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Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

Posted by Rick R on 4/30/00 at 20:28 (019676)

A little over a month ago I was dashing across my newsroom chasing after a reporter. About twelve paces across the room as I came down on my left foot and I and the rest of the newsroom heard this terrible snap. I fell to the floor in the worst pain I've ever experienced. Someone grabbed some ice and off I went to an occupational health clinic. Three hours and a set of x-rays later the doctor said I had fractured the second toe on my left foot. One week later the entire foot was swollen, the base of that toe was black and blue and the pain was just as strong as the day it happened. Two weeks later the swelling had gone down the bruising around the toe diminished but a new bruise had appeared on the bottom of my foot and the pain had shifted to the underside of the foot just betweeen the ball and the arch. After 4 weeks of hobbling around on crutches doped up on vicadin with no cast no splint no real treatment my doctor looked concerned about the amount of swelling. It had actually increased and the bruising on the bottom of the foot looked worse. He said to stay off the foot, keep it elevated some more and if the swelling doesn't go down he'll send me to an orthopedist. I didn't wait two weeks, saw the orthopedist two days later. He looked at my X-rays and said the toe was never broken... and that all my pain was from keeping my foot elevated and not walking on the foot. So he asked me to walk across the room. I took one step and fell over in extreme pain. He said toughen up...put your shoe on it and walk for two weeks if it's not better call me again. Despite the pain I'm now hobbling around on it. My swollen foot will not fit in any of my shoes. It hurts more than ever. The swelling is increasing, and while the toe may not be broken something is wrong and I don't think walking through it is the answer. The injury followed a 40 pound weight gain over the past year... and a weekend of working on my feet for 10 hours for two days which I'm not used to. The night before the injury I experienced a muscle cramp in the bottom of my foot so painful that it woke me from a dead sleep and had me screaming in pain. The orthopedist says given the way in which the injury occoured it is impossible that it could be anything serious and I just need to toughen up and use it. For the past ten years I've been doing step aerobics something your site says can lead to injury. I'm thinking I should see a poditrist. Any advice?

Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

Laurie R on 4/30/00 at 20:52 (019681)

Hello Rick,
I don't even know where to start,first of all if this were me I would not walk that's only going to make it worse ,also I would look for a new doctor ASAP.That doc you went to sounds like a idiot,that just makes me so mad that a doctor would tell you to walk on a foot that is so swollen and he knew you were in pain.Please do not ignore the pain because it can only get worse.I am not a doctor but your foot does not sound good to me....Hang in their and find a doctor that will help you.My very best to you.Laurie R

Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

Nancy S. on 4/30/00 at 20:59 (019682)

Hi Rick -- Welcome, and I agree with you completely: Something is wrong, and walking through it is not the answer. Frankly, the orthopedist you saw sounds like a sadistic jerk. I think you should get yourself to another foot doctor immediately, I mean immediately -- your injury, which sounded bad enough as it was, sounds like it's getting worse. You need a proper diagnosis and treatment, which that particular orthopedist sounds unable to provide. ('Toughen up' and walk on it -- don't listen to him! Real strength is in taking care of yourself, not stoically going ahead and reinjuring yourself.)
Your symptoms don't sound like PF, but whatever it is, that snapping sound and all your pain, bruising, and swelling are symptomatic of a very real injury and should not be ignored. Please do see another doctor -- if someone can recommend a good one to you, whether orthopedist or podiatrist or sports medicine doc., that would be ideal. If not, just take a chance on someone different from that sadist.
There's another Rick R. on this board (How Are You, Other Rick R.?), so can you alter your name a bit so we can tell you apart? Please let us know what happens. Best of luck to you --Nancy S.

Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

wendyn on 4/30/00 at 21:48 (019688)

You had me confused too...I thought this was the Rick R from Chicago.

Rick - my TTS developed quite suddenly - and came on while walking (so how can your doctor say that it's no big deal if you were only walking?!?!?). The doctor you saw sounds like a real noodle. Get yourself to an orthepedic surgeon and or podiatrist right away.

What you have does not sound like PF though, but I bet it hurts a whole bunch and I can pretty much guarantee you (even in my ignorant non medical opinion) that walking on it will make it worse.


Re: Maybe Mike W. will help with this. Mike, we need your help

Kim B. on 5/01/00 at 08:28 (019696)

Welcome Rick, sorry you're here. (That's just a little PF humor.)

You're situation sounds unique. I am hoping that Mike W., a physical therapist who has extensive knowledge in problems affecting the foot, will give us his opinion of what could have happened. Maybe he can also advise what kind of doc you should pursue to get the best results.

Hang in there, take good care of this injury until you figure out what to do next. Otherwise, you may tear and perminately damage some muscels tendons or ligaments in the foot, and take it from us, they are VERY un-forgiving.

