Stress, Fractured

Here's the entry in my journal for Wednesday, 21 October, 2021:

The “jammed toe” pain, whatever it is, went from “this is mildly uncomfortable” yesterday morning, to “I can't walk or put on a shoe” last night. [...] Fourth toe is swollen and pain is below ball of foot at that joint, too. WTF — I can barely walk.

The initial diagnosis was metatarsalgia, because I don't remember any kind of trauma to the foot. After consulting with an orthopaedic surgeon and an orthesist, I got orthotics at the beginning of December that relieve pressure on the metatarsal head, and also correct some arch and footfall issues.

While the pain is far better, that toe is still swollen today, just over 100 days later. No, I'm not sharing photos of it; no one deserves that.

I finally got a CT scan done of the foot a couple of weeks ago. Turns out, it looks like there was a stress fracture; they can't see the fracture itself, indicating that it's perfectly aligned and will set nicely, but they do see evidence of the area healing itself from a stress fracture.

Selected causes, from the linked Mayo Clinic article on stress fractures:

  • Increased activity. Stress fractures often occur in people who suddenly shift from a sedentary lifestyle to an active training regimen or who rapidly increase the intensity, duration or frequency of training sessions.
  • Foot problems. People who have flat feet or high, rigid arches are more likely to develop stress fractures. Worn footwear contributes to the problem.

That sounds about right. I was trying to get back into shape, and I do have foot issues.

So anyways, it's healing nicely, but slowly. It'll take another 3 or 4 months before I can jog or jump, which pretty much takes my goal of “couch-to-5K by May” and throws it in the garbage.

Oh well. Patient's gotta be patient.