Wow- thanks for sharing. That must be SO hard to still be working up to running. I miss it so much (Friday is exactly one year since my last run- I should probably avoid anyone & everyone I care about & stay in bed all day!). At this point, though, I'd give anything for even a little bit of elliptical or bike- I'm not exactly much of a swimmer!
It's so hard not having a conclusive diagnosis. I've had 2 orthos say PTT, one say just awful shin splints, and one suggest there's no structural damage and it's neuralgia. At this point, I know I need surgery (exactly like you- I've tried every type of conservative treatment out there basically). It's just scary that so many people want to do different types of surgeries- two say "remove your tendon" and two say "your tendon is completely fine, definitely don't remove it." I just don't wanna screw up and do the wrong thing- sometimes I'm sure its PTT and sometimes I'm sure (like you) I'll end up with some completely different diagnosis that they've just been missing. I'm SO ready for surgery, I just want at least some sort of consensus or agreement as to which surgery I need :/
I saw my Ortho #4 again- he's good- and he was looking at the symptoms a little more closely, went back and looked at the MRI, and saw that I split my post tib tendon BUT I split it very near the top- the MRI almost doesn't show it because it's at the very top of the field. This is why everyone was having so much trouble diagnosing it- the lower part of my tendon, that typically degenerates and leads to tendon transfer- looks great, & this is why so many doctors told me my tendon was fine. My ortho said because my tendon is split so close to the top of the tendon, and that the rest of the tendon is fine, I won't need a tendon transfer or osteotomy, just a repair of that area. So I AM looking at an unpleasant surgery experience, but he believes I'll likely be back to full athletic activity about a year after my surgery.
I'm considering this good news, in comparison to other potential outcomes I was worried about. I've already lost 1 year of running, but it looks like I'll only lose 2 (not 50 )! I'm having my surgery in Dec so I can heal over winter break (I'm a graduate student).
Good luck with your MRI!! I really hope you get something definitive too! It just feels so nice- even though I'm looking at a surgery & long recovery, it's just nice to not have a million different things running around my head!
I know you've been having problems getting a diagnosis for a while now- one think you can do before the MRI is walk around/try & aggravate the area a little. I only mention this because I had 3 MRIs and only for the 3rd did they mention this to me. I dunno if this helped, probably not, but I tried any/every little thing, hehe!
Yes - I've been thinking the same thing. I'm going to walk, dance and do jumps, whatever I can to aggrevate it. Also, I realized last time they only did an MRI of the arch of my foot to my ankle and NOT to the top of my calf. (Even though I complained about my mid-calf issues).
Please let us know how it goes.
The following user gives a hug of support to exdancer2: Troly59 (11-04-2012)
Best of luck to you on your surgery. How frustrating it must have been being in pain and trying to get a diagnosis. I'm also from the Las Vegas area. I'm going to be having six procedures on my left foot hopefully at the beginning of December. I wasn't happy with the doctors in Vegas, so I found a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon in LA at USC who is going to be doing my surgery. I'm waiting for clearance from the cardiologist and family MD and then I can schedule. Still trying to find a medical supply place that takes my insurance and has all the things I need.
Exdancer- I think the same might have happened with my first MRI- I'm not sure it showed the tear at all. The first few people who looked at the second MRI didn't notice it, though, and it did show it. My surgery won't be until Dec (I'm a graduate student, so I teach undergrad and can't really get away with doing it until break), but I will definitely let everyone know how it goes. Let us know what your MRI says, for sure- gooood luck!
Vegas girl- yeep- I'm having my surgery done at Cedars-Sinai. My parents live in Riverside, so I've basically only see doctors in southern CA. I feel like most people I've talked to in Vegas end up going to CA for complicated problems, lol.
Best of luck with all your surgeries & insurance- sounds frustrating!
When you had your MRI(s) did they do the lower extremity (ankle) or did they include the calf area too?
I had my MRI and was very discouraged to discover my orthoped sur had ordered just the ankle. In the past 2 MRIs nothing has shown up. Radiologist was very sympathetic and tried to reach my doctor without success. Not pleased at all. Second opinion with leading Sports Med Orthoped on 11/16.
Btw, you are in good hands at Cedar-Sinai. We're originally from LA. We still have friends who practice there.
