Old Injury Curiousity
about ten years ago when I was 18 I crushed my foot between a job trailer and the ball hitch on my truck. No one could push the trailer off so I was forced to yank it out from between the two while my coworkers rocked the trailer. I immediately removed my shoe and sock and looked at it with some difficulty as it had already started to swell. It was visibly turning black and blue as the blood rushed into it so I replaced my sock and laced up my shoe tightly to restrict the pain. As I was on a deadline for the job I was on i continued to work, although it was in a much decreased capacity. I managed a full work day through the consistent and sharp pains due to the fact that the main point seemed to be in the inner arch and top of my foot and if I walked sideways on it I could manage.
When I got home it was swollen to twice its size and I iced it, took pain killers and elevated as I slept. The next while I was unable to walk on it but did not go to the hospital because I did not think it was necessary (I come from a long line of farm stock that believes that frozen peas and sucking it up is sufficient first aid). Eventually over many months it ceased to pain me unless I was on my feet for long periods of time or landed on my foot awkwardly.
About two or three years ago I started noticing that in times of bad weather (I'm guessing temperature change or change in air pressure) or when I've stood too long on my feet that the sharp pain comes back and I can not walk properly for days. My question to you is this: is it possible that I broke or fractured my foot all those years ago and it healed improperly and is now causing me grief?
Just wondering how best to alleviate this old injury because I am only 28 now and I can only imagine how bad it will become over the years if I don't address it in some way.RESPONSE
There is always the possibility that you broke something when your foot got caught in the manner that
you described; the only way to know would have been an x-ray at the time of the injury, but of course that never happened.
It is certainly more probable that you did do some damage to the bones less severe than a fracture and you also did some damage to the soft tissue of the foot.
Whatever the actual damage to your foot, a few years later you are now starting to suffer foot pain from the original injury.
At this point your pain seems exacerbated in weather changes and when you are on your foot too much.
Weather changes are usually accompanied by changes in barometric pressure. Typically, people with arthritis will start to get aching in their joints when there are changes in barometric pressure and that is why many people can tell when it is going to rain simply because their joints begin to ache.
The type of trauma your foot sustained certainly could have done some damage to the small joints of the foot and it has taken two to three years for the joints to deteriorate to the point where they are now beginning to hurt.
Right now it occurs during temperature changes and when you are on the foot for a period of time. You may soon find that the foot will begin to hurt without temperature changes and excessive activity.
I cannot rule out other sources for your pain, primarily damage to the soft tissue in the affected foot, but, I would have thought that those potential issues would have been a problem from day one. In other words, I cannot imagine soft tissue beginning to hurt a couple of years after the trauma; it more than likely would have occurred from the day of trauma and perhaps gotten progressively worse.
My best advice to you would be to see a local foot specialist, for an examination and a set of x-rays to see the status of your injured foot. The good news is that you are only 28 and most people have no arthritis in their feet at this point in time, so it should be fairly simple to find any arthritis in your foot as a result of your trauma.
Once your doctor has identified the specific cause of your pain, it becomes much easier to come up with a treatment plan.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER