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After 3 wks, still can only wear orthotics 3 hrs. daily

Posted by WandaT on 11/15/04 at 14:49 (163992)

Was put into orthotics 3 weeks ago to correct the way I have been walking since a fall in May that resulted in ankle sprain, severe pain at base of 5th metatarsal continuing up around the side of my ankle behind the lateral malleous and 1/3 the way up my leg between tib/fib and constant cramp along entire 5th metatarsal (plus elbow, hip and shoulder/neck injuries). The hip quit hurting after a couple months and the shoulder/neck symptoms lessened. Being treated for lateral epicondylitis of elbow due to direct blow.

MRI 4 months after the fact only show a 1' x3/8' septate ganglion cyst starting between 4th/5th metatarsal right where they meet the cuboid. The physiatrist said the foot/ankle injuries, coupled with lack of timely rehab, caused me to walk wrong, with the outer front/middle part of my foot not bearing weight (since it hurt so much). So, he sent me to PT and to get custom orthotics.

The orthotic guy made them and told me to wear them 3 hrs. the first day, then add one hour a day. Would be like breaking in a pair of shoes. I wore them 3 hrs. the first day and the next morning it felt like I had just returned exactly to my original conditions! Couldn't stand upright without pulling myself up because of anterior hip pain, the neck/shoulder pain returned with a vengence, and now my feet burn and tingle (and my other foot never hurt at all before). I tried wearing them again for 3 hrs, but quit after 2 hrs because I hurt so badly on my entire right side. Was sure the physiatrist, orthotist and PT were insane and wasn't going to ever go back. Sister talked me into at least calling them. Orthotist said just keep trying and took out the metatarsal pad...that's when I started doing web searches and only wore the orthotics for one hr. daily in 15 min. increments. Found info on the web that orthotics are supposed to affect your entire body when changing the way you walk and pain is likely... and that some folks take many, many weeks to adjust to the orthotics. Nothing at all like breaking in a pair of shoes! So, I have only been adding 15 min. every 2nd day...and still hurting. Enough pain to wake me at night every hr. or so.

After the 3rd week of this, now the orthotist and PT are saying they have never seen anyone take this long to adjust to the orthotics - that I should have been wearing them full-time after 2 weeks. How unusual is it to take a long time to adjust when trying to change the way you walk 6 months after injuries?

Or maybe I should just dismiss this medical crew and try elsewere? Any suggestions for top-of-the-line care anywhere in Michigan?