Ya know what, it's funny you bring that up. The tear is farther up along the course of the tendon- my parents & I think the second MRI miiiight have cut off & not even shown the tear. The third one, the doc who ordered it made sure to go a little bit higher above the medial malleolous, & it barely showed the tear- it's at the top of the MRI screen. Funny, 'cause the tear is definitely higher than my pain is. It didn't go all the way up the calf, but that's suuuper frustrating if you are having pain up there & your doc is kinda ignoring it.
My first-first MRI (technically I had 3, but only the two I mentioned above count), the doc order the wrong one (tib-fib, instead of just the tibia area), and it didn't show anything 'cause it was too zoomed out. So I dunno- if you needed the ankle AND the calf you might haffta do something special where they take more images or something?
I live in Las Vegas, & my parents live in CA, & I am DEFINITELY muuuch more comfortable having my surgery at Cedars than in Vegas! haha
I finally had the big surgery last week. I felt so validated when the surgeon told me that my ptt was completely shredded and practically disintegrated when he went to
remove it. He told me it must have been tearing everytime I had new pain. I wore a ptt aircast for the last year, that I found on my own from a sports orthotic catalog. I couldn't get any one to really help me until I saw this 3rd surgeon. I had an MRI 7 years ago and xrays more frequently....they wouldn't even listen to me and do another MRI....it is maddening when they do not believe your pain. So I would like to go back to the other doctors and say "I told you so!" Just because they can't see it on the MRI doesn't mean it doesn't hurt! My advice is to get it taken care of soon before it causes more stuctural damage to your foot. Mine was a mess after 8 years of walking on it without the support of that tendon. Good Luck to you!!! We are all in the same boat!!
Wow 7 years? That's awful!! I dunno how you had dealt with that, I have been sooo miserable over just 1 year! I've had 3 MRIs (& 2 x-rays & an ultrasound) done in the past year as well, I can't believe they wouldn't get you a new one. Now that they've found my tear (on an MRI that was taken in June, of course, couldda looked closer THEN!), I'm hoping they were right about the rest of it being "fine." My biggest fear is that they do end up having to do more than just the repair *shudder* ... I just really miss running hehe.
Glad you finally got your issues taken care of!! Good luck with the recovery!
Yes, I definitely think the MRI should have included my calf. The radiologist agreed. On top of the problems with my calf, last year during PT they had to use a rolling pin to have my "frozen" contracted calf relax. While doing this, I heard and felt a loud pop which felt like something other than a bone break. It didn't hurt. I def. think something happened though.
So is the current thinking amongst OS to just "go in" and work on what they see? Seems so strange to me and it is the reason I've been getting pretty anxious lately about the surgery...
I checked my MASS Gen gateway site. MRI is complete but it appears it won't be posted until Nov. 8. I have no clue why. I already know, based on the last two MRIs that nothing will show up. Last time the 2nd OS I saw told me the pain was in my head.
Curious how Cedars handles the surgery. Is it outpatient?
Thanks so much for posting. I am really anxious, although resigned, to the surgery. It really helps to hear from someone who has gone through it.
Hoping for a thorough and speedy recovery for you.
My surgeon is pretty sure I just need a tendon repair. So the plan is he's gonna go in & sew up the tear, he is pretty sure I don't need a tendon transfer or anything more than just a repair. I have heard lots of stories of people whose MRIs didn't show the extent of the damage, however, and having SO many different diagnoses over the past year the possibilities of it not being as simple as it sounds are of course making me slightly anxious.
Yep, it's an outpatient surgery. I'm supposed to only be NWB for 3 weeks.
I'm DYING to just get it over with. I could have gotten it done much sooner if I wasn't teaching right now, but I haffta wait until winter break :/
More often than not, they cannot tell what they extent of the damage is until you are on the table. Otherwise, they would have to manipulate your foot in a way that is impossible if you are awake (readain that would be unbearable). The earlier you catch it and get it fixed the better, believe me. I waited far too long. No job is worth what this does to you. Sounds like you all are in good hands, finally. I wish you the best in your recoveries.
Also- being realistic- doctors are correct just as often as they aren't, and there's WAY more academic literature on MRIs over-reporting damage than under-reporting damage. I'm 23 and I lack MOST of the symptoms of PTT dysfunction/tendonitis. I will probably be running again a year from now. It's just KILLING me to not just get the surgery over with nowww!