So, the ortho appointment was yesterday

There was some confusion over which doctor I was supposed to be seeing, apparently I somehow got scheduled with the total hip & knee replacement guy instead of the ankle/foot guy.  So I had to wait an extra hour to actually see the doctor.  Wasn’t thrilled.  But it got caught before I actually saw the wrong doctor, and the ankle guy was able to fit me in the same day, which is cool.

But once I got in to see him I think it was very informative.

He diagnosed me with what is essentially adult onset flat foot.  There’s a big long medical name for it, but that’s basically what it is.  Essentially my arches are falling due to damage to the tendons that hold those bones in place, which in turn is screwing with the rest of the foot and ankle structures.  It’s more common in women than men (by a factor of 4), and usually occurs after the age of 40 or so, so I’m a bit early, but considering how I’ve abused my feet and ankles over the years that’s not not surprising.  The fact that I’m overweight likely doesn’t help either.  Apparently most of my symptoms are literally textbook, the baby doctor who was following the specialist on his rounds made the comment that “it’s practically the living example of the test question”.   The only symptom that doesn’t match up is the stabbing pains in the ball of my heals, and considering the damage that this can do to the foot/ankle he’s holding off doing any treatment of that till we have the falling arches under control as its entirely possible it’s still all related.

The first step in treatment is orthotics for my shoes, we’ll see if they help.  I don’t have a problem with the concept, but considering how often I end up replacing the insoles on my shoes in order to survive my job I’m a bit worried about how they’re going to hold up.  We’ll see I guess.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by bogie:

    It is great that you now have somewhere to start instead of someone throwing up their hands like it is in your head. I’ve always had flatter feet (arches in shoes kill me – literally start ripping the muscles), so my musculature and tendon systems are well adjusted to that. I can’t imagine how it must be for everything to suddenly try to accommodate.

    Make sure your doctor and specialist (if they send you to one) knows you are on your feet in an industrial environment – I would bet they make some that are designed to hold up better under such conditions. Or, they may have more “disposable” types that are cheaper but have to be replaced more often (which may be good because of the hard use).

    But hey, what do I know – I’m guessing here but it seems reasonable, but you’ll never know if there are options unless the people you are working with are aware of the conditions under which the orthotics will be used.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      I did tell them, but neglected to ask about how long to expect them to last. So we’ll see. They were ~$50, and insurance covered 80%.

      Looking at the pictures on the link made it easier to understand WHY I’m hurting the way I am. Stabbing-burning pain in the arches, stabbing pains throughout the ankle, severe pain-stiffness in feet and ankles, extremely tight muscles in the calves, and knees reflecting that fact….. A day on my feet and I was pushing a 5 on the 0-10 pain scale. Which isn’t excruciating sure, but it was daily, and the stiffness was lasting for days afterwards even if I stayed off my feet. Finding a good pair of high-topped hiking shoes helped noticeably, due to the ankle support. And oddly enough, 500mg of magnesium helps quite a bit with the stiffness.