that I could do any sort of cross training as long as it didn't cause any pain in the butt/hamstring area.

    I also have to do hamstring and glute strengthening exercises. I do hamstring curls on a weights bench (relatively low weight so I can do lots of reps). The exercise I think works the most is the bridge I do using a fitball - I posted a pic of it in another entry. Another similar hamstring bridge is this one:

    The rest time, along with the strengthening, did help. I can run again at a comfortable pace, but no speed work and not massive distances. Another thing I noticed was that it's better for me to run in my racing flats instead of my more cushioned training shoes. I think that's about the way my foot strikes - I get more of a forefoot strike in the minimalist shoes which is better.

    Another person I know that's also going through this has just had success with shock wave therapy. I asked my doctor about that yesterday and he said it has a better success rate with calcific tendinitis (which she has but I don't).

    I had my first lot of PRP injections yesterday because my doc and physio both think that'll be the best chance of strengthening the tendon up enough to handle high-stress training. I'm in a bit of pain now but that should settle down over the next couple of days.

    I wish you all the best. Try to find a physio who has some experience in treating HHT - a lot don't and it gets misdiagnosed and mistreated. I'll share all the information I discover - if you've got any questions feel free to ask.


  3. Hi Johanna, Thanks for the very informative post. I am on my 4th week of NO running. I guess I've gotten used to it now doing a little cross-training. Ifound a physio that has treated HHT before so I am hopeful he will be able to help. I like the bridge exercise you shared - i will add that to my routine. Trying to stay positive...

    Thanks again for your posts!

    1. Stick with it. I'm up and down like a rollercoaster at the moment - I guess there's nothing else for us to do but try to stay positive and do all the rehab stuff.

  4. Glad to hear that you are doing fine and that recovery is on its way. I think it's natural to get curious about your test results. I'm glad you took control in opening the results. By the way, until your doctor allows you to go back to training, you will greatly benefit if you take things easy for now. Good luck!

    MRI Diagnostics