Welcome aboard, hope you feel better soon,
Kim B.



Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

john h on 5/01/00 at 14:40 (019720)

ice and elevate is the universal prescription for swelling. for the doc to say it caused swelling sounds unusual to me. see another doc very soon.

Re: Maybe Mike W. will help with this. Mike, we need your help

Mike W on 5/01/00 at 15:44 (019722)

Hello Kim,

Thank you for your kind remarks.

I emailed Rick directly.

Regards,

Mike W


Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

ChrisO on 5/01/00 at 18:32 (019731)

Wow - Rick! I'm not a Doctor but...........it sure sounds more like a ligament tear to me - especially if you had a muscle cramp the night before. I didn't discern anything in your post that sounded like PF. I'd absolutely see another doctor, or two, or three. Be the strongest self-advocate you can!

Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

Rick R (Sactorick) on 5/10/00 at 02:55 (020141)

Thank you all so much!!!!

I took your advice and found myself a nice pediatrist who actually listened to my pain. he looked at my x rays and spotted tow more fractures that the other doctors had missed. He also noticed the obvious...that from one set of X rays to the other all the bones in my foot had lost density. A form of sotepoerosis has set in.

An ultra sound showed no ligimate damage only lots of extra fluid. A blood flow test showed that all my blood vesels are open and pumping massive amounts of blood through my foot. This extra blood flow is demineralizing the bones in the foot and causing the swelling.

The pain remains greater than what it should be given the injury. At this point the doctor has diagnosed reflex sympathetic dystrophy. After viewing the RSD pages I'm wishing it were PF!!! The pages describe RSD as more painful than cancer, more expensive than AIDS and more cripling than arthritis. They talk about the 50% cure rate and the 70% chance of it spreading up the limb.

The good part of this diagnosis is that it has been caught early... normally no one figures out this is what's going on until four months to six months of frustration. The doctor is hopeful that I'll avoid life long chronic pain but not certain.

Now that the ultra sound is done he's got me walking on it. It hurts... but as he pointed out no more than not walking on it. I start aggressive physical therapy tomorrow morning and next week we start trying different neurological medicines.

Thanks again for all your kind words and advice!!! it turns out you can fratcture your toes and your foot just from walking across a room if you have hammer toes a high arch poor shoes and strike the ground in just the right way! I'm lucky everything isn't all torn up inside the foot. Now if my foot and spine would just communicate better i'd be on the road to recovery.

thanks

Rick R (Sactorick)


Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

wendyn on 5/10/00 at 08:53 (020143)

Wow Rick - it's a good thing you were persistant.

Glad to hear you found someone to help you, sorry to hear about the diagnosis. I've done some reading on it(RSD) and it sounds like a tough thing to beat. It's important to catch it early, and it sounds like through your persistance - you found a doctor who was sharp enough to figure it out quickly.

Some of the articles I read indicated that misdignosis (for example that second doctor that told you to toughen up and walk on it ) can be grounds for a malpractice suit. Something to keep in mind.

Lee H that used to post regularly here had the same diagnosis. Last I heard she was receiving nerve blocks - where they essentially tourniquet your leg and pump the foot full of general anesthetic type drugs. Basically your leg or foot goes to sleep but the rest of you doesn't. The idea is to interrupt the over-reaction of the sympathetic nervous system that's happening.

Please let us know how you do...and thanks for letting us know what happened.

Even if you don't have PF - this is still a good place to come for support....

Take care.


Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

Laurie R on 4/30/00 at 20:52 (019681)

Hello Rick,
I don't even know where to start,first of all if this were me I would not walk that's only going to make it worse ,also I would look for a new doctor ASAP.That doc you went to sounds like a idiot,that just makes me so mad that a doctor would tell you to walk on a foot that is so swollen and he knew you were in pain.Please do not ignore the pain because it can only get worse.I am not a doctor but your foot does not sound good to me....Hang in their and find a doctor that will help you.My very best to you.Laurie R

Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

Nancy S. on 4/30/00 at 20:59 (019682)

Hi Rick -- Welcome, and I agree with you completely: Something is wrong, and walking through it is not the answer. Frankly, the orthopedist you saw sounds like a sadistic jerk. I think you should get yourself to another foot doctor immediately, I mean immediately -- your injury, which sounded bad enough as it was, sounds like it's getting worse. You need a proper diagnosis and treatment, which that particular orthopedist sounds unable to provide. ('Toughen up' and walk on it -- don't listen to him! Real strength is in taking care of yourself, not stoically going ahead and reinjuring yourself.)
Your symptoms don't sound like PF, but whatever it is, that snapping sound and all your pain, bruising, and swelling are symptomatic of a very real injury and should not be ignored. Please do see another doctor -- if someone can recommend a good one to you, whether orthopedist or podiatrist or sports medicine doc., that would be ideal. If not, just take a chance on someone different from that sadist.
There's another Rick R. on this board (How Are You, Other Rick R.?), so can you alter your name a bit so we can tell you apart? Please let us know what happens. Best of luck to you --Nancy S.

Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

wendyn on 4/30/00 at 21:48 (019688)

You had me confused too...I thought this was the Rick R from Chicago.

Rick - my TTS developed quite suddenly - and came on while walking (so how can your doctor say that it's no big deal if you were only walking?!?!?). The doctor you saw sounds like a real noodle. Get yourself to an orthepedic surgeon and or podiatrist right away.

What you have does not sound like PF though, but I bet it hurts a whole bunch and I can pretty much guarantee you (even in my ignorant non medical opinion) that walking on it will make it worse.


Re: Maybe Mike W. will help with this. Mike, we need your help

Kim B. on 5/01/00 at 08:28 (019696)

Welcome Rick, sorry you're here. (That's just a little PF humor.)

You're situation sounds unique. I am hoping that Mike W., a physical therapist who has extensive knowledge in problems affecting the foot, will give us his opinion of what could have happened. Maybe he can also advise what kind of doc you should pursue to get the best results.

Hang in there, take good care of this injury until you figure out what to do next. Otherwise, you may tear and perminately damage some muscels tendons or ligaments in the foot, and take it from us, they are VERY un-forgiving.

Welcome aboard, hope you feel better soon,
Kim B.



Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

john h on 5/01/00 at 14:40 (019720)

ice and elevate is the universal prescription for swelling. for the doc to say it caused swelling sounds unusual to me. see another doc very soon.

Re: Maybe Mike W. will help with this. Mike, we need your help

Mike W on 5/01/00 at 15:44 (019722)

Hello Kim,

Thank you for your kind remarks.

I emailed Rick directly.

Regards,

Mike W


Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

ChrisO on 5/01/00 at 18:32 (019731)

Wow - Rick! I'm not a Doctor but...........it sure sounds more like a ligament tear to me - especially if you had a muscle cramp the night before. I didn't discern anything in your post that sounded like PF. I'd absolutely see another doctor, or two, or three. Be the strongest self-advocate you can!

Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

Rick R (Sactorick) on 5/10/00 at 02:55 (020141)

Thank you all so much!!!!

I took your advice and found myself a nice pediatrist who actually listened to my pain. he looked at my x rays and spotted tow more fractures that the other doctors had missed. He also noticed the obvious...that from one set of X rays to the other all the bones in my foot had lost density. A form of sotepoerosis has set in.

An ultra sound showed no ligimate damage only lots of extra fluid. A blood flow test showed that all my blood vesels are open and pumping massive amounts of blood through my foot. This extra blood flow is demineralizing the bones in the foot and causing the swelling.

The pain remains greater than what it should be given the injury. At this point the doctor has diagnosed reflex sympathetic dystrophy. After viewing the RSD pages I'm wishing it were PF!!! The pages describe RSD as more painful than cancer, more expensive than AIDS and more cripling than arthritis. They talk about the 50% cure rate and the 70% chance of it spreading up the limb.

The good part of this diagnosis is that it has been caught early... normally no one figures out this is what's going on until four months to six months of frustration. The doctor is hopeful that I'll avoid life long chronic pain but not certain.

Now that the ultra sound is done he's got me walking on it. It hurts... but as he pointed out no more than not walking on it. I start aggressive physical therapy tomorrow morning and next week we start trying different neurological medicines.

Thanks again for all your kind words and advice!!! it turns out you can fratcture your toes and your foot just from walking across a room if you have hammer toes a high arch poor shoes and strike the ground in just the right way! I'm lucky everything isn't all torn up inside the foot. Now if my foot and spine would just communicate better i'd be on the road to recovery.

thanks

Rick R (Sactorick)


Re: Does this sound like plantar fasciitis or something else... help!

wendyn on 5/10/00 at 08:53 (020143)

Wow Rick - it's a good thing you were persistant.

Glad to hear you found someone to help you, sorry to hear about the diagnosis. I've done some reading on it(RSD) and it sounds like a tough thing to beat. It's important to catch it early, and it sounds like through your persistance - you found a doctor who was sharp enough to figure it out quickly.

Some of the articles I read indicated that misdignosis (for example that second doctor that told you to toughen up and walk on it ) can be grounds for a malpractice suit. Something to keep in mind.

Lee H that used to post regularly here had the same diagnosis. Last I heard she was receiving nerve blocks - where they essentially tourniquet your leg and pump the foot full of general anesthetic type drugs. Basically your leg or foot goes to sleep but the rest of you doesn't. The idea is to interrupt the over-reaction of the sympathetic nervous system that's happening.

Please let us know how you do...and thanks for letting us know what happened.

Even if you don't have PF - this is still a good place to come for support....

Take care.