Tomorrow’s a big day for me and I’m about as happy as this beaver in a snowstorm. See, every photo you’ve seen of mine on here has been taken from within a mile or so of a road. For the last ten years or so, I’ve experienced severe pain on the outside of my left knee every time I hiked, ran, or biked more than a couple miles. I haven’t been able to go backpacking since 2010 and have been able to only just barely scratch the surface of what the Colorado mountains have to offer.
For years, I thought it was just a stubborn IT Band issue, but even after seeing a top knee surgeon and three different physical therapists, we were never able to properly treat or even diagnose the problem. On two different occasions, medical providers called me a “conundrum.” I’d sort of gotten used to it, but being an otherwise very healthy person, it’s been incredibly frustrating at times to have to sit out a backpacking or ski trip or even a short hike with friends.
So a few months ago, I dug deep into the medical literature and came across a paper about something called Snapping Biceps Femoris Syndrome that seemed to match up perfectly with my symptoms. It turned out that the surgeon who wrote the paper worked a couple hours west in Vail and had an available appointment the next week.
Fast forward to sitting in the examination room and the surgeon walks in with 7 or 8 other doctors and med students because none of them had ever seen this condition before.
In any case, he was able to diagnose me with this problem, where part of my left hamstring muscle has become detached from the fibular head and said they could fix it by surgically reattaching the tendon to the fibula bone.
So... I’m currently in Vail and that’s happening in about 10 hours. And following a 5-6 month recovery period, I should—fingers crossed—finally be able to have a fully functioning knee again and explore the mountains in my backyard for the first time in nearly a decade. I’m a bit nervous—mostly about navigating the US health insurance system—but mostly ecstatic to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel! Hopefully I’ll cross paths with some of you on a mountain trail or bike path in the near future!