Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pain in the... foot

In true Zesty Nerd fashion, I've been stopped in my tracks by another injury.  I was playing soccer last week when I went for the ball and suddenly found myself rolling on the turf in pain, pain that shot from toes to hip.  I cried... a lot, and since I was subbing in on another team I was also surrounded by strangers.  Thankfully I have no shame.

I was weary to even take my shoe off, but when I did I was left with a quickly swelling right foot that I couldn't move.  Well, I could move it, but it hurt too much to do so willingly.  With convenient timing, I haven't had to work or do much of anything since then, and Christmas festivities made it easy to skip the gym for a few days.

The swelling subsided a bit while bruising set in.  I have been able to walk pain-free since Friday, but there is shooting pain if my foot is bumped or hit... or God-forbid the hubs kicks it while sleeping.  Stomping to get the snow off my shoes?  Ouch.  And if I gently tap the top of my 2nd met there is a tingling sensation through the 1st and 2nd toes.
I probably would have just played it safe on my own for another week, but I am supposed to start my marathon training cycle next week.  The last thing I wanted was to start running again on a fracture and start that downward spiral.  So I made an ortho appointment.

The good news is that the xrays were clear for a fracture, meaning that I probably don't have one.  The xrays were also negative for significant Lisfranc injury, which is what the ortho had initially suspected.  We discussed the option of an MRI, but I declined in true physical therapist fashion, and my ortho thought it was a reasonable choice.  He probably would have sent me off with a PT script, but he trusted I could handle the necessary stretching and strengthening on my own.

So what am I dealing with and where do I go from here?
- Overall LE strengthening and stretching.  After a week my hip flexors are already weaker and toe extensors tighter.
- Resume activities, including running, as I see fit as long as it doesn't cause pain.
- Loosen up my laces or re-lace my shoes, especially running shoes, to decrease pressure on my 2nd met.
- Monitor my nerve symptoms.  I'll need to head back to the ortho and start talking EMG if that doesn't resolve in 6 weeks.

Overall, I am feeling pretty hopeful that things aren't nearly as bad as they first appeared.  Soccer will be on hold for a bit, but  I have higher hopes for running and can't wait to test it out!

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