I’ve had what I believe was a tendon injury before. I braced myself with my right arm, reached over, and lifted something heavy from the floor. I lifted it from full extension, and a day or two later it started hurting me bad. It took a while to heal, and I still feel sore from time to time.
Back in June, I hurt my right foot. I can’t be certain, but I think it happened when I was lifting some very heavy boxes unassisted. Some of them went up stairs, and it was a strain on everything.
I lifted with my legs, and stopped when I felt like the weight was too much.
I think I was wearing shoes, and not boots or safety boots. I remember this because I was extra cautious about my foot placement.
Sometime after that work, my achilles area was feeling sore.
And when I backed my heel into things, I felt a strong sharp pain.
I was limping about a little bit, figuring maybe I injured my heel. I mean, I could move it without strain, and the pain and weakness only came when I put weight on my foot. Weird.
After about a month of pain, some weakness, and limping about, I went to a foot and ankle doctor.
I had inflammation in my tendons, and he diagnosed me with achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. He also gave me a cortisone shot, which numbed me initially and helped relieve the pain for a few days.
I had to wear an immobilizing boot as much as I can, and was told to ice the area nightly, and once during the day if I could.
About 2 weeks later, I’m feeling much better, but I’ll still wear the immobilizer when walking around a lot.
But there’s another problem – I have a pinched nerve in the same foot, leading to my 4th toe feeling a bit numb.
The doctor said it’s common, and that it’s hard to tell what caused it. It could be from the same time I injured my tendons, or it could have resulted from my over-compensating due to the tendon injury, placing extra pressure on the ball of my foot.
A quick ultrasound showed some inflammation.
A quick cortisone shot and instructions to ice the toe and continue wearing the immobilizer boot, and I was on my way.
It’s the weirdest feeling. Until I felt the distinctiveness numbness, there were minor irregularities in sensation. It felt like maybe my toenail was too long, and when walking around the kitchen barefoot there were a few times when the floor felt sticky. Apparently that “sticky” feeling is a very characteristic of a pinched toe nerve.
There’s a reason I’m mentioning all this. I limped around for a month, probably making things worse.
The doctor said that most people wait a lot longer – several months – with this type of injury, and that I came in early.
After 2 weeks, my foot is mostly better, aside from the numbness in my 4th toe. I was really tempted to continue waiting for it to heal on its own. It was the contact pain, and not the movement discomfort that led me to go to the doctor. The sharp pain had me convinced that maybe I hurt the bone in my heel.
I know that a lot of people don’t like to go to doctors. But in this case, how long would I have suffered with this new-to-me tendon pain before it might have healed on its own? Definitely a lot longer than the few weeks I’m wearing the immobilizer boot.