Whenever I refer to my foot, and the problems with it, I always forget that there are some people who have joined this blog in the past year (or have recently followed me on Twitter) so only know that I do have a problem with it.
So here’s a quick primer:
A little over ten years ago, I fell over and snapped the fifth metatarsal (that’s the long bone that runs from your little toe down the side of your foot) on my left foot. That wasn’t so serious, but I also dislocated the bones in my foot and an ‘extra’ navicular bone popped out. I had to have that removed, and the result was that my foot never fully healed from the op. As a result, I could walk – after some time – for about an hour and a half before the foot started hurting, and after two hours, I’d need an icepack on it. Running was out. Forever. As was playing football, or any serious strain on it.
OK, leap – if you’ll forgive the word – forward to 2007. The middle of the same foot had started hurting… badly. To the extent that I was, once again, limping all the time, and walking for more than a few minutes felt like I had a knitting needle rammed up the middle bones in my foot.
So I went to the same fella who’d operated on my five years previously and… turned out (with no link to the previous problems) I’d developed something called Freiberg’s, where the blood supply is disrupted to the second and third metatarsals.
So, the pain I had in my foot was the ends of my second and third metatarsals dying. As they die, the ends of the bones collapse in on themselves and flatten, and since you’ve then effectively got a square peg in a round hole, they rub away and destroy the cartilage/material between the metatarsals and the Proximal Phalanges (the toe bones furthest away from the toenails). And if you’re really unlucky… like me, the damage affects the shafts of the bones as well.
Eventually, I’ll need an op on the foot, but it’s a particularly gory procedure (details on request, if you’re of that mind) and the recovery is a bastard, with six weeks in plaster, another six to eight on crutches and then six months learning to walk again. So yeah, I’m putting that off as long as I can.
Thing is: the operation will only return my foot to how it was a year or so ago; it will not heal my foot per se.
That’s not going to happen.
But until I need the op, I’m taking lots of painkiller meds (many, many 30/500 Cocodamol, if you’re curious.)
The bits on the MRI above that look like Tippex has been spilled all over the film are where’s there’s… let’s call it “damage”. In other words, that’s where the bones are dying.