It's official, I'm having surgery. The whole thing started at the end of November and after trying everything but surgery I'm willing to give it a go. The official diagnosis is Medial Synovial Plica Irritation. Often times it is referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS or runners knee). Essentially it is a dull ache that gradually increases in pain until you're forced to stop. Sometimes it takes days to build up while other times it only takes less than a mile.
An MRI done back in December revealed a possible meniscus tear as well as a large cyst; aka Mr. Irritated Plica. More often than not rest and an anti-inflammatory regimen will take care of it, but not this time. In the words of my surgeon "I see about 200 of these a year and I perform surgery on about 5". Looks like I scored on the wrong side of the odds this time around.
Through the course of this whole thing I've tried complete rest, physical therapy, and both non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (all oral, no shots). The result is always the same. I can run, but I'm limited to a paltry 20 to 30 miles per week and there's no way I can do back to back long runs without the pain returning. I even contemplated an extended time off, like the rest of the year, but I'm told it wouldn't make a difference. Plus I'm not sure my family could tolerate me for that long, there's no doubt I would go a little crazy.
So next Thursday I go in for a simple scope that will make me good as new. I know, I know, I'm not naive enough to think that nothing can go wrong or that it won't work, but at this point I'm extremely optimistic and I will do everything in my power to make sure I heal and rehab properly, pinky swear.