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Left foot turns outward after knee surgery (Read 2660 times)

    I had left knee surgery twice to remove plica. The 1st was about 2 years ago, and the 2nd was just 4 weeks ago. I was a pretty symmetrical runner, both feet would point pretty much straight ahead while running, but after my 1st surgery, my left foot would point outward about 20 degrees during the recovery phase of my stride. It has since become more pronounced after my 2nd surgery. I notice, just before pushoff, my left foot seems to rotate outward (or maybe it's my heel rotating inward), and it remains rotated until just before footfall where it quickly corrects itself again and lands fairly straight ahead. My physical therapist says don't worry about it unless it causes a problem. It doesn't seem to cause any major problems. I do get occasional hip pain on my left side, I'm not sure it's related though. It just looks weird. Mostly out of curiosity, I've googled around to see if I can find a possible cause, such as a tight or weak muscle somewhere. That would be my guess as the cause, from favoring something after surgery. Most of what I've found is related to infants. Other places simply have said stuff like "concentrate on keeping it straight". So I'm not sure if I need to correct this or not. All I know is I used to run with both feet straight ahead, and now I don't, and I'm wondering why.
      I don't have any useful advice Bob but I'm interested to hear other replies too. I used to be a ballet dancer and I still have a "turnout" to my stance. When I run my right foot turns out from this but not my left. I have been like that forever and I remember one worker at the running store laughing at me because it was so odd. He didn't seem to think it was a big problem either and I kinda forgot about it. But after running a marathon this year I have come across a bunch of knee issues, mainly a deterioration of the cartilage and medial meniscus in my right knee. It is partially genetic but the weardown may have been enhanced by less than stellar knee tracking and I wonder if the turnout of my leg and foot played a role in this. Good luck on your recovery from surgery. How was your healing this time compared to your first surgery?
        My right foot has ALWAYS turned out, since I was very young. My mom took me to a podiatrist who made me wear a heavy insert in ugly oxford shoes, and it didn't do a thing. I'm thinking it's probably not a coincidence that it's my right foot and ankle that have had problems - achilles tendonitis and sore arch. If I TRY to keep my foot straight, it makes my leg feel strained, so I stopped doing that. Oh, well, at least I'm running and don't worry about what I look like anymore.
          I don't have any useful advice Bob but I'm interested to hear other replies too. I used to be a ballet dancer and I still have a "turnout" to my stance. When I run my right foot turns out from this but not my left. I have been like that forever and I remember one worker at the running store laughing at me because it was so odd. He didn't seem to think it was a big problem either and I kinda forgot about it. But after running a marathon this year I have come across a bunch of knee issues, mainly a deterioration of the cartilage and medial meniscus in my right knee. It is partially genetic but the weardown may have been enhanced by less than stellar knee tracking and I wonder if the turnout of my leg and foot played a role in this. Good luck on your recovery from surgery. How was your healing this time compared to your first surgery?
          Hi Shaunna! Ballet dancer! Is ballet as hard on your feet and the rest of your body as it seems? No wonder your foot turns out. One of the things I read about having a turnout is that normally it won't cause problems. But if you run a lot (!), and if the turnout causes even the slightest misalignment somewhere, then you take that issue and repeat it 10, 20, 30 thousand times.... you are bound to run into problems at some point. There are so many variables that cause injuries, so who knows if any of this is a problem or not. I hope you get yours figured out. Thanks for asking about my surgery. I am 4 weeks post operation. My guess is I am 2-3 weeks ahead of where I was the last time I had my first surgery. But to be fair, this time around, the procedure was a lot simpler. In the first round, I had been dealing with the issue for about 20 years, so there was a lot to be fixed. The 2nd time around involved cutting out some plica that remained from the first surgery, plus cleaning up some residual scar tissue. Much less cutting out of stuff was involved.
          My right foot has ALWAYS turned out, since I was very young. My mom took me to a podiatrist who made me wear a heavy insert in ugly oxford shoes, and it didn't do a thing. I'm thinking it's probably not a coincidence that it's my right foot and ankle that have had problems - achilles tendonitis and sore arch. If I TRY to keep my foot straight, it makes my leg feel strained, so I stopped doing that. Oh, well, at least I'm running and don't worry about what I look like anymore.
          Hi Teresa! Good to hear from you. The body is amazing at how it adapts to conditions, isn't it? I've seen photos of elite runners who's feet really twist outward, and I figure if they can do it, so can we!
            Ballet was brutal on my feet in terms of appearance (bleeding, blisters, lost toenails, etc) but the only actual injury I had in all those years was a stress fracture in my big toe and that was from tap dancing on concrete (who knew the mini-practice studio my dad put in in the basement that was just flooring on top of cement would be bad?). Other than that dancing was fine on the rest of my body even with 4 hours a day. Amazing what the body can handle as a teenager. I'm not even that much older now but I can't imagine doing the stuff I used to do to it anymore! Glad to hear your recovery is going well. The first few months after my knee surgery this year I thought I'd never be able to squat down again and I'm glad to find out that isn't the case! I don't know if weakness or tightness in certain muscles makes a difference but I do know that I have been a lot more careful with "balancing" my strength workouts with similar weights and reps on opposing muscles. I still have crazy strong quads from dancing and I'm trying to get my hamstrings to a comparable level rather than making the imbalance worse. I'm guessing your PT is having you do that already since your turnout appears to stem from your surgeries. Good luck! MTA: spelling
              If it helps, my right foot has turned out for the 18 years or so of my running career, some of which have included some pretty serious training. So, I agree with your PT. If it gives you problems, you might worry about it. If not, then don't.
                Shaunna, it sounds like ballet was good preparation for the rigors of marathon training.... the long hours, the beat up feet, and the day to day dedication. I'm sorry, I don't know about your knee surgery history. How are things going since then? I know what you mean about being able to squat down. I really can't do that too well at the moment either, but luckily running doesn't involve squatting down! After my first surgery, I was calling my orthopedist constantly with questions about how things felt funny, how I couldn't do certain things yet, etc. It all worked out in the end. The 2nd time around was easier because I already knew what to expect afterwards. Good thoughts about making sure to balance out exercises. Thank you. Jeff, yeah, your turned out foot sure hasn't slowed you down one bit! The key thing you said though was that you've had yours for a long time, so I would imagine that's what your body is used to. For me, this just started less than 2 years ago. So I'm a little worried that problems will arise. They may not, but should I be proactive in trying to correct this? I don't know. Thank you for your perspective.