Medical Plica Syndrome
I am a keen long distance runner and have taken part in a number of marathons and Ironman triathlon events. I have never had any problems with my knees in the past. One day as I set out on a regular Saturday morning run I immediately felt something was feeling ‘off’ with my right knee. After continuing for another 2 miles the discomfort got worse and I eventually walked home. The discomfort in my knee felt like an ‘ache’ rather than an acute pain and it was more pronounced when walking downhill or down stairs. My inner knee felt sore as if it was bruised internally. I felt some discomfort while walking but mostly the feeling would come as soon as I started running. The pain continued with no progress even though I was seeing a physio once a week. After 3 months of weekly visits to the physio I was finally sent to see Mr Ian McDermott at London Sports Orthopaedics.
Within 5 minutes of sitting with Mr McDermott he had narrowed my case down to three possible issues. After a quick Ultrasound, X-Ray and MRI Mr McDermott diagnosed me as having probable ‘Medial Plica Syndrome’. He was very reassuring, stating that although it was not a well-known knee issue, it was not actually all that uncommon. In fact, it was not an injury at all and rather it was that I had simply inflamed a plica in my knee, most probably by over-use. I will not get into the technical details of the syndrome as Mr McDermott is the specialist and not I.
I decided to undergo surgery as sport (especially running) is a significant part of my lifestyle, and this Plica Syndrome was hindering me greatly. Mr McDermott professionally talked me through the entire surgery procedure and what to expect in terms of recovery. On the day of the surgery I was admitted to London Bridge Hospital and taken to my (very fancy!) hospital room. The staff at London Bridge were fantastic and made me feel very comfortable and at ease. When my operation time came they brought me to the anaesthetic room and the people there made me feel extremely comfortable. Next thing I know is that I awake in my hospital bed with my knee all bandaged up. I spent the rest of the day at the hospital reading a book and sleeping until I was discharged.
Recovery was relatively seamless. I used crutches for 1½ weeks and was careful not to walk too far for the next 1½ weeks. I started to see a Physio on a weekly basis who helped me gain back mobility in my knee and strengthen my leg muscles. 2 weeks post-operation I started to do 15min on the spin bicycle and could do other non-leg related gym exercises. I slowly increased that time on the spin bike by 10min per week and was soon alternating with the elliptical machine as well. After 6 weeks I ran my first 3km and this was absolutely pain free! Now, at almost 9 weeks post-operation I am running 7km twice a week along with cycling and swimming at the gym for sessions of maximum one hour.
My experience with London Sports Orthopaedics has been very favourable and I would recommend them to anyone with a knee-specific issue. Cléo Biron
3 January 2016