All right, doctor visit over, and aside from dealing with an extremely rude whatever-she-was at the checkout desk on my way out, it seems to have been a success. At least, so far.
After lots of questions, twisting and turning, pushing and pulling, poking and prodding, yanking, cranking and spanking -- OK, no spanking -- the knee was pronounced structurally sound, which means no surgical procedures needed for ligament or cartilage damage, or any of that.
He showed me a set of "normal" x-rays, explained what a good, healthy knee looks like, and then showed me my x-rays. The difference was basically space between the upper and lower leg bones, where they connect. Normally, there is a nice little, even space in there, where the meniscus sits and acts as padding between the ends of the bones. On the side of my knee that hurts -- the inside -- that gap, which should be the same size all the way across, is considerably thinner.
This, according to the doc, shows that the meniscus has been worn down some over time, and the pain comes from that and some osteoarthritis. The solution? An ultrasound-guided injection, which hopefully will do the trick.
As I lay on my back on an exam table, getting ready for the shot, the doc asked if I minded a resident who helped with the exam giving me the injection. I said, sure, that's fine, and so the young man took over, with doc watching and advising his movements. At one point, the needle hit something and I straightened out with a loud grunt and gritted teeth, as he adjusted the position of the shot, then it was over.
The doc apologized, and I said, "Hey, as long as it works, I'll take that."
He said, "Oh, it'll work," and told me to avoid any high-impact activity on the leg until next Wednesday.
So, that brings me to Day 5 of my Shawn Francis three-month pole vault conditioning program. I won't be doing any sprints for a few days, or any of that painful hop, skipping and jumping around that is supposed to improve fast-twitch muscle fiber action and increase speed. But there are some parts of the program I can still do, like the plank circuit, core strengthening, weight circuits, and other goodies.
Gotta go look at tomorrow's workout and decide on modifications ...