Hi, my name is Lauren Adler. I know this is a long shot to write to you, but I
am determined to find an answer for my problem, and I was hoping you guys might
be able to help.
Almost seven years ago I got an injury which no one has been able to identify.
It began as a strange pain along the outsides of my feet, accompanied often with
a more vague pain in the inner arches. This has gotten worse over the years so
that now even fast walking can bring it on. I have tried many times to ignore
the pain and run through it, but within a few days of short runs, I develop
tendonitis in my Achilles tendon, on the outsides of my ankles. It also led to
severe pain and pressure in my shins which made it hard to walk. A specialist
at UCSD finally identified this as compartment syndrome. The surgery he
performed was totally successful and ended the pain in my shins.
I still have not, however, been able to correct the problem in my feet. I have
gone to the "best" doctors in California, and two in New York City. None of
them have agreed, and none of them has come up with a diagnosis. The one thing
I know is that it is conclusively not plantar fasciitis; that's the one thing
they've agreed upon. I also am fairly certain based on doctors and research
that it cannot be a pinched nerve.
My problem now is that I do not know where else to look; I have run out of
leads. I know I cannot be the only person on earth who has this injury! I was
a serious competitive runner my whole life, since my dad took me out to the
track when I was five to run a lap with him. I have not been able to run for
almost 7 years.
Now I am searching for the best doctors in the US and abroad so they can figure
out what the problem is and find a way or teach me a way to fix it. I will go
anywhere if it means I could run again.
If you know of any of your doctors who could be helpful in solving extremely
difficult and (apparently) rare problems, you cannot imagine how grateful I
would be. Even a lead on where I should continue looking would be great. I'm
sure you know of the incredible frustration of not being able to compete again,
let alone never run again!
Thanks so much for your time in reading this long letter by a random runner (or
I guess non-runner!), and for any information you might have. I look forward to
hearing from you!
Lauren, naturally I have great empathy for you as you deal with your
frustrations. While your pain mugt have been defined as a compartment syndrome
at one point, I can't help but believe that your problem is grounded in
biomechanics. Whatyou have to ask yourself is "who is zooming who?". It occurs
to me that if the pain originates in the outside of your foot, you are probably
a supinator, and your primary contact is with the lateral border of the foot.
But you have to get your foot on the ground in order to accelerate during push
off, so you rollto the inside, abnormally loading your transverse arch during
that phase of the gait cycle. If any of this is the case, then it is
understanable to see why and how you develop a compartment syndrome since the
muscles that control the foot are primarily in the lower leg. If I were to see
you, I would begin with a biomechanical assessment, and I would make orthotics
that overcorrected your mechanics - a lot- for running, and some for walking. I
advise you to seek the same approach wherever you are.
Check your E-mail for sugg