Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 7th 2013 Contents BOBIE-LEE DIXON
Ouuch! Is that you on bending down, walking,
running or climbing stairs? Knee pain is very com-
mon and stems from many different causes. They
include arthritis, ligament injuries, cartilage
injuries/meniscal tear, patellar tendonitis (tendinitis),
baker's cyst, bursitis, chrodromalacia patella or even
wear and tear from overuse of the joint. These prob-
lems can cause stiffness, inflammation, swelling,
excruciating pain and difficulty with mobility of the
knee. Like so many other things people take for grant-
ed, you only realise how much you need your knees
when they're gone.
How does that happen? Here are some cautionary
tales and some precautions you can take to keep your
knees in good shape.
For DOMA president Gregory Aboud, a Saturday
afternoon of football with the boys turned into a disaster
when a "bad move" by one of the opposing players
caused him to injure his right knee badly. Aboud
explained after visiting the doctor, it was found the
interior and exterior ligaments were damaged, the
meniscus cartilage severely torn and the anterior cruciate
ligament (ACL) completely severed. The meniscus is
cartilage tissue which acts like a shock absorber in the
knee joint. Without out it, the knee is less able to
sustain the load of walking, running, or other activities.
On the advice of his doctor, this called for immediate
surgery. Aboud's interior and exterior ligaments were
repaired and the damaged meniscus removed.
"My ACL was not repaired but I have managed to
exist without it having strengthened the muscle groups
in the upper leg," said Aboud. He regained some mobility
ten days after surgery, but full use of the joint came
only after therapy, which took eight to ten weeks to
complete. With his knee good as new, Aboud still
enjoys occasional sports.
Metro magazine editor Laura Dowrich-Phillips had
to have a total meniscectomy---removal of the meniscus
She is now worried about getting osteoarthritis, as
without the meniscus degeneration of the knee joint
may happen faster than with an intact meniscus.
Dowrich-Phillips was enjoying her African dance
class when, attempting a high jump, she felt something
pop in her right knee as she landed.
"I could not walk....I was in excruciating pain," said
Her GP only told her to administer the cold com-
pression method (icing). This approach brought some
relief but in no time she was back to square one.
"One day I was reaching for something and I heard
the same pop again. I later found out that the meniscus
cartilage became caught between the thigh and the
shinbone," said Dowrich-Phillips.
This time her doctor said surgery was the best bet.
However, owing to the time between the actual injury
and her surgery, Dowrich-Phillips had to have her
meniscus removed completely as her doctor explained
it had become "too dry" to stretch.
Until she can have a meniscus transplant, Dowrich-
Phillips is trying to maintain a healthy weight. Accord-
ing to research, your knees bear the brunt of your body
weight. Every extra pound adds up to three pounds
of pressure on your knee joints when you walk, and
ten pounds when you run.
Dowrich-Phillips also does low-impact exercises,
which she says assisted greatly with pain relief.
When managing director of Global Voices Online
Georgia Popplewell decided to take up running in her
forties, wearing the wrong shoes cost her a trip to the
"I blame it on a pair of minimalist running shoes
I bought quite by accident: I was looking for athletic
footwear that didn't look like traditional athletic
footwear. The ones I found had thin soles like sprinting
shoes and a mesh upper and came with literature about
minimalist running. Next thing I knew, I was running,"
Running became a regular activity, but just as Pop-
plewell was getting ready to take part in her third 5k
run, one night after a savannah run, both knees became
extremely swollen and painful.
"Truth be told, I had been experiencing some soreness,
especially in my left knee, which I attributed to my laziness
about stretching properly after running. I got myself a
knee brace and took a
MAY 7, 2013
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Japanese author Haruki Murakami made
his first public appearance in his homeland in
18 years on Monday, describing his newest
novel, which was an instant-best seller, as a
story that takes place in the real world, un-
like many of his other novels.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of
Pilgrimage has attracted positive reviews,
with readers spotting familiar Murakami
themes such as people bonding through
Publisher Bungeishunju made the rare de-
cision to print one million copies within a
week of its April release in Japan.
The novel is about a lonely 36-year-old en-
gineer named Tsukuru Tazaki, who embarks
on trips in Japan and Finland to overcome
his most painful experience - broken friend-
"Usually things are divided into the real
and unreal, but I was wondering how it will
be if I bring all of that into the stage of the
real world," Murakami told an audience of
about 500 fans in Kyoto.
"People get hurt and close their minds, but
as time passes, they gradually open up, and
they grow as they repeat that. This novel is
The fans who won a lottery to attend the
event were surprised that the 64-year-old,
whose fiction is often surreal and who has
made a handful of speeches overseas in re-
cent years but none in Japan, was actually
speaking to the public. (Reuters)
Author Murakami makes first Japan public appearance in 18 years
The need for knees
Therapist Amir Ali gives a
patient therapy for a knee injury
at Star Serpentine Ltd in St Clair.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Gregory Aboud damaged his knee
playing football but after a regime of
physical therapy, he has made a total
Continues on Page A47
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