Kyle Jones

Professional Triathlete & Canadian Olympian

CT scan results


Those that have been following my career know that I have struggled with abdominal pain for a while now, probably dating back to 2006, maybe even earlier. In this time I’ve managed to perform well at certain races without any discomfort and others have resulted in either a DNF beside my name or simply far too much time spent on a run course.

I’ve told many people that it’s happened so many times in the last few years that I’m convinced it’s a fluke when it doesn’t happen. I get lucky, have a good day, think nothing is wrong and that I’ve overcome whatever was causing it; whether it be nutrition, hydration, electrolytes, bike position, etc.

Well, three weeks ago in Sydney was a good wake up call that there’s still a problem lingering. On my way home from the race I told myself something had to change. I got off the plane and told Kelly that something was definitely wrong and that I was willing to do anything to find answers. I called my doctor almost immediately and we met with him that evening. He was committed to helping me. We had tried different strategies in the past but decided it was time to dig a little deeper. We did some blood work and he ordered an abdominal CT angiogram hoping we could find something, anything, and we did.

It wasn’t exactly what we went looking for but it turns out I have a stenosis in my left common iliac artery, the major blood supply to my left leg. The radiologist that read the images had a hard time believing I could run without severe pain in my left leg,
let alone run at all. There is about a 90% blockage. They’re still trying to connect this finding with the upper right abdominal pain but seem to think it’s related somehow.

One possible explanation for the stenosis is exercise-induced arterial endofibrosis. Some studies show that it happens in 1 out of 5 elite cyclists. Researchers aren’t totally sure why but seem to believe that mechanical strain and pressure play a role. Tour de France rider Stuart O’Grady had a stenosis in the same artery as me in 2002 and Carol Montgomery had a very similar condition (different artery) in 2000 before the Sydney Olympics. The good news is that both were back racing only 2 months after surgery.

What does this mean? Well, I’m excited and relieved that we have identified a problem. Right now I am in the process of getting more testing done to evaluate the severity of the stenosis and will hopefully be meeting with a vascular surgeon in the near future to see where we go from here.

My doctor is pretty certain they will find a connection with the abdominal pain, but regardless, this finding certainly helps explain a lot of other discomfort I’ve experienced in the past that has become more and more frequent. When I ride, especially on the trainer, I often feel like my left leg falls asleep and goes numb. The harder I go the more it bothers me. I always thought something was off in my hip, a pinched nerve, or the way I sat on my saddle. So it’s good to know that there is a specific cause for the types of symptoms I’ve been experiencing in my left leg while riding and running off the bike. A lot of stuff is starting to make sense now which is reassuring.

That’s all I know at this point. Tomorrow I’ll be at the hospital for some more testing and we’ll see where things go from there.

Author: Kyle Jones

Professional Triathlete 2012 Olympian 3x Canadian National Champion

13 thoughts on “CT scan results

  1. Interesting post and best of luck for a quick solution. The body finds a way to tell us when there’s a problem.

  2. Keep us updated Kyle!

  3. Is this causes by overtraining ?

    It seems a lot of National Team members are suffering from injuries.

    • Yeah there’s a few people struggling right now but it’s part of sport, they’ll be back soon.

      I’m still not sure of the cause. It’s possible to have a condition like this since birth, but most likely it’s due to an accumulation of training over a long period of time, specifically related to cycling.

  4. Rough time dude. Just had a season ending medical diagnosis here and man was it a relief. I’m not crazy! 🙂

    Beat it back and come back stronger!

  5. Good Luck Kyle. Injuries are tough, but you have a lot of people pulling for you. Shows that it pays to perservere. Congrats on everything you have accomplished so far, so no worries!

  6. I think this is the same thing Carly Grigg (para alpine/cyclist) dealt with last year…I’m checking for you as it would be for you two to chat if it’s what she’s dealing with…good to get a diagnosis….are you competing with Lauren for injuries this season?!

  7. Interesting post. This would make a great plot line for an episode of House. You’ll be flying when you get back. Best of Luck.


  8. Thanks for the reply Kyle.

    Hope it all works itself out.
    When the mind wants to go and the body can’t it sure is a tough place to find oneself.

    Lots of room for recovery before Budapest.

  9. Hey Kyle,
    Sorry to hear about your artery problem, but it is good you found out early in the season.
    Hopefully it is corrected as soon as possible!
    Pulling for you on Faithful!

  10. Hey Kyle,

    You should bounce back quickly. I had the same surgery and am better than ever. Belinda Granger had it done last March and raced IMC in August.

  11. Aloha from Maui Kyle,
    I am a lot older than you but I have been very athletic most my life. Last Nov. while running hills I started to feel my left leg go “dead”. I walked back down & run up again & a burning, dead feeling would come on again. Well, to make a long story short, for the last 5 to 6 mos. doctors have been treating me for a pinched nerve. Now, finally, after a CT scan they see that I have a complete blockage (about 6 to 8 ” long) of my lf. Iliac artery. The Vas. Dr. wants me to try pushing myself one hr. per day tru the burn and pain for 6 wks. to get my “Collateral” vessels to work. Then let him know if I can get along OK after that or decide on the artery By-pass surgery. I read about an amino acid called EDTA Chelate that is suppose to open up clogged arteries. I”ll try anything b4 surgery.
    Aloha From Maui

  12. Hope the recovery is quick. When are you going to get Facebook?

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