Last week I was coming back from yoga with Julia Frearson, took my shoes off and went to climb down the ladder/steps into the boat, just in my socks. I slipped, my left foot shot forward and my right foot stayed where it was on the top step. As my weight went left, the right knee came with the rest of me, ending up twisting in a sideways movement which tore my medial collateral ligament. I was super-lucky that I was holding the edge of the hatch opening, which meant I was supporting a lot of my weight already and so I didn’t tumble all the way down the steps.
I’ve seen Katy Stephens from Bouncing Back Injury Clinic and fortunately, ligaments can actually heal on their own (I thought they couldn’t so am delighted by this news). Katy was great- really thorough and offered clear, precise explanations for what she was doing and why. I’m so grateful for her skills and reassurance.
The knee is supported by a ligament on each side- the lateral is on the outer side, the medial is on the inner side. These ligaments help to stabilise the knee, and injuries like mine are commonly caused by forces pushing the knee sideways (as in a rugby or football tackle, or indeed slipping and falling down stairs). I’m lucky really because these outer ligaments are easier to heal than the cruciate ligaments and the meniscus which are inside the knee’s bony structure. I’ll be wearing a knee support for a few weeks or months, and have to be patient- I’m not great at patience, but it’s a reminder to let go of attachments and expectations around the body (Aparigraha) and to be disciplined about practising the rehab exercises (tapas). It will also help me to be more mindful about my movements and to experiment with different modifications- if it doesn’t hurt, I can do it, so I need to find ways of doing it without pain.