I Tore Something Important in my Knee

These are my truths as I have to accept them right now:

I tore something important in my knee.
I won’t be racing Alpenrose.
I might not be racing for a while.
I’ll definitely be getting surgery either in the next few weeks or at the end of the season.

It happened quietly in the middle of last Sunday’s race at Barlow. I slipped out a little in some slick mud. Didn’t even come off the bike all the way. Just a little bobble.

I was aware that something bad had happened inside my knee, but I could still ride and (gingerly) run, so I kept pedaling and finished the race. Later, a series of tiny pain explosions in my knee kept me up almost all night. I hobbled to the bathroom in the dark and groped desperately for pain meds. That’s sort of when I started to realize that this might involve more than a few days off the bike for healing.

All initial examinations indicate it’s the meniscus in my right knee. MRI next will give us more complete information. After that, if I can rehab enough to race relatively well, I have the option of racing out the season and getting surgery afterward. If I can’t race well I won’t do it and, so far, I have a lot of pain with walking and any quick movements. Running and jumping over uneven ground don’t seem even remotely possible, but I’m staying open to all possibilities.

I’ve been quiet about this all week for two reasons: 1) I have more questions than answers until the MRI and that’s very frustrating for me 2) talking about it makes it more real and, well, more depressing.

This happens to everyone – I know because the people that I’ve talked to about it all have some kind of story to share – but I gave myself a week to be super fucking bummed out about it. Just because it’s common doesn’t mean it doesn’t blow huge chunks.

I know that I’ll heal fast.
I know there are far worse things.
I know that there’s all kinds of rad stuff I can do instead of racing cross.

But I need a little time to get used to the change in my season.

Thanks for your patience while I search for my rally cap.

25 Responses to “I Tore Something Important in my Knee”

  1. Kristin says:

    Oh nooooo! Totally hear ya on this one, been there. I hope you heal up fast!

  2. Kronda says:

    I knew something was up. And yes, that is a huge bummer. I’m sorry. Was looking forward to hanging out with you finally! (Maybe we can still do that).

  3. Jim says:

    Fulkerson Osteotomy.

  4. Hurting important things is never a good thing. I fell down on Thursday and hurt myself. Luckily, X-Rays show nothing major, so just muscle spasms to deal with.

    However, I’m also awaiting surgery for a somewhat related issue (on injury that led to fall), so I can fully appreciate the frustration of being laid up–the hardest part.

    Hope everything turns out OK.


  5. Remy says:

    This makes me wicked sad. I’ll clang my cow bell at you anyway. Go, Heidi!

  6. John says:

    Sorry to hear.
    My wish for you is the MIR shows nothing wrong and you are back on your bike soon.

  7. Jeff McNamee says:

    I know one of the best knee guys in Oregon. Let me know if I can help. Be well!!

  8. Kalli says:

    OH NOOO!

    So sorry Heidi.

  9. Guy says:

    God this suck! Looked for you today at Canby, awesome course I might add, so I guess we will both be cheering on the sidelines! Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  10. Tess says:

    Good luck with your knee… That totally sucks!!!

  11. erikv says:

    Damn it! I’m sorry, I’m sure that is so very frustrating. I hope you can race well for a while before calling it a season. But in the grand scheme of things, sounds like you’ll be back to fight another day, real soon.

  12. Franco says:

    as you do with all you do…show us how to do this too. you’re tops!

  13. Cate Cahill says:

    Hey comiz! Agree you have to allow yourself a bit of grief after such an injury. Oddly enough I believe it helps the healing process. Hope there’s some good news for you. Advice: Know exactly what the damage is and don’t go back too soon while healing.

    Am a football (soccer) coach of females and would be a player except for career ending arthritis so I know the heartbreak. At least I can cycle.

  14. Tony says:

    Heidi I wish you the best. Hopefully it’s just a tweak and MRI will be negative. If MRI does show a meniscal injury, the good news is it’s a relatively short recovery. If it’s repairable, you should do it asap. If it’s a small tear that has to be removed then it’s cool to rehab it and wait until surgery is more convenient.

    And Jim up there is a moron. Fulkerson osteotomy has nothing to do with the meniscus–and is a brutal surgery….

  15. Noelle says:

    Ugh. I am sad with you. I know it’s a rough thing to be going through. I’m wishing you speed in recovery and know you’ll do the right thing to get you back to your cross days.

    p.s. my knee sucks, so I really feel your pain. Lack of insurance sucks as well.

  16. chr15 says:

    Hey Heidi,
    I am so sorry to hear this, i’m sure CX season has been a goal all year. I hope you can still race well, even if it means fewer races to allow for recovery.

    Get well soon and your perspective is inspiring.



  17. beth h says:

    Great to see you snapping away at Alpenrose yesterday.
    Thinking good thoughts in your direction and hoping for a good recovery.
    Hang in there and let your sweetie pamper you until you’re well.

  18. Long time listener, first time caller.

    As a former tendon-tearer myself, so sorry to hear about this. Get well soon.

  19. Brandee Dudzic says:

    Oh Heidi, I dont know what to say!
    I could say “Oh no! Bummer!,” but duh, I think you already know that, much moreso than me just saying it. If you want to email me your address (or PO BOX or whatever) I will mail you some jams and other homemade/handmade treats. It means nothing for your knee, clearly, but getting nice mail is always nice. :)


    And Heidi? It really was a positive experience to hear you screaming to move move move!!!! I love it, keep it coming.

  20. Aimee says:

    If it is a tear (advice you didn’t ask for) I’d get it fixed. My SO was a baseball prospect and waited to get his fixed. The waiting caused more damage. Good news is biking is always a part of knee injury rehab so you’ll be working out before you know it!

  21. This is me hoping your injury is minor and you’re back racing soon. I have no wisdom to impart to you. I’ve never trashed a knee. But I need you out there. You’re an inspiration. So get healed and get back at it. In the meantime, I will dedicate myself to sucking even less at mountain bike racing next season, it’s the only positive act I can think of.

  22. dad says:

    Been there…. did it wrong.
    Damn! that sucks. Take your time coming back. a little extra healing time might give you a lot of extra racing time. PS glad you have the blog so we can find out about things like this! Love ya peepers!

    • snarkypants says:

      Dad – I told mom, I swear! :)
      Also, we found out it’s just a microfracture: no surgery and a much faster time to recovery… might be racing this weekend!

  23. Chr15 says:

    You guys crack me up.

  24. Meg says:

    Heidi are you the Heidi I met at the start of the season at Psycho Pseries at Harlow? I raced Alpenrose on 10/2 and tore my MCL. My husband thought I wrote your entry above; my story is about the same. I finished my race too figuring if it was really fucked up I’d know it and if not I might as well be in the saddle. I’m done racing for the season and trying to avert surgery at present. I’m putting off the MRI a bit longer as I’m tolerating the pain and improving but the medial meniscus is possibly involved. I just want to be ready for skate ski season. Anyhow, I wish you all the best in rehabbing your knee. Here’s to facing off next season.
    Meg in Eugene