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knee injury

i all,

Not looking for a diagnosis, nor advice on treatment (have done RICE), just some pointers on how to navigate the NHS.

I have been carrying a knee injury since a bicycle accident in the middle of July. Short version - cycling fast on a quiet rural road in France, side by side with DH. Suddenly a bee gets trapped behind DH's sunglasses and stings him just under the eye. Justifiably he loses control and we both crash sideways into a field - me first on my bent right leg, then my bike, then DH, then his bike. Ouch. Very bizarre accident which has been recounted many times with quite a lot of exaggeration and much hilarity.

He got off scot-free - the sting didn't even swell, but I was cut and grazed and bruised and my right knee hurt like a b*****d. In my defence, we had a friend staying with us who is a podiatrist and vaguly said that I'd probably pulled my 'thingy' muscle (can't remember what he called it) and so I applied a certain amount of TLC, but didn't get too hung up about it at the time.

Now, however, this injury is not going away, and is getting progressively worse. Yes - I have been training and racing on it, but it's fair to say that it only really hurts when I twist it or lean sideways on it. getting of of cars, seats, doing breastroke and particularly turning over in bed is excrutiatingly painful. There's no swelling.

So I've shown it to a GP who basically had no idea and sent me off for an xray. I know, and she must know that it's a soft-tissue injury, likely to be a ligament, nothing serious but I would now like some help with it as it's becoming a problem. When the xray comes back clear (as it will)in 3 weeks time(!!) I get the impression that it all stops there.

What can I do in the meantime? Should I/can I insist on seeing another GP and asking for a referral to a specialist or a sports injury clinic? Is there such a thing as a sports injury clinic available on the NHS? What's the protocol? Does all this sound overboard for what's probably a minor knee sprain?

I guess I'm very frustrated as I'm in pain but it doesn't seem like I can move forward with a plan as the GP is very hung up on following the book....



  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    I don't think I can be much help.. as the work paid for some medical insurance. Mainly so that I can, well, not so much queue jump, but choose when I get treatment etc. so as not to interfere with work commitments.


    Injury sustained in Jan/Feb. Had a course of physio which I paid for privately. However, I did consult the GP at around the same time (for an unrelated eye injury from playing squash). The GP said come back if the physio doesn't work. Which seemed reasonable.

    I gave everything a chance to heal, lots of exercises etc.

    April: Knee failed catastrophically. Ballooned up. Couldn't move the joint. Lots of Pain. Went to the GP at the first opportunity (Tuesday after Easter Monday). The GP (it was a different one) thought I was in the medical profession because I told him what I wanted the outcome to be - referral to a specialist! He confirmed that there wasn't any infection. But said to come back in a few days when the swelling had gone down and you could get a better idea of what was what. I couldn't make it, so the following Friday I had a telephone appointment (with another GP!) and got the referral.

    They were good, and referred me to the top local specialist. I saw him in June (about a month later because I didn't have any time free, he was busy (earliest appointment was in May when I couldn't make it). I got a pretty quick diagnosis - no need to do a MRI - something is wrong, so lets open it up and have a look.

    The insurance decided that they couldn't afford the specialist, so I had to shop around for another one. Basically, I ended up being operated in an NHS hospital, with an NHS surgeon - but on a date of my chosen (the days I had booked for my Summer holiday - actually, to watch Wimbledon and the start of the Tour, so no great loss). Was operated on during the Andy Murray quarter final - so missed that.

    So, apart from taking a while - mainly due to hindsight - if I had known then what I know now it is conceivable that I could have been operated on back in Feburary/March and not have lost, effectively, a whole season.

    The aftercare leaves something to be desired though. I have lots of questions, and low confidence - it hurts all the time.. but is the normal? Am I doing too much? too little? etc. etc. But these things tend to be pretty personal.. we shall have to wait and see.

    The Missus needed some physio for a problem and did the whole thing on the NHS.. That wasn't so satisfactory - the quality of the facilities were far worse than private.. but, to be honest, the delays weren't too bad.

    I think you need to be clear on what you want - so research that before hand. And go in there being reasonably assertive about it!
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Sorry to hear about the injury. It took over a year for an accurate diagnosis of my tibial stress fracture. My route (with treatment in brackets) was GP, physio (calf stretches), new physio (running), new GP when we moved (actually listened when I said it was the bone), osteopath, MRI, bone scan, diagnosis and treatment (6 weeks on sofa).

    What I learned was to avoid trainee physio's and GP's with no sports interests (my second GP just happened to run marathons so was actually clued up). So get referred to a specialist asap. It will probably take months between each step in the process and push each one as hard as you can and get it sorted. Good luck.
  • Cheryl6162Cheryl6162 Posts: 356
    Conehead is right, the NHS have very little interest beyond getting you moving. 18 months ago I blew out my achilles tendon, along with my gastroc and part of my soleus-pretty impressive if i do say so myself..
    Anyway<I hobbled along to the doctor who said that I had muscle damage and 'possibly a partial rupture of the achilles' and despatched to the local physio for stretching exercises. Three weeks later I stood awkwardly on my barely healing leg and the back of it exploded again. I hobbled back to the doc and said that I was really worried that I had ruptured my achilles. He said I hadnt and sent me back to the physio. The leg refused to heal and I was extremely frustrated at being able to do absolutely nothing and could barely walk so 6 months later I landed in a different doctors surgery in tears. She imediately made an appointment with a consultant who at first still didnt believe I'd done anything. I dug my toes in and insisted that he examine the leg properly, whereby his offhand attitude changed significantly to the point where he had the balls to tell me off for not seeking help sooner! An MRI scan was ordered which showed that the achilles had completely ruptured probably at the outset and was healing as best it could, sticking to any muscle it could find! It was too late to do anything and I was sent home to heal with a prognosis of 75% usage. Today, I have a very weird calf with no muscle on one side but luckily it hasnt affected much of what I can do as long as I listen carefully to my body.

    The moral of this story is; if you know there is something wrong, dig your toes in and insist that it is looked at by a consultant, The longer it is left the longer it will compensate by trying to rely on other muscles and ligaments and become 'set' where it is making it that much harder to mend. I was left a long time as they didnt believe that I couldve carried on working etc with the injuries I had so dont be brave-scream if necessary!
  • Medial ligament ?

    Forget the NHS -go to sports physio asap and get it assessed. Soooo hard to see what you've done on a forum.... pay if you have too. A knee is a very important part of your body.

    Look after it
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