Posts Tagged ‘podiatrist’

My loyal readers know that I am a runner.  And over the years, I have had issues with my toes, which apparently were not well designed to run, at least not the way I run.  (Think awkward albatross trying to take flight but failing.)

Anyway, my podiatrist suggested I try a product called gel toe caps (toe condoms is what she actually called them).


I have been having some toe nail issues recently–the little piggy that stayed home in particular had to be cut down below the nail bed to allow some blood and fluid to be released.  So I agreed to road test these–literally.  The girl in the picture seems happy with the condoms.

With a clinical trial of ONE experience, I have to admit, and I don’t ordinarily care for condoms, but I kind of like running with the condom.


I ran six miles today in 50 minutes.  There was a little discomfort in the toe, but quite frankly, it was not comfortable before the run.  And it certainly was not worse.  I have been taping with Coban tape previously, but I think I like the toe condom better.

I highly recommend practicing safe running!


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It started out innocently enough.  An odd pain in my heel.

It could have been the clown shoes.  That’s around the time it started.

It could have been the rock I found wedged in the heel of my Mizuno running shoes.  I have no idea how long that was there.

Rock my sole in the bosom of Mizuno

Rock my sole in the bosom of Mizuno

But the pain continued and swept through my heel like Germany invading Poland, and my plantar fascia put up about as much resistance as a legion of the French Army armed to the teeth with white handkerchiefs.

I feared a stress fracture.  My podiatrist called it plantar fasciitis.

I call it plantar fascism.

I am a runner.  It wasn’t a fracture.  So I continued to run.  I’m an American . . . I couldn’t let the fascists win.

The pain continued to escalate.

I tried stretches.  A night brace while sleeping (which actually enabled me to walk to the bathroom in the morning without pain.)  And ice.  Ibuprofen by the bottle.  I even allowed the podiatrist to inject my foot with steroids.  You’d think the needle alone would frighten away the pain.  Or me screaming like a girl.

As I limped home one day, I had an epiphany.

Runners are well aware of the theology here.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12, versus 12-26:

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body . . . And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.

I had to stop running for a while.


There.  I said it.  I am sore ashamed.  And my heel was sore.

But one part was making it miserable for all the other parts, and some of my other parts were very unhappy about it.

My heel needed healing.

But I am happy to report (as are my other body parts) that after a brief rest (4-11-13 through 4-30-13) I am back on the road, with only a hint of discomfort after a 6-8 mile run.  I still stretch and ice it down afterward.  I am still wearing the brace at night–just in case.

Because you never know when the fascists (or fasciitis) will return!

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It’s probably a good thing that my cataract surgery patients are in the twilight zone during surgery.  Conversations are often random, and, um, difficult to explain.  Hence the strange title of today’s post.

It all started innocently enough.  The surg tech who helps me injured her foot running on the dreadmill treadmill.  She fears she might have a stress fracture in her foot, probably from wearing minimalist shoes (Skele-toes.)  I can certainly sympathize with that, having dealt with a stress fracture in my tibia last year.

So between cases she had one of our local podiatrists look at her x-rays.  After checking the x-ray, she was concerned that our surg tech may have a stress problem.  But she also commented that her navicular bone was particularly nice.  Attractive, even.  For a bone.

“Are you hitting on me?” our surg tech quipped.

Nice navicular, babe!

This begat a random conversation about the sexiness (is that a word?) of a navicular bone.

“Hey babe!  Nice navicular!”

“What’s a nice navicular like you doing in a place like this?”

“Do you come here to be imaged often?”

I think the rest of us, those with mundane naviculars, were suffering navicular envy.  After all, some of us have cold feet.  There’s shrinkage!

Then the radio announcer came on with a call-in contest where you have to answer a question of the day.  The question today was, how long can a snail sleep without eating?  Now I don’t know about you, but I sleep every night without eating, but I don’t think that is what they meant.  The DJ further added that the answer was according to Wiki answers.  So the first caller won, being the fastest to surf the net and then call the station.

Three years.

Seriously?  How do you sleep for three years, with or without food?  I know snails are slow, but that is ridiculous!

But before the answer was revealed, there was the requisite discussion amongst the operating room staff.

Our circulating nurse offered that cockroaches can survive 90 days without eating.  In fact, they can survive without their heads.

What kind of life is that?  Three months without your head.  Obviously, you couldn’t eat if you wanted to at that point.  You couldn’t communicate with other cockroaches.  You couldn’t see where you were going.  Why would you even want to go anywhere?  I don’t know what the quality of life is for the average cockroach, but I would imagine that it is diminshed even further by the lack of one’s head.

If you only had three months to live, would you want to live that time without your head?  And, according to this article, it may be only weeks they can survive.  The head can survive too, “waving its antennae back and forth for several hours until it runs out of steam. . .  If given nutrients and refrigerated, a roach head can last even longer.”  Isn’t that good to know?

But that was cockroaches.  She thought snails reproduced by extruding something out of their mouths that contacted another snail doing the same.  But then she corrected herself.  That was slugs, not snails.

