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Ligament strain in foot - recovery time? (Read 461 times)

    Felt a sharp pain in my foot, near the base of the 2nd toe, about 10.5 miles into a 12 mile run. I was able to finish the run, it was painful but not unbearable. After coming home it remained painful when putting any pressure on it, so went to get X-rayed to be safe. They did not find anything. They need to send it out to get the final report which would be able to diagnose stress fracture, but apparently this is unlikely as there would be more swelling & more severe pain. So I am told it is probably a ligament strain and I should stay off it for a while. Arrggh, no running!!

     

    Anyone with similar experience who can give me an estimated recovery time & prognosis? Is this one of those things that once you get it, it keeps recurring?

    Thanks.

    Dave


    Bacon Party!

      I have a history of mild lisfranc strains in both feet - mid-foot at base of metatarsals. I've been very cautious with them, not wanting them to worsen as the fix seems to be nearly as bad as the injury. You will likely need an MRI for a good soft tissue dx - unless there is a joint displacement so bad that it shows up on the xrays.

       

      Recovery and prognosis will depend on getting an accurate diagnosis. Midfoot injuries can be subtle and insidious.

       

      Seriously, I think you'd be better off with a fracture - healing is often more straightforward.

      And, it could be a stress fracture - even without more pain or swelling. I snapped a metatarsal during a race and gimped it to the finish. Then, one week later [after resting it for that week], I ran a 100-mile race on it. Didn't know until after that 2nd race that it was broken - no swelling, no bruising, only bad pain was that day it first snapped.

      Liz

      pace sera, sera

        Ugh. Thanks for the encouraging words. I do think it is different than yours, more forefoot than midfoot. However after further consultation with Dr. Internet (probably more reliable than the Urgent Care clinic I ended up at yesterday anyway), you are right it does sound like it could be a metatarsal stress fracture. Convenient bruising pattern which showed up this morning helps visualize injury location. Still no significant swelling, and pain only moderate. Additional comments/opinions welcome!

         

        Dave


        Bacon Party!

          More forefoot (than mid) is encouraging!

          As you've probably found, if it is a stress fracture, it may not show on the x-rays yet ... tends to take a couple of weeks, then the x-ray picks up signs of healing. It may also be an incipient stress fracture (some call it a stress reaction) - meaning, "back off now, or I'm going to snap!"

           

          In any case, I'd put it in a very stiff / supportive shoe (something just shy of a walking boot / air cast [which, since I have one, I would slap on for a few days]) to protect it pending further medical instruction.

          Liz

          pace sera, sera

            More forefoot (than mid) is encouraging!

            As you've probably found, if it is a stress fracture, it may not show on the x-rays yet ... tends to take a couple of weeks, then the x-ray picks up signs of healing. It may also be an incipient stress fracture (some call it a stress reaction) - meaning, "back off now, or I'm going to snap!"

             

            In any case, I'd put it in a very stiff / supportive shoe (something just shy of a walking boot / air cast [which, since I have one, I would slap on for a few days]) to protect it pending further medical instruction.

            +1. Is it tender to push on area?

            Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

              Yes, although the pain is not severe.

              Dave

                Sounds like stress reaction to me. Pain with walking??? It would be less likely to be a soft tissue injury without a mis-step or injury but sometimes an overuse issue in tendon can pop up. Also, occasional issues pop up in instep from "too tightly tied" shoestrings.

                Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                  I had something similar the end of October after doing a 20k trail walk/run.  My pain was between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal and it was very painful to put any weight on my foot.  I saw a sports Dr. who diagnosed 'mortons neuroma'.  I'm just now back up to speed and no pain.

                  Like you, no stress fracture showed on the x-rays...my understanding is that requires a bone scan to accurately diagnose.

                  Patience!  (something I have near to none of!)  :-)

                   

                  jacQue

                  "Do not reward yourself with food, you're not a dog"

                    Tchuck - yes, pain with walking or putting any weight on it.

                    I may have overdone it a bit in the last week, not sure if I brought it on myself. Somewhat higher than normal mileage/frequency (I have been off work). Plus running on snow/ice, and using (imitation) Yaktrax for the first time.

                     

                    JacQue - how long was your recovery? In reading about it, I am seeing a minimum of 6 weeks off. How does one go that long without running??

                    Dave

                      I went three weeks without running...VERY difficult to do!!!  I was pretty whiny!!  I started back by walking  (twice maybe, ha!) and then after doing two 1/2 mile walks started running 1 mile and then slowly increased my distance.   It's been almost two months and I"m finally back to a good pace and distance again.  Listen to your feet!!!  (I need to practice what I preach!!  LOL)

                      "Do not reward yourself with food, you're not a dog"

                        I had a similar presentation, mis-diagnosed with neuroma, cleared to run, short run caused significant pain. Bone scan finally revealed metatarsal stress fracture. Walking boot for 9 weeks. Learned my lesson though. Cross-training is vital to training. I hope it's not but be careful. Downtime really sucks.

                        Suffering Benefiting from mature onset exercise addiction and low aerobic endorphin release threshold. Hoping there is no cure.

                          So in the mean time - I have not been able to follow up with further tests, due to the holidays. But I can now walk normally with no pain, and bruising/swelling is nearly gone. I am wondering if I should just take another week or two off & try to ease back into a routine. I am afraid if I do get it checked out, they will find some reason to put me in a boot for 6 weeks, and I can kiss an April marathon goodbye. (OK not a good basis for a decision, but I'm sure you all understand.) If it was serious I would not think it would feel better this quickly -- maybe I was overreacting to begin with. Or maybe I am under-reacting now, and I will quickly turn a stress reaction into a fracture.

                           

                          Thoughts?

                          Dave


                          Bacon Party!

                            ***NOT MEDICAL ADVICE***

                             

                            My approach to stress reactions & fractures of the foot ...

                                    OK to resume purposeful walking and maybe running (low intensity & short duration) when the following have been

                            true for 1 week

                                • No pain on palpation
                                • No pain during 1-foot hopping

                            Liz

                            pace sera, sera