Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ARGH

I had my appointment with the sports orthopedist today.

ARGH.

He walked into the exam room and the first thing he said to me was that I was "the worst kind of patient to treat because I know exactly what is causing my pain and I choose to continue to do it". He also told me that "all runners get bad feet and that it won't get better and the only cure is to stop running."

Seriously?? If I was a pitcher that came in with shoulder pain would he have told me to stop playing baseball? I doubt it.

Why do runners get treated like second-class athletes?

The good news is that my x-rays looked great. No fractures, no heel spurs, nothing wrong that he could see. I have low arches (always have) but they aren't flat or collapsed. When I asked him what he thought my diagnosis was he said, "sore feet from running too much."

Sigh. 

After pushing him to take me seriously he told me that he did not think it was plantar fasciitis (maybe just a little) but he did think it was probably some tibial tendonitis. He pushed expensive custom orthotics and gave me a script for them. I asked about trying Superfeet first (since they are tons cheaper and available now) and he said that was fine to try first.  He said he did not have much else to recommend. I asked if cortisone shots could help because the PT had mentioned those as a possibility and he said, "Oh yeah, I like that idea. Let's do shots."

So, I got cortisone shots in both feet. YEEEEEEE-OUCH.

I have to take 48 hours off now, and then will continue with recovering (rest and significantly scaled back running) and I will keep icing, rolling, and stretching, and hopefully soon things will feel tons better. I told coach I was ready to sacrifice a goat if it would help (just kidding... sort of...)

I am sore and frustrated so I don't have any motivational quotes tonight. Anyone have one for me?

Anyone ever have cortisone shots? Did it help? Please say yes...

Anyone have a goat I could borrow? I kid, I kid....

31 comments:

coach dion said...

We feel your pain, hope it turns out well, you are in our prayers.

Amy @ Run Mom Run said...

You asked for a goat followed by "I kid?" Kills me. You know, because a baby goat is a kid... No one? Just me? Well it made me laugh.

Get a second opinion!! It sounds like he didn't take you seriously from the moment you walked in. Second opinion!!!

L.A. Runner said...

Did you say the worst kind of doctor is the one that doesn't take the patient seriously? Sheesh!

See if the shots work. If not, I say 2nd opinion, too. What are the PT's thoughts on a more supportive shoe? I've always thought the Flow was a bit light for day-to-day wear and more of a "tempo day" shoe.

HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON! Nothing says suck like having to take days off running. Head up, though, girl- this too shall pass. A few months from now, this will just be a memory.

The Jackster said...

I had a cortisone shot in my knee during track in HS. It helps with the pain, but doesn't remove the problem that caused the injury in the first place. Cortisone is synthetic and wears off eventually (takes years, but still...)
I say see if this makes you feel better for this next goal run you've got, and have a 2nd look in the spring to follow up.

jamie smith said...

Totally agree with the Jackster, cortisone is a band aid solution that leaves residues in your body. With my PF, I prefer more forgiving surfaces than asphalt. By the way, there's a woman in my town who's qualified for three separate Olympic trials. She's in her early 40's. Apparently, it gets easier as she got older. So, you'll make it, you've got time.

jamie smith said...
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jamie smith said...
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jamie smith said...

Sorry about the above deleted messages, my computer decided to submit four copies of one message. Despicable computer!

Gracie said...

Not a HUGE fan of cortisone shots, but they can reduce swelling enough to allow healing so that's good. I hope you find some relief soon. I started to feel sharp heel pain once (years ago) rather like the beginnings of PF and I put an elastic arch brace on - just a $3 band from Walgreens - and it helped a lot! I wore it around running, at work, sleeping, etc. The pain cleared up in a few weeks.

Amy Lauren said...

Oh my... this doctor sounds like such. a. quack. You are so right that they sometimes treat runners (especially female runners) like second-class athletes! It's your life and if you choose to run, more power to you, he should respect that. Then I can't believe you suggested shots from the PT and he was like okay, let's do that. It almost sounds like he's incompetent or something! I hope you can find a better doctor, but I also hope the shots and the Superfeet inserts will work for you and get you some relief. It makes me so sad to read your posts about not being able to run :(

Mark Matthews said...

"All Runners get bad feet". I have this urge to tell him to "F" off from here. What the hell. I am sure many do, but many don't. Arrggghhh is right!

Okay, I"m better now. And the cortisone shot. HURTS SO GOOD. I had one in my ankle. They told me it was a crap shoot if it would have any effect. And you know what, it worked awesome. Took care of everything. I wish I had my own secret stash of cortisone shots for all of life's ailments. Let's hope this is exactly what you need.

misszippy said...

I despise docs like that! So...do not go the orthotic route. I was prescribed them for PF years ago and they only led to many more problems. The best thing for me has been strengthening my feet--we need strong feet for healthy running. Simply spending as much time as humanly possible in bare feet makes a huge difference. And yes, the same doc who gave me orthotics gave me a cortisone shot. IMHO it's a bandaid.

Wish I had a goat for you...

SupermomE12 said...

We have decided not go with the custom orthotics. I will try the Superfeet. My feet are strong because I have run in minimal-ish shoes for years and have always gone barefoot all the time (I literally never wear shoes unless I am running or leaving the house). I am hoping the cortisone shots will help enough to get on top of it, and I am going to rest and then try the superfeet. I did try a more cushioned shoe (Launch) but that felt worse. I won't be going for a second opinion for now because there really isn't anywhere close to go, and because the doc at least confirmed what the PT thought it was (and the PT is great).

Samantha said...

I have an amazing sports medicine doctor who is a runner. What he said to me two weeks before my first marathon (when I visited with a severe IT band injury) was that it would hurt a lot to run a marathon, but it wouldn't do irreparable harm. He knew I was going to do it anyway, so he wasn't discouraging. Maybe a new doctor is in order?

