Injuries

Ahhhh the reason errrr reasons I am still benched from running. If I’m being completely honest here, I’m not even sad about not being able to running any more. I’ve transitioned into the “if I can just be able to walk and hike pain free again, I’ll take it” mode. My how things have changed ha!
Let’s bring you guys up to date. I’ll try to condense this hellishly long story the best I can, but unlike death and taxes, there are no guarantees.
2014 – Misdiagnosis & Sesamoiditis
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In the summer of 2014 I went to a podiatrist with pain in the ball of my right foot under the big toe joint, after doing some speed work training. His diagnosis was a stress fractured sesamoid and immediately put me in a boot. After 9 weeks with zero progress, I got a second opinion and found out I was falsely diagnosed. There was no stress fracture or any sign of one – it was sesamoiditis. Which just means inflammation of the sesamoid bone. Along with tendonitis in the 2 & 3 metatarsals. I was sent to physical therapy, where after the first treatment I practically was 90% better overnight. Not joking!
2014-2015 Hip Surgery

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Things were going well, made a recovery, eased back into running again, then in December of 2014 I had arthroscopic hip surgery for hip impingement & to repair a wrinkled labrum. It sounds a lot worse than it was. However, I never used crutches post op, therefore I walked with a not so hip (pun totally intended) gangsta limp. That made my right foot overcompensate and you guessed it, dang sesamoiditis again. Except this time it came back with a vengeance. Physical therapy helped, but was unsuccessful at curing it this time.

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Walking into PT to ride the bike 2 days post op

Meanwhile the sesamoid bone in my left foot flared up (from overcompensating for the right foot for so long) and Morton’s Neuroma in the right foot decided to join the party and flared up as well. I was first diagnosed with MN in 2011, but it was very mild back then. File this shit under #stufficantmakeup

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January 2016 Treatment
After learning my lesson last time -> getting a second opinion, I actually got several. Every podiatrist and surgeon could agree with the diagnosis, but no one could offer treatment that actually worked for me and they certainly didn’t recommend surgery.

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I found a podiatrist in Stanford (Dr. Saxena in pic above in case you’re wondering) that is trying a completely new set of treatments. One, is an alcohol injection into the Morton’s Neuroma to break the pain cycle and kill the punk ass nerve. He has about a 70% success rate, but it takes about 3-5 injections every 1.5 weeks to start noticing if it makes difference. I got my second injection yesterday and let me tell you, having a half numb foot is nothing short of pure bliss. Especially when I’ve been thinking about cutting the dang foot off and seeing if a new (better) one grows back like a starfish.
Treatment for the sesamoid bone is quite unique. He developed a sound wave machine over 10 years ago. It’s FDA approved and he has about a 90% success rate for curing sesamoiditis in a couple thousand patients. This condition is really, really tough to treat & cure. I’ve been told it could take up to a full year or more, so the prognosis has not been very optimistic to say the least.

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When he told me about this a couple weeks ago, it piqued my interest. After talking with Mike and sleeping on it (insurance doesn’t cover the cost of treatment) we decided it was worth a shot. Yesterday was my first treatment. It has a “zap” feel to it, but I tolerated it really well. In fact by the end, he had it cranked on high and it was like NBD.

The Next Step
If all of this fails, Dr. Saxena is on board with doing surgery. I am positive he is the right podiatrist & surgeon for me. Heck, he works with Olympic athletes like Shalane Flanagan & Paula Radcliffe, and even an Olympic runner who he surgically removed the sesamoid bone from, and is back to competing. This guy has gotta be good, right!

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In the meantime, we are doing everything we can think of before we cross the surgery bridge. The encouraging news is he thinks I will be able to run again, but I’d be happy to be able to hike for several miles pain free with my friends and Bam. Running would just be the coconut cream to my espresso.

