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The Orthopedic Sports Doctor Visit

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yesterday afternoon I’d about had it up to my ears with *The Boot*! My ankle was really starting to hurt worse then my actual foot injury and I know it was because of the boot.

I couldn’t take it anymore and cast the boot aside. However, walking barefoot wasn’t any better except that my ankle didn’t hurt.

When my husband called from work and I was telling him I couldn’t take wearing the boot anymore, he suggested I wear my runners. I thought my foot was too swollen to get into them but I tried it.

Holy Moly!! What a difference!

I could actually walk with the runners on! Yes, I was still limping but I could actually walk! And it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the boot or barefoot!

As the day progressed, I really started getting more excited about the doctor’s visit because I was CONFIDENT that all was going to be all right. I was walking better and without much pain by the end of the night.


Night came; I took my runners off and walked to the bathroom.

Um, not good! Walking barefoot was really hurting. I’d say my confidence decreased somewhat but I remained positive that I was going to get a good report from the doctor.

Sure, the *What Ifs* set in but I had to cast them aside just like the boot. I couldn’t let myself think in that direction. If any of the *What Ifs* happened, I’d just have to deal with them then. No sense in working myself up over something that may not happen.

When I woke up this morning, my foot was still swollen and as soon as it touched the floor, yep, you guessed it….IT HURT!

I decided to just get ready for my doctors appointment so I could put my runners back on and yep, you guessed it again, much better.

So, my thought before going into the doctors was this. I didn’t have a diagnosis but I just knew he was going to tell me I could run again in 2 weeks….I was positive of that! I mean after all, I could walk in my runner’s so why couldn’t I run in my runners?

Well, it actually turned out better!!

I really liked this orthopedic sports doctor. He was very thorough. He actually spent time talking to me and he explained everything with props!

It turns out that this current injury is in the same place as an injury I had 20+ years ago when I broke my foot in 3 places and did some muscle and tendon damage then. I knew I had a broken foot long ago but I couldn’t remember which one it was or how bad it was.

The doc showed me exactly where I broke it on the current x-rays. Although it healed well, there was still some damage.

Fast forward to this injury….same place, same muscles and tendons, same bones involved only the bones weren’t broken this time.

During the examination, he checked the pulses, range of motion, Babinski test, (and other named test that I forgot), standing on toes and back on heels, pressure points, push, pull, yadda, yadda, yadda. When he was done, he determined that I didn’t need an MRI! I was really happy about that….to me, that could only mean good news!

He said I more then likely had microscopic tears because of the two injuries.

He did warn me though, that because I’ve had 2 *traumatic* injuries in the same spot, that I have weakened the tendon and if I have another injury, don’t be surprised if I do tear it to the point that it requires surgery. (Ok, so I didn’t really want to hear that but good to know…I won’t be surprised.)

He was not concerned about my black toenail one bit. He said I probably got that from running. Ha! I guess I’m going to lose my first toenail…EW, GROSS!

After all this, we got into the *running conversation*….You know the one…When can I start running again?

He briefly skirted around answering that question by asking me questions such as:
How long have I been running?
How many times a week?
How many miles a week?
What’s the longest distance I’ve gone?

He asked me all kinds of questions related to running.

And then he asked…

“When do you think you can start running again?”

I said, “Well, I am registered for a 10k race tomorrow.”

He laughed!

Then he said, “I’ll tell you what….you skip that race tomorrow. Then, next Friday….”

Wait a minute, did I hear him correctly?? Did he say NEXT FRIDAY?

“…. you can go out for a brief 1 to 2 mile jog. See how it goes. You’re a smart girl. I’m sure you can figure the rest out. If it feels good, add more mileage the next time, if it hurts, back off for a day or two more.”

I was speechless! SERIOUSLY??? Next Friday?? I could start running again NEXT FRIDAY!! That’s better than I imagined!! Woo Hoo!!

I think I was ready to jump off the exam table and throw my arms around him when he suddenly said……


Ok, here it comes…I’m thinking, go ahead and burst my bubble.

“You have to wear an ankle brace, only when running, for the next 6 to 8 weeks until the tendon and muscles strengthen and heal, and so there is no chance that you can roll your ankle again, because at this point, that would not be a good thing.”

OKAY!! I can handle that!!

Then we start talking about my other upcoming races.

I started with JASR in Pittsburgh on March 26th. (Turns out my doctor is from Pittsburgh.)

He said I shouldn’t have any problems with the distance but I shouldn’t race this one. He told me I should treat it as a long training run.

The same with the Iron Girl HM in Clearwater on April 10th because it’s so close to the last one. That’s good because my mom will be here.

Then I have a 5k on May 7th. He said by that time, I should be able to ditch the ankle brace and be good to go!

Basically, he told me to just use good judgement. Ok, I can do that!!

He showed me the different types of ankle braces and told me to get one at a medical supply store as it would be cheaper there. He wrote me a script for it so I can submit it to the insurance company.

Overall, I think it all went really well!

Actually, it went better then I thought it would.

My injury isn’t as bad as the pain felt!

I don’t have to get an expensive MRI.

It’s still swollen and bruised but that will start to decrease at a faster pace now. (HA! At least something has a faster pace because I sure don’t...LOL)

I can run again….. NEXT FRIDAY!!!

Life IS Good!
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