Mary decided to visit us at A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care because after starting walking in an effