Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Second Opinion

After feeling so frustrated and angry at the way the "sports medicine" orthopedist dismissed my desire to keep running (and after a record thirty comments in response to a post about it on Facebook, roughly half in favor of giving it up and half in favor of sticking it to the obnoxious doc) I went to a podiatrist yesterday.

He was almost as obnoxious and abrupt as the other guy, but with a dx I liked better. I do have plantar fasciitis and a heel spur, and I do have some arthritis developing in my big toe, but neither should stop me from running in the future if I so desire. He said, contrary to Dr. #1, that yes I do pronate and yes I do need orthotics. (2 sets, one for walking, one for running. Total cost, about $700, no insurance coverage. And no I can't afford that. But I'll deal with that later.)

He didn't think physical therapy would solve the problem but might make me feel better in the short term - but he prefers drugs for that and prescribed a very strong NSAID. We made an appointment to come back and get cast for the orthoses (I think that's the plural of orthotic?) and that was that.

So I've decided to do all of the above. I started taking the NSAID, and it made me feel sorta queasy and weird today. (Maybe compounded by painting the kids' room, and breathing the fumes, in the hot humid afternoon, after very little sleep for two nights running.)

And I went to PT this afternoon, at a place I've not tried before. And Loved it: this woman spent 10 times as much time really trying to understand me, my feet, my legs, my bones, muscles, tendons, fascia, as both those guys put together. She did all kinds of manipulations and put me through a lot of different excercises and test to find out my precise strengths and weaknesses.

I so don't have time to go through this, but think if anything is going to get me back on the road again it's my new best friend, Kim the physical therapist. She asked so many questions about ankle injuries I had when I was 12, the dance training I had as a teenager - it was all important to the big picture.

The doctors made quick decisions based on their preconcieved ideas: the podiatrist knew before he started that people who pronate need orthotics. The orthopedist had already made up his mind that orthotics don't do anyone any good. The physical therapist based her judgements on what she actually observed as she got to know me. Why does she get paid so much less, when the care she gives is so much greater?


LBTEPA said...

That's kind of disappointing (arrogance) and very heartening as well - I'm happy you have such a nice physio. The important thing is to trust your own understanding of your needs and stick with that, regardless of what lazy opinionated men say.
*raspberry* to them!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...


i've always had good experiences with PTs. i think that's the way to go...

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

Nothing quite like a good medical specialist to help us continue in our insanity, is there? My docs know better...they don't even breathe the words "stop running" at me. I had a PT this past spring and she was awesome, but the orthotics might help as well. Before laying out tons on the expen$ive ones, try super feet or something like that.