Many years of jogging and distance running can eventually take its toll on the body, specifically the knees, potentially leading to painful damage and, possibly, osteoarthritis.
With many dedicated runners flocking to downtown Mount Clemens for the seventh annual Let’s Move Festival of Races on April 29, the thought of a medical procedure and extended time off their feet might cause these runners to forego medical advice, choosing instead for home readies or—more damaging—to “run through it.”
“Some runners may never experience serious knee pain or damage,” said Dr. Michael Wagner, an orthopedic surgeon with McLaren Macomb. “But for those that do, the thought of not being able to run anymore might lead them to completely ignore the pain in their knee or knees.
“They’re not without hope. With new technology and procedures for total and partial knee replacements, this is just not the case anymore.”
Many factors go into the wear and tear of a runner’s knee, such as body weight, length and height of a stride and which part of the foot first hits the group. And once it reaches a certain point, medical treatment becomes a necessity.
“Before any procedure, I always tell my knee patients that they should return to activities they enjoyed after the operation,” Dr. Wagner said. “These implants are designed to function like a natural knee. For the Let’s Move race runners and all runners, don’t be afraid to run or walk if you’ve had a knee procedure.”
Pain is not an end to a running career. Whether it be a full and partial replacement, Dr. Wagner advises all of his patients to, at first, gradually build back up before fully returning to an active lifestyle, which includes fun runs like the McLaren Let’s Move Festival of Races.
“Life is here to be lived,” he said. “In my view, that’s the purpose behind getting a procedure of this kind—to reduce pain so we can enjoy the activities that bring us joy. This is our goal.”
McLaren Let’s Move Festival of Races will be held in downtown Mount Clemens with festivities opening at 8 a.m. and the half marathon starting at 9 a.m. Following it will be the starting times for The Better Half 10K (9:20 a.m.), Oakland University 5K (9:40 a.m.) and Buffalo Wild Wings 1 Mile Run (11 a.m.).
Proceeds from the day’s events will be donated to the Macomb Food Program and CARE House of Macomb County.
To register to race or for information on course maps, packet pick up dates and locations, and more, visit the McLaren Let’s Move Festival of Races at letsmovefestivalofraces.com.
To learn about treatment options for knee pain, visit mclaren.org/mako.