Foot Update - Yea It's Broken

by - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Well my doctors and I finally have official proof that my foot is in fact broken.

Although the break didn't show up on the initial X-ray or MRI, it was clear as day on the CT scan. According to the radiologist's report, I have a nondisplaced fracture on my fourth metatarsal. In plain English, that means I have a stress fracture on the 4th toe in my left foot. And apparently it just doesn't want to heal.

That friends is my very not broken foot!!!! So relieved. It's just a bone bruise.
The original X-ray that showed no break

Questionable MRI that told us not much

So what does that mean in terms of recovery, rehab and actually getting back to doing anything athletic?

There's good and bad news here.


Now that we know what it is we can start to treat it. My doctor anticipates it will be four more weeks before I can be back to running normally again. On the one hand, that breaks my heart. Four more weeks of no running seems like torture. By the time it's all said and done, that will be more than three months of no running or CrossFit.

On the other hand, it's comforting to know that I have a timeline now. That I have a deadline to count down to when I can start taking my first running baby steps again.

In the meantime though, the doctor had a few ideas to speed recovery and get me back to running a little bit sooner.

Step one was ordering me a bone stimulator. This is a device that fires either electric or ultrasonic waves into the bone to stimulate cell regrowth and generation to speed healing. I have a meeting on Thursday to learn how to use it, and I'm really hoping it works and helps get me back on my feet faster.

The second thing I'm going to be doing is some physical therapy to rebuild all the muscles in my feet and legs that have been wasting away all summer. In about ten days, my doctor wants me to start running on the AlterG machine at their office. The machine lets you run at a fraction of your body weight, so that you can start to build up some of the muscle conditioning without the pounding of running at your full body weight.

When I got the news yesterday, I'm fairly certain I cycled through the five stages of grief in rapid time and in no apparent order. I was reluctantly accepting at first, figuring there wasn't much I could do.

Then I was furious that I was going to need even more time off from running, followed by being heartbroken that my foot wasn't healing, that I was still laid up and that I wasn't getting better faster.

I did the whole bargaining thing. "Oh foot, if you heal fast enough that I can run my race, I will promise to take better care of you and will be extra vigilant about taking my calcium and vitamin D supplements."

I think I hit denial last, just refusing to believe this is really happening.

I've been bouncing back and forth between all the emotions all morning and at any given moment I could be really annoyed or really bummed or just really OK with things. Emotional instability at its finest people.

So for now, I'm going to try to enjoy the fact that I have a plan of attack. I operate better with a plan. And I'm just going to try to take it one day at a time and get through the next four weeks so that I can get back to regular activity as soon as possible.

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  1. So many people that I know have used the bone stimulator. I'm guessing it must speed things up, or it wouldn't be prescribed so much.

  2. My mom is an orthopedic nurse and also recommends bone stims. I hope you finally get healed up, Jess!

  3. Hopefully it heals up soon! Must be nice to have a confirmation.

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  6. Your fracture must have been a real disappointment. Dealing with a foot injury is never pleasant.

  7. Stress fractures can be just as painful as full breaks, especially in those tender bones in the foot; I've gotten them just from walking too much! Hope it healed quickly, thanks for sharing!