Also I had cortisone shots in my IT band before a half marathon once. It helped me get through the race but didn't help long term. Hang in there - being injured is part of being a runner!!

ifthisiscrazy.com said...

Did the doctor really need to be an a-hole? Geez. Like you don't have enough to deal with ! Hope you feel better soon :(

Jessie said...

I had running-related knee problems last year and got a cortisone shot. That, combined with not running for a month, cleared up whatever the issue was and I have not had problems with that knee since. My doctor is kind of like the one you went to. I went in there with pain in one foot this past summer. She asked me how much I was running per week. I told her about 25 miles (not too much, right?). She said, "That is a lot of running. Not everyone is built to run," and then proceeded to tell me about how I should start biking and swimming. I laid off the foot for a week, running in the pool instead, and did a half-marathon a few days later with no pain. Have had no issues with the foot since. Jeez.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

what a jerk doctor! hope the shots work and your foot thing gets better!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

"Sometimes we put more value in predicting and controlling than in having peace of mind. At times, it feels more important for us to predict that we are going to be miserable the next moment, and then find pleasure in being right than to find true happiness in the present moment. This can be looked upon as an insane way of trying to protect ourselves." - a quote Donna Deegan had in her book, Through Rose Colored Glasses

I loved this quote as it just reminds me how powerful our mind is. Keep your optimism. That is your strength. Don't fear. Love and you will achieve your goals!

Annie Crow said...

Second opinion! Or, since that's not easy for you right now, stick with your PT.

I'm a fan of Superfeet myself.

I wish you much luck and speedy healing! You're getting good advice from your other readers.

greengirlrunning said...

That's sooo frustrating!!! I really love Dr. Gangemi who writes the blog Soc Doc http://sock-doc.com/. I would go to him in a heartbeat if I lived close to him. Maybe you could contact him with this issue? He has a whole body approach to diagnosing and treating... like, maybe you have an imbalance somewhere in your body or even nutritionally. Anyway, I think he's great! xoxo

Kayla said...

Yikes. I thought you'd have a great report from an ortho, especially if your PT referred you to him - I assumed he would be runner-friendly. Not so much!

My sports PT guy, who I have come to see as darn near a miracle worker, agrees that the cortisone shot is a band-aid for an underlying problem. (I asked about them last summer when it seemed that I would have a permanent case of PF). He says that he HAS seen them be successful when the needle breaks up scar tissue that is contributing to pain.

Also, I had success with Superfeet. I tried both the pink and green and find that the green worked best for running, though the pink wroks in my non-running/gym shoes. Anecdotally, I have heard that the custom orthotics don't have such a great success rate, especially for how much they cost. My sports PT told me to start with the Superfeet because they are so affordable.

Unlike you, I found that I cannot go barefoot for very long. I wear Birkestocks almost all the time; I also have a pair of Birkenstock insoles that I use in casual shoes or my winter boots. Though my PF is gone (leaving a few minor issues that I can run through) I have to be very careful. Unsupportive shoes cause problems to flare up all over again. I think mine is related to a structural issue - my right arch is more collapsed because my right leg is longer than my left. My poor right foot just isn't as young and resilient as it used to be, and evidently it took a lot of abuse!

The hardest thing about dealing with PF was being in the middle of a "no running" period and thinking that it would never end...and then trying to run again and still feeling pain. So frustrating.

Kiley said...

I had a cortisone shot in my knee when I was in high school - SUCKED! But it did wonders. Hopefully it does the trick (for a while anyway) on your feet. I'm a fan of inserts, I think they are the magic ticket for knees and feet.

Team Serrins Springfield said...

Can you fire him? His goal should be your returning to healthy running.

Diana Martinez said...

I agree with "Team Serrins Springfield." Fire him! "All runners get sore feet" is a stupid thing to say. Jeez.

I hope the cortisone shots and some rest help. I know this sucks. =(

Sybil Runs Things said...

Just wanted to chime in and say that my orthopedist said the same thing to me. She said maybe I just wasn't cut out to be a runner, and since I "hadn't been doing it that long" that it "wouldn't be too hard to give up".

Obviously you aren't going to stop running. I didn't either. I never went back to her and kept plugging along looking for help.

Good luck, Erin! I hope you find someone who can give you the answers you need.

Laura Yannuzzi said...

"We must Train from the inside out. It's not about denying a weakness may exist, but about denying it the right to persist." - can't remember where I came across it but it resonated with me. You may be scaled back physically right now, but you are building your mental fortitude that will serve you well in reaching your goal. Hope things start coming together soon!

Raina said...

Well this is just nuts. The nerve of some people! Is that what he'd tell someone who came in from the military with sore feet? No respect there..

I'm glad you got the cortisone. I hope it does the trick. Hugs to you. No more goat jokes :)) I might have one you can borrow...

Anonymous said...

I had the same issue for several months years ago. I then moved to a more supportive shoe that was fairly firm not soft like a minimal shoe and what a world of difference! I also started using the spenco QT insole and again world of difference. That was in 2008 and I have never had a foot problem since. My mileage isn't nearly as high as yours but its still in the 50 range and I am late 40's. I also spent almost everynight soaking them in epsom salt. Sounds hokey but it does work. Good luck!

Amy said...

I would try to find another orthopedist. One that perhaps runs or has run themselves.

aricas said...

My PT suggested custom orthotics and I bit the bullet and bought them. Best purchase I have literally ever made. I truly love them! My insurance covered a chunk and I think I paid about $195 out of pocket.

Canuck Mom said...

Love you!! Am praying for you. Injuries just plain suck. I wish I had a goat for you.:)