Unprotected Slug Porn

I’m not sure how you get from headless cockroaches to slug porn, but by God we did it.

I wonder if I can count this toward continuing medical education?

Probably not, unless I start treating cockroaches and horny slugs.

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As a runner (25-35 miles per week for the past ten years or so) I have gone through the gamut of running-related injuries including Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, sore knees, shin splints, ankle sprains, hip pain, and perhaps the most famous of all, the runner’s toe.  This latter is probably the least painful on the list, but there have been nights after a fresh bleed under the nail that the incessant throbbing has kept me awake.

Over the course of time, I have suffered purple toenails in three toes, all on the same foot.  Only the piggie that went to market and the one that cried wee, wee, wee all the way home have been spared.

After a brief consult with a podiatrist, I decided to have the nails removed from the three offending piggies.  She wanted to remove them permanently, but that sounded, well, so permanent.  I mean, what if I become a cross dresser some day and want to wear open-toed stilettos?  How will I paint my nails if there are no nails to paint?  I couldn’t take that chance.

So I opted for simple surgical removal.  Simple and surgery should never be used in the same sentence, although technically, I used the word surgical instead of surgery.

The podiatrist in question operates in the same surgery center that I do on the same day.  So we agreed this past week to do this simple procedure after I had finished my slate of cataract surgeries.  I’m thinking she will use some really sharp scissors and cut them back much the way I would do at home with nail clippers.  Wipe away the blood clots and I would be good to go.  Probably just do it in the surgeon’s lounge as long as no one was trying to eat.   I’d probably be running later that afternoon since the sun was finally shining here in central PA. 

I was mistaken about the simplicity of this procedure.

I was told to go to room six, which is the room where I normally operate.  I feel comfortable there, but I’d still rather just have it done in the lounge or in the hall.  It was done by the podiatrist, in the hall, with scissors.  It’s not that big of a deal.

They wheel in this big operating room table–the kind you do orthopedic or neurosurgery on, not the kind you use for eye surgery.

“What’s that for?” I ask innocently.

“For you.  Hop on.”

Really?  I’m just having a couple of nails cut off.  I can just sit in the chair over there.

No I can’t.

My staff is busy with gowns and gloves and setting up a table of instruments.  I don’t know whether I’m in for a lobotomy or a nail removal, but from the sheer volume of instruments, it looks a lot more complicated than I thought.  I’m starting to fear for my appendix.

Fortunately, before I can think too much about what is going on and change my mind, the surgeon comes in.

She asks for the anesthetic.  I’m just having the nails removed.  But you are going to want them numbed before I do that.  The way she said that made me want them numb.

“Can I have a smaller needle?”  She laughs.  They gave her an 18-gauge needle.  We’re in the eye room–I’m sure we have smaller needles.

“Can I have some morphine?  Or Fentanyl?   Or Propofol (Michael Jackson’s drug of choice)?”  I hope I didn’t sound too whiny or pathetic.  I am.  But I don’t want to sound that way.

“Don’t you have anything smaller?  This is a one and a half-inch needle.  I’d rather have a one.”

“Will somebody get her a smaller needle?!”  Now I just sound scared.  Or desperate.  Or both.  Scary desperation.  Desperately frightened.  Throbbing in my toes every few weeks isn’t so bad, is it?

They didn’t have to hold me down, per se, but I think someone sat alongside my legs and leaned over.  They said it was so I wouldn’t be tempted to watch.  Or move.  Or run away.

Now I’m paranoid.  Scarily, desperately paranoid.  I want to hang on to my appendix and my spleen but I’m afraid they will just make fun of me.

“What are you doing down there?”  I think I may pass out.  I’ll probably fall on the floor and break my nose.  I think the ENT guy is in room three, lucky for me.  Maybe he uses Fentanyl.

“We’re just cleaning the skin with a little alcohol.”

Can I have some to drink?  Is the Fentanyl here yet?

But alas, all I was going to get was a series of injections at the base of my toes with a short, sharp needle.  The medication burned a little at first.  I was being injected with tabasco sauce.  I don’t remember much after that.  But they didn’t need to call ENT so apparently I didn’t fall on the floor.  Well, at least I didn’t fracture my nose.  I take an aspirin a day because of a history of atrial fibrillation, and so I bled like a stuck piggie.  Three stuck piggies truth be told.  By the time they finished wrapping my numb hemorrhaging toes, I couldn’t fit my shoe on.  They got me some kind of boot to wear home.  Thankfully, no one called a stat type and cross to room six.

I figured if I got pulled over by the cops for speeding, I could blame it on the boot.  My foot is numb, officer, I couldn’t feel the pedal on the floor.

I made it home just fine and elevated my foot as I was told to do.  Initially she had recommended no running for two weeks, but I think we both knew that wouldn’t happen.  That was also when she was planning on permanently removing them by cauterizing the nail bed with Phenol.

So after three days, I jogged 4 miles today with no pain and no bleeding.  Probably could have run sooner, but my wife frowned on that.

My doctor was wonderful, but all the same, I hope they grow back normally and I never have to go through that again.

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