Overdue Injury Explanation Post

I’ve neglected blogging in 2016…big time.  I’m working on a few update posts, but will start with this.

In May 2016 I began to have pain on the top of my foot, above the arch.  I noticed it for a week or so, mostly during a run workout.  During a track workout I noticed that the pain was becoming significant enough to change my form and so I quit the workout immediately.  My foot felt better after a couple days rest and I went for a 6 mile run on a Saturday.  No big deal at all at that point in training.  It was an out and back route and for probably the last 4 miles, I felt my foot every step of the way.  When I got home that morning and told my husband about it, he could see looking at my feet that one was really swollen.

Swelling after a run in June

Long story short, from that point until now I’ve had 2 MRIs, 2 sets of X-Rays, 1 Diagnostic ultrasound and have seen 7 different doctors.  Here’s the part that drives me absolutely insane:

  1. I don’t actually know what caused the injury.  If anything my run training was down at that point, I’d been doing double digit long runs for a year and a half and for the month of May was more in the 6-8 mile long run area.  Shoes- I was on my third model of that exact shoe, mileage was pretty low on the pair of shoes I was on, etc.
  2. I don’t actually know what the injury was.  None of the 7 doctors really had an answer.  It’s an unusual spot and not one they see often.  My answers ranged from stress reaction (pre stress fracture), to lisfranc injury (later ruled out by other doctors and diagnostic tools), calcification on the tendon between the first and second metatarsal, arthritis, arthralgia.

In the 6 months since the injury I’ve had times where I’ve taken over a month off of all training, didn’t really see any improvement.  I’ve had times where I’ve run 4 times in a week (2-3 miles at a time) and not seen any worsening or improving.

In October I saw a new podiatrist who ordered the 2nd set of MRI images, where a stress fracture was again ruled out.  She suggested a cortisone shot to get rid of the inflammation.  Initially I was very against the idea, having heard cortisone shots are bad and should always be avoided.  After doing some research on my own and essentially feeling like I had no other options, I gave it a shot (see what I did there!).

An image from my most recent MRI, the white areas show where I have swelling going on. 
Some discoloration from the shot.

I’m now 2.5 weeks post shot and can say that it has definitely helped (although I still have discoloration, luckily sandal season is over!).  I no longer feel the pain walking around that I have for 6 months.  I no longer have one spot on my foot that I can press that makes me jump.  I have had a couple of pain free runs.

But.  I’ve had a couple times where I step on uneven ground and still get a shooting pain that feels like something is very wrong.  And I understand that a cortisone shot is really a band-aid, not addressing why it happened in the first place.

So, I’ve started physical therapy and have just finished week 1.  Twice a week for 90 minutes I am doing all sorts of stuff at my appointments.  Some times I think my PT is crazy when he is explaining the exercise and feel it is far too easy, then by the time I am through the 15 reps my muscles are shaking because it is so challenging.

Overall I’m encouraged and feel like I’m on the right track to getting back to doing what I love.