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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.