Today was the day. We got Sydney off to school then the rest of us headed down to University of Colorado Sports Medicine for my ultrasound guided cortisone injection to the hip. They required me to bring a driver so it became a family event.
As mentioned before, this procedure has some risk associated with it. So I wasn’t going to put myself in the hands of someone who didn’t know what they were doing! I found the best in the business. Somebody that knew my struggles and challenges. Someone with a license plate that meant something to me!
Get it? Dr. John Hill is the medical director for the Leadville Trail 100. In addition to that, he is a Leadman! That means he has completed a series of events in Leadville in a single summer. He knows what up I am up against, first-hand.
I changed into some goofy cloth surgical shorts, then Dr. Hill and a doctor in training came in. Dr. Hill was explaining everything to his counterpart so may have gotten a bit more information since they were chatting back and forth and explaining what they were up to and discussing.
I started with a few musclular tests to show him where things hurt and so he could feel the imbalance from left to right side. I explained the way the injury came about, the schedule I was on, the load I was under now, the treatment I had received so far, etc. Dr. Hill explained one of his training partners had nearly this same thing a while back and bounced right out of it. Its always good to know you aren’t the first and they have seen this before and you will be fine.
He fired up the ultrasound machine and started looking around in my hip. He was noting different things to his assistant. I was trying to make out various parts for myself. Look a little clearer than when they are telling you that blob in there is your new baby girl. I could see the joint, the muscles, the tendons, etc. All with fancy longer medical names that I have become accustomed to hearing. It was also nice to have someone just look inside and not find a tumor or some other crazy thing. Everything looked pretty good but the iliopsoas (the main hip flexor) was definitely darker than everything else. They had a fancy medical word for it but I took it to mean that it was obviously inflamed. He made a few pen marks on my leg then prepared the needles.
The first was a quick shot of a local anesthetic to numb things up. Small poke then nothing. He nicely layered the shot and worked the fluid in. Next was a bigger longer needle, more like a hose. Kind of like an acupuncture needle. He put that one in and I felt nothing other than it going through things in my leg. 0 pain. He positioned it and verified it on the ultrasound screen. He placed the tip of the needle in the cavity under that iliopsoas in my hip socket and put the fluid in. You could see it cloud on the screen. He then backed it out and did some dry needling on the tissue itself. This puts small holes in it ala acupuncture to stimulate blood flow and increase healing. Finally, he backed it all the way out, put a band-aid on it, and had me stand up. No pain. No wobble. All good.
He said I would start to feel it later today as the anesthetic wears off. Maybe more tonight. Tomorrow I shouldn’t run but do some stretching. Move it around a bit. Then ease back into things. Within 5-7 days, I should be back at full volume on runs and feel like nothing is wrong. The shot should last for 30 days. The goal is that the inflammation should be gone by then. 75% of the time, this does the trick. If not, I would return for an MRI.
He did point out in the ultrasound that I had a different slope to my hip that most which causes me to be less flexible in that area. Most have this steeper roller coaster like drop to the hip socket. Mine was a longer less steep descent. This causes the bones to come into contact sooner with each other. So I could stretch all day long but my limitation is going to hit before “normal” people. Interesting.
So back home now. Off until Thursday. Then we will see if this did the trick or not over the next week. Stay tuned.