Friday, March 21, 2008

Why MRI?

A few of you have asked why I am having an MRI. Just because something isn't healing quickly is no reason to jump in the scanner and spend all that time, right? Ordinarily, I would agree with you. But there are a couple factors in this case that are pushing me the other way...

The main one comes from a physical therapist friend. He said something that is now stuck in my head and can only be proved or disproved with an MRI. And when I shared the theory with the doctor, he agreed that MRI was the best call. Or just caved easily so as to not deal with a difficult patient. I'm not sure which, but I wasn;t all that difficult. Just explaining why I wanted the MRI. Apparently, the gastrocnemius is connected to the bone in five places. Sometimes, when you hear a popping sound during the tear, it is become this has become detached from the bone. If that happened, it is not likely to reattach itself to the leg no matter how long you wait. My friend said that typically, people rehab it for a year, then they give up and get surgery.

Reinforcing this theory psychologically is the sensation when I try to stretch the calf by planting my foot and slowly bending my knee. The muscle goes to a certain point and then gets tight and painful. It feels like if it goes further it will pop again. And the thought was planted that the topmost connection could have let go and that sensation is the next one down getting ready to pop.

Now, if the doctor dismissed this as quackery and offered me some proof otherwise, I might be inclined to push it and try to stretch. But I have no desire to recreate that bruising, swelling, or pain.

So, the doctor recommended an MRI and a consult with a sports medicine ortho. If everything looks to be healing normally in there, we will do physical therapy. If not, we will explore other options.