10 Comments on “Injuries

  1. I was diagnosed with sesamoiditis a few weeks ago. I’ve been in a cam boot, an orthopedic shoe, a cast, and now I’m back in the cam boot with an insert. I’m non weight bearing and trying to have hope the pain will go away soon so I can get back to my active lifestyle. I’m very interested in your journey and look forward to seeing your progress. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • I feel your pain. Sesamoiditis is so hard to get rid of, but I hear it’s possible! Have you tried physical therapy? I recently started sound wave therapy with an EPAT. Not sure if you can find a podiatrist who has one in your area, but I highly recommend it. I had an 80% reduction in pain with one 5 minute session. Sounds so far fetched, but it’s completely true.
      I’ve heard immobilizing the foot for sesamoiditis (not a stress or complete fracture) doesn’t help much because as soon as you take it off and walk again, the sesamoid(s) get inflamed from not using them. It’s sort of a delicate balance between using your foot and not overdoing it. Which I have screwed up many times ha! Please take what I say as a grain of sea salt as I am no expert. Just thought I’d throw it out there. Please reach out if you have questions!

  2. I have been struggling with sesamoiditis for more than 10 months now (MRI showed a bruised sesamoid bone and torned intersesamoidal ligament, but no fracture) and it just won’t go away… PT seems to be helping a bit but the orthotics just seem to make things worse… I am really starting to feel desperate! I was very curious about the EPAT therapy. How are things evolving – is it working?

    • Hi Annie,

      I’ve been dealing with sesamoiditis for about the same amount of time. How are things going for you? Were you able to find something that works?

      I’m trying to walk as minimally as I can and wearing Danskos with inserts. It helps, but I still try not to walk if I can avoid it.

      Natanya

      • Hi Natanya,
        Well, it has been 18 months now and the sesamoiditis just won’t go away… Three months ago I stopped PT, acupuncture and all the other stuff I was doing (I even stopped wearing my custom orthotics and changed for a store bought one that felt better) since I was getting tired of seeing no improvements (and of thinking about foot ALL THE TIME). The pain level stayed the same for a while but now I can feel it is worsening, so maybe all my efforts were not in vain! I have to admit that the one thing that I felt was helping was streching, so I think this is the first thing I will start doing again as part of my efforts to get back on track. What about you, is there anything that you feel is helping?

  3. Eek sorry about your feet!! Looking at FAI/labrum arthroscopy. Are your hips pain free?

  4. I also suffer from Sesmoiditis…after taking almost a year off running, wearing a boot for several weeks, and doing tons of research in the meantime I came across these gel pads ( https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Jills-Extra-Thick-Dancers/dp/B00281HY4Y/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1467312603&sr=8-3&keywords=dr+jills+dancer+pads ) that are for dancers (with sesmoiditis)…I tried them and have to say I’ve been running pain free for over 6 months now. I wear them with any shoe (running shoes, spin shoes, flats, heals, etc.), except for flip flops, they won’t stay on. I live in SoCal so for me flip flops are a way of life 6 months out of the year. Unfortunately I had to loose all the super cute flat flip flops (Reef, Quicksilver, Old Navy, Etc.) and stick with the brand Oofos, love the Ooohlala’s, instead – – – but I can run šŸ™‚ The pads are reusable and inexpensive and I love them! I started with the thin pads but found the extra thick to work the best.

  5. I came across your blog after researching arthroscopic surgery. At this point, how is your hip doing? I feel your pain when it comes to your feet! I get planters fasciitis and tendinitis in my feet. I am nervous because I am only 23! I had a similar experience in high school while I was running a cross country race. I couldn’t walk for about a month after because of my stinkin hip. I finally (6) years later got the diagnosis of a hip impingement.

  6. Jacqueline,
    I have a comminuted sesamoid fracture in my right foot and I’m looking for a wide shoe with arch support and zero drop (for my left foot)… I see you in all these neat ergonomic sneakers, any recommendations?? What is your favorite to relieve pain? Help!

    • I love the Torin model from Altra Running. They have a zero drop, lots of cushion and a wide toe box. They are literally the only shoes my feet like. Best of luck to you!

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