Why do doctors tell us to walk on an injured foot? Why do they say it is better for the foot? I have not heard from one person who has injured their foot or who has had foot issues and it has gotten better because they have walked on it! I don't get this at all why wouldn't it be better to rest the foot and not use it for a period of time to let it recover from whatever trauma it has experienced! I sometimes wonder if it a foot doctors way of getting more money!
I strongly feel when I first was diagnosed three years ago with tendonitis if I had been told to stay off it for awhile that I may have actually recovered instead of now where I know that my foot is significantly worse and much more deformed than it was!
I don't think that all doctors say to use an injured foot. First, it would depend on the injury. In my case, when I had achillese tendonitis, they taped my foot and when that didn't help put me in a boot for two weeks to give things a chance to calm down. Then I was instructed to do gentle stretching. If you are uncomfortable with the doctors treatment plan, it may be a good idea to see a different doctor
I'm not only talking my Dr. I have friends who have had this experience and there are numerous posts on thiis board by different people who have had similiar experiences.
I'm with you. I've spent the last week reading every single article I can find on ankle injuries, and there are such wildly different opinions on the best course of treatment (although RICE is always part of the plan.) Even though many doctors seem to say that it's best to try to walk on it, to keep it from getting stiff, I've found that people are having nothing but problems when they are told to walk on an injury that hasn't even begun to heal yet. Is it that some doctors do not want to take the time to fully evaluate the injury you have? Could it possibly be a way of drawing out the treatment to the point of needing PT and possibly surgery? I was doing fine until I started putting weight on my foot, as the doctor told me to, also. I knew from the very beginning that it didn't seem ready -- but I went against my better judgment and took their advice. I guess my advice is the same as roxygirl's. If something doesn't feel right, speak up, or find another doctor. If it hurts to walk on it, don't.
There are a lot of different medicsl opinions on this subject as you all have stated. The "new movement" is to get the patient moving and back to normal ASAP because prolonged immobilization or loss of use makes recovery harder, patients dont do as well, increases depression, and several other reasons. Then there are those who like to stay with the old school way and immobilize and NWB for a length of time regardless. Problem with these 2 ways is that there are a gazillion different injuries, diagnoses, and surgeries and all are treated differently according to their own protocols (which also vary depending on schooling, training, era, new data, etc) as well as how these different protocols tailor to each patient. 2 people can be the same height, same weight, both have the same ankle injury from playing football and need the same surgery and it will still be 2 completely different experiences if that make sense. So it really isn't black and white.
However, I completely agree with you guys. Pain is an indication that something is wrong. The ankle/foot are very stressed with weight bearing, balancing us, cutting, fast starts/stops, etc. Walking on a painful ankle after an injury in the acute phase is not complying with RICE which apparently is moving to the new PRICE with P being protection (like brace, boot, etc). It fuels the fire. I've always had the theory on doctors who make you do things that don't make sense like walk on a painful ankle after injury. I think they have never been through something like that and in a subconscious way are like "what's the big deal? Or ok, it's been a week-should be all better"! Then there are the ones who just done care which is frustrating and sad.
You always have to advocate for yourself unfortunately. Find a doctor who has an understanding, sympathetic attitude with his patients. They do exist! I promise! If your ankle is painful when walking, don't walk on it. Crutches are available at drugs stores, online, borrow from a friend, etc. Remember, you "hire" your doctor to work for you and his/her job is to find out what is wrong, fix it to the best of his ability and make you comfortable in the process. Granted, it's not exactly that black and white, but you get the general idea. There are times to push through pain and walk (like I had to do in the rehab phase after my ankle surgery and I'd love to wear my boot all the time because there's way less pain with it than in a regular brace) and there are definitely times NOT to!
I think the main issue is that everyone has a different level of pain tolerance. So telling me to stay off it if it "hurts" may mean something different to me than it does to you. I happen to have a very high pain threshold. So for something to be "painful" to me may be more than debilitating for you. And what someone else calls "painful" may just be annoying to me. One experience kind of drove this home to me. The day I had my last foot surgery (last June) I fell going in the house from the hospital and severely twisted my ankle when it hit the door frame as I fell forward. Since I had a nerve block, I had no feeling in it. When I could walk on it a few days later (as allowed by the doctor) it was to me "very sore". As the bruising extended up my leg above the bandage (and was obviously from the ankle injury as it was on the opposite side of my leg from the surgery site), I called my doctor's surgical nurse. The question she asked me after I described the incident was "is it 'exquisite' pain?" I replied no, just sore. She said I was fine and keep on with what I was doing unless things changed. I really liked that expression - exquisite pain. The level that becomes "exquisite" will vary with each of us...but I think that's a good way to describe the difference between pains..at least for me it works well.
This is one of the craziest things I have read on here. I am going to take the advice of the person with the medical degree.
Is this because you can't deal with pain very well?
Actually I have a very high tolerance for pain. Taking the advice of the person with the medical degree has gotten me to the exact place I am: a foot that is no longer normal and extremely painful to walk on. Unfortunatley ( or actually fortunally) I don't have much experience dealling with doctors because of illness or injury, which is probably why I have gotten to the point I have. I now know a bit more about my issue and hopefully will be able to get better results now.
My issue is there are so many doctors out there telling those of us with injuries to continue or normal daily routines, I feel that for many if the injury was actually allowed to heal first we would have been better off. My issue was and is tendonitis which is caused by excessive strain. If you are continuing to do the same activities which caused the issue to begin with How is it suppose to get better????
Like I said I was previously was naive in thinking this guy has a medical degree, I should follow what he says and I'll get better. The only thing I knew was that I would not be allowed time off work to rest unless he approved it and felt that is what was needed. Now I know more about the problem and have heard from many and feel that had my foot been allowed to rest and recupperate from the tendonitis at the very start of this whole ordeal that I would not be in the situation I am currently in.
You know what they call the guy who graduates last in his class in medical school?
I never see a doctor whom I haven't checked out first. They aren't all perfect and they don't all know everything. Just like a mechanic. I'd bet most people check them out more carefully than the doctors they see....just because Aunt Suzy said he/she was just sooooo nice. I personally don't care how nice they are - I care about what they know and whether they are competent enough to treat my problem properly. And I ask tons of questions. I don't care if he wants to get out and go see the next person. He needs to answer mine to my satisfaction. Like what do you mean that I can go on with my regular activities? Does that mean I can run my 5K Saturday? Or whatever...When I had my last foot surgery and went to set up the date, I wanted to be able to dance on August 5. So I took my dancing shoes with me to the doc and asked, if we do the surgery the week of June 15, can I wear these shoes and dance on August 5??? If he had said no, I would have put off the surgery till a better time....but he said yes so I had it done on June 15 and I danced on August 5.
Last edited by Titchou; 05-10-2012 at 03:55 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to Titchou For This Useful Post: fermac (05-10-2012)
I did the same thing TITCHOU did. I didn't have to interview my doctor because I knew him as a resident. I have to have the total package. I knew I had a mission trip to Spain planned at the end of June and I asked my doctor if I had the surgery in Feb if I'd be able to go in June. He said yes, but had he said no, I would've put off surgery. The doctor has to know what s/he is doing and be competent, but I also like at least a decent bedside manner. If they aren't willing to listen to me and I detect no compassion, I'm not all about that either. Being a nurse, having worked with a ton of different docs and being married to one, there are some out there that are book smart and have the degree but do not have the common sense to know what to do with it. Then there are really good ones out there who may or may not be AS book smart, but have impeccable common sense (which honestly is the name of the game combined with med school knowledge) and those typically make the best doctors. With the really good ones you just have to do the research and find the one who is highly specialized in your diagnosis and the compassion to get you through it and accomplish your goals.
FERMAC--Yes,TITCHOU and I did/do have advantages to figuring out doctors, but with good research, recommendations from family, friends, primary doctor, people on here that live in your area, etc and interviews, you can have just as much knowledge to make a great decision!!