Diagnosis: (Foot) Murder.

Well, not actually foot murder.  I’m being a little over-dramatic…

I finally got the results call from my doc this afternoon. First she went through the “wasn’ts”…

“Well, the good news is it’s definitely not a stress fracture.” she said. I mumbled something like “Yeah, ok good.” I thought we had already eliminated that as a possibility, so I wasn’t sure why she was telling me this. In the pit of my stomach I was worried she was telling me this because she didn’t want to tell me the horrible news without telling me some good things first. I was expecting her to next tell me we were right, and I did have a neuroma in my foot.

“And the MRI didn’t show any sign of a Morton’s Neruoma.”

Ugh. Well then what the hell is wrong with my foot?

Then she began to tell me what the actual diagnosis was. I didn’t hear much beyond the words “edema in the middle cuneiform” and “rare” because I was frantically searching for the diagnosis on PubMed and Google Scholar. Once my brain actually registered what the diagnosis was, I calmed down a bit. I have some background in human Anatomy and Physiology, having TA’d an 8 credit hour class in college for a full year that included cadaver dissection of 4 bodies per semester. Best and most real-world useful class I’ve ever taken.

Edema is a abnormal collection of fluid. I usually associate it with terms like “Pulmonary Edema”  (collection of fluids in the lungs which partially or completely drowns the patient) or “Cerebral Edema” (collection of fluids around the brain, leading to dizziness and coma) which are both incredibly serious and sometimes fatal conditions. I realized I was panicking due to word association and took a deep breath.

It turns out, the reason she took so long to get back to me is because she’d never seen this on an MRI before. She’d never really even heard about it.  Not just her, she consulted other doctors and none of them had heard of it before. A doctor friend of mine called it “bizarre”.

There’s a paucity of information on the internet – PubMed and Google Scholar – on the subject, which is a bit unnerving. Literally only one article on PubMed (the database of all medical literature from the National Library of Medicine from the National Institute of Health) talks about bone marrow edema of any foot bones. And that article isn’t really that helpful.  The only thing I can take away from this article was this statement: “Twelve patients were successfully treated with supportive nonoperative therapy for an average length of 19.4 months.” (Orr et al., 2010). That’s a year and a half of therapy. Obviously, I won’t be sedentary that entire time, but I was hoping to have a good Spring full of road races – especially the Zooma Women’s Half Marathon in Austin, Texas on April 16.

So my doc told me that I can expect at least to take the next 3-4 weeks off of running. It might be up to 6 months, depending on what the orthopedist says.  I can do some pool running with a weighted belt (Anyone done that? Is it ridiculous?) and walking is allowed, but nothing with impact. Also, I’m supposed to wear only cushioned and supportive shoes for the entire month. That means no heels, no wedges, no flip-flops. Because of this I’m probably the only person in all of Alabama that is happy about the weather staying cold and rainy.

So thats where I am. I have an appointment with an orthopedist on Tuesday afternoon. I’ll keep you all updated.

In the meantime, think of me and your other injured friends when you’re tired at the end of the day, sitting on the couch debating whether or not you should go run. Don’t think in terms of “should” go run, think in terms of “get to” go run!

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4 Responses to Diagnosis: (Foot) Murder.

  1. bearrunner says:

    That is no fun… Atleast they know what is wrong and can resolve it. You will come back stronger then ever! I have heard and saw a bunch of people running in a pool once, looked like a bunch of robots.
    Hope your foot get better!

  2. laura says:

    Robots!? Awesome! I can play robot for a month, no problem.

  3. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas says:

    I hope your time off ends up on the lower end of the estimate!

  4. Alison says:

    😦 i’m sorry to hear. will you come to wiffle and support and stuff (don’t let the emailer get ya down)?

    btw, i think jen west just posted the other day about how freakin awesome weighted pool running is.

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