My broken foot and pooped piggies: The diagnosis, treatment

My MRI revealed three more foot issues. This is a cross-section that shows my foot from the front.

When my doctor phoned me on the tail end of my vacation a couple of weeks ago to tell me I had two more injuries in my right foot, I thanked him before I hung up and choked back the tears.

Those tears came flying out after I got the full diagnosis and prognosis in his office several days later: a sesamoid stress fracture, bursitis and a neuroma.

Yes, that’s right, a second stress fracture. This one didn’t show up on the X-Ray that highlighted the first one. The bursitis is an inflamed fluid-filled sac under my third toe, and it’s pinching a nerve, which is called a neuroma.

My doctor pointed out some telling images on the MRI. He also used a model of foot bones to point out what areas were affected on my feet.

This is where my first fracture occurred.

This is the sesamoid fracture I just learned about.

This is where my inflamed bursa sac is pinching a nerve.

This is where my foot is broken.

When I asked him how long I’d have to be in the walking cast this time, he gave me a kind smile before telling it would be six more weeks. That’s when the waterworks really started flowing. (At this point, I’ve got a little more than four to go. It took  me a while to write about the doctor visit.)

I’m not entirely sure what else he said to me that day. I was so upset, my brain kind of shut off. I can see him talking in my mind’s eye, but I can’t recall what he said, or if I was even listening. Once I snapped back to reality, I asked him what I could do to speed up the healing process.

  • I’m already taking calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplements
  • He said I could also do physical therapy

I hesitated and then agreed.

I’m no stranger to physical therapy. When I tore my MCL and dislocated my kneecap in 2005, I did several weeks’ time in PT. Lots of squats, stair-stepping and other quad-strengthening exercises there. I did time again for plantar fasciitis, and before and after hip surgery. Again, no lack of strength training. So what on earth, I wondered, could I possibly get out of PT for a broken bone?

The physical therapy

This is me getting interferential current therapy.

Interferential current therapy sends electric waves to the affected area and is supposed to encourage blood flow there, and therefore speed healing. The doctor wrapped my forefoot with a device that sent small electric currents through my foot. We did a round in the office and I’ve done a couple of more rounds in physical therapy. So far, I don’t feel healed.

Working on my toe strength at physical therapy.

I’ve also been doing some stretching and toe-strengthening exercises. I thought my toes were as strong as the rest of me. During my last appointment, I jokingly asked how strong my toes were compared to others’ toes. I got a somber reply that my toes were below average. (Ouch. Dum… dum… dum…)

No wonder my little piggies were so tired by the time it was over.

I’ve been to PT three times so far this time around. I’ve got another appointment later this week. And I see my doctor tonight.

Please hope for good news!


Filed under Foot bursitis, Injuries, Physical therapy, Stress fracture

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