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I'm a new runner, completed c25k the end of last year and was working on b210k when a horse got me. She stepped on my foot and had me pinned in place and then kind of bumped me over. Somehow as I fell I twisted my knee a little. It was sore for a couple days but not bad so I don't think there's any significant damage, but now every time I try to jog on it it gets sore. More sore than when I hurt it to begin with. It's been three weeks since it happened.
I tried running on it, short and slow, about 4 days after it happened and 15 minutes into a slow jog I started getting sharp pains with no warning, so I decided to back off and start with walking first. Walking on the treadmill for 1 mile nice and slow it was just very mildly sore afterwards, definitely not unbearable, so I sped up the walk the next day and raised up the incline and it was bad. Started hurting, beyond just sore, about 10 minutes after I got off. Since it feels fine until I stop, I don't really know how to pace myself. Should I go back to the slow pace and add distance? Add rest days in between even though it's just walking? (before I was running about 12 miles total on 4 days a week, walking (or working colts on foot) on two other days, keeping one day for full rest)
I rest it afterwards and prop the leg up, not sure how to elevate the knee other than that. Ice it for 30 minutes after each walk. Ibuprofen. There doesn't seem to be any swelling and there is no heat but the ice makes it feel better.
I don't want to lose any more of the fitness i've gained than is necessary, but I definitely don't want to cause real damage to my knee either. Any suggestions on what I should do to get back on track? I don't want to rush, but I was hoping to do a cupid chase 5k on 2/12, so any suggestions would be wonderful!
I know how hard it is to resist a race you have prepared for, but I doubt you would post a very good time if you ran that 5k. There is a good chance, however, that you could harm yourself further, because you appear to have a real knee injury. Serious injuries do not always produce constant pain.
I advise you to look for a non-invasive examination of the soft tissues of your knee, such as ultrasound or MRI, before risking any more damage. There are ligament and tendon injuries that are possible, but not advisable, to run with, such as cruciate and collateral ligament tears, or damage to the meniscii. Other tissues and structures such as knee cartilage and stabilizing muscles could be later compromised if you continue running.
One important thing you don't want to overlook is your foot that was stepped on. The way your brain tracks pain, if the damage to your knee were to suddenly disappear, you would probably begin feeling pain in your foot. Have that examined too. I know that there may be costs involved with all this, but the prospect of permanent injury is the greatest cost of all. Thanks to Wikpedia for the following image...