Chronic foot injury (interosseous strain and stress fractures)
Over two years ago after I had run a marathon, I was diagnosed with an interosseous strain in my foot. I didn't think much of it – wore the boot, rested, etc but I never got better. I've been in a boot on and off, had long periods of PT where I focused on strengthening, received custom orthotics, etc. and my injury keeps getting worse. I now have stress fractures in both of my feet as well and it's becoming almost impossible to walk even around the house. I've tried extended rest in boots/on crutches and also really dedicated myself to PT and everything in between, and no luck. I am 30, female, and otherwise very healthy and in shape. Arthritis has been ruled out, steroid shots have not helped, Prolotherapy has not helped, dry needling has not helped, high level NSAIDs have not helped… PRP is so expensive and I'm a doctoral student.
Has anyone else dealt with a similar chronic musculoskeletal injury and have you ever figured out how to improve? My next steps are to ask about prolozone, maybe try extracorporeal shock wave treatment, MLS laser therapy, bite the bullet and do PRP, enter a rehab program at Spaulding….it just all feels like a shot in the dark, and in the meantime, even daily living is becoming really stressful and I just want my life back.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Chronic Pain Support Group.
Oh – and I have been using a bone stimulator on both feet for the past two months to treat the stress fractures. That has not helped either.
Hi Laura, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm tagging fellow member @jenniferhunter @contentandwell @mouser @danielcwest @allegro @migizii who may be able to offer some tips and thoughts with dealing with stress fractures.
I've also added this discussion to the Bones, Joints & Muscles group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/arthritis-and-joint-conditions-268850/
It sure sounds like you are pursuing all avenues. How are you keeping up your physical fitness during this time?
Sorry about your foot problems. Any consideration given to complex regional pain syndrome as a diagnosis ? It seems as though you have been through a lot with those foot injuries. I had the boot, crutches, cane, all kinds of mobility issues. Finally I saw a physiatrist, got proper diagnosis and then my journey to recovery. First step was to get rid of the boot! Ugly thing. Then Physio by a specialist in CRPS. Final step to getting over the last little bit of pain was walking every day. Good luck. Hope this helps.
Thanks Colleen! I swim, do lots of stuff on the mat with ankle weights and leg bands and such, and can bike (albeit slowly) if I press from my heels or midfoot instead. I really miss running, hiking, and even walking around my house pain-free though!
Yes, the boots are awful! I feel you there. For me the stress fractures and interrosseous strain (now a grade 2) are showing up on MRIs still, so no CRPS diagnosis, the pain seems to be connected to that. I am seeing a physiatrist next month and hopefully they can help somehow though!
Well best of luck with the physiatrist. I think that it is important that any physiotherapist that you see following your appointment is a Physio that he/she recommends as someone with specific experience dealing with treating your condition.
@migizii. I’m not sure how to help as I’ve been on a roller coaster since having 3 stress fractures in my foot in 2019. It took about 9 months to heal the fractures-alternating between boot, cast, etc….injections following with little improvement. Fusion surgery in 2020 and removal of hardware in 2021. My foot is better but still hurts daily. I’ve done PT and continue to do HEP, daily icing and daily walking as tolerated. I also ride on a recumbent stationary bike a few times a week. I wish the best in your journey.
Thank you @migizii, I hope it continues to improve for you! Is your current foot pain related to the injury still – like are there still bone or soft tissue problems showing up on an MRI for you? I'm hoping to get to a place where the pain is manageable and not necessarily making my injury worse if I try and push through it.
Also, did you happen to have a fifth metatarsal fracture? I have two of those and I've heard they are notoriously slow healing bones.
@migizii. I had 3 & 4th metatarsal stress fractures. I’m hoping I’m still in the healing phase after hardware removal and I haven’t had an. MRI. I guess I’m tired of it all. Just found out xrays are fine but my lumbar spine has change for the worse, so I will be focusing my issues there for now…..maybe I should have regi
@migizii…Sry this got cutoff somehow…. I was thinking maybe I should have retired before 65, so I could have had some fun instead of focusing my time in these areas….LOL….