Apparently I'm pretty hard on my feet
Monday, December 10, 2012
So here's the laundry list of things my podiatrist and I discussed:
~ Numbness/poor motor control over one of my toes (the 4th toe on the left foot, to be precise. This started when I was REALLY over-walking in shoes that were completely dead and unsupportive and worn out. Turns out, there's a ganglion cyst that is pressing on the tendon and nerve leading to that toe. Corrective action: none needed, unless it gets bigger or starts hurting. (Though the surface gets red and itchy; apparently I need to apply some moleskin to the inside of my shoe because the doctor says it must be rubbing on my foot.)
~ Gross weird thick toenails: fungal infection. (Awesome.) I guess it's from all the sweaty foot action that comes from all my exercising. It would be easily fixed with medications, but apparently you can't take any of these medications if you are/might become pregnant, and my husband and I are desperately hoping to become pregnant soon, so...corrective action: a homemade foot soak using epsom salt and white vinegar.
~ Calluses: a result of the fact that my feet roll inward because I have low arches. This is why I have knee pain sometimes, too. Corrective action: got some rather expensive arch support inserts. Doctor thinks eventually I will need custom inserts, but wants to try these basic ones for now.
~ Achilles tendon pain: I have some bone spur grown on the back of my heels called "Haglan's deformity" or something like that, and it presses into the tendon when the foot is flexed upward, like for walking. Corrective action: warm up more thoroughly before exercising to minimize the rubbing of the bone spur on the tendon (not sure how exactly this works, but I'll try it!).
~ Pain in big toe joint, where the phalanx meets the metatarsal: turns out there's a loose fragment of bone just floating around in that joint. Doctor thinks it's from an old injury, a dance injury or something caused by a lot of jumping around, and now there's this bone fragment as well as arthritis in the joint. Corrective action: none needed right now, but at some point the joint will need to be flushed out in an outpatient procedure before the fragment starts tearing up cartilage and stuff in the joint. Doctor recommends waiting until after pregnancy, just to keep an extra element out of the mix while being pregnant, since there will be painkillers and drugs like that involved, and he thinks it's better to just hold off on that kind of stuff until there's no baby that could be affected.
Additional issues: my feet are very flexible with very loose ligaments. This means I am more prone to injuries. I have some bone cysts as well as a "bone island" of denser bone in random spots around the foot...he didn't seem to think those were a big deal. Eventually, I will develop bone spurs where the plantar fascia attaches because of the loose ligaments/foot flexibility thing. The arthritis is degenerative and all that, but he said I should keep doing what I'm doing, exercise-wise - it won't make it any worse, and arthritis has a use-it-or-lose-it component where if you don't use the joint, the pain worsens.
So....the upshot is, there's a bunch of things wrong with my feet, not many options for fixing them, and not much to be dealt with just yet anyways. I guess I will just have to try to be careful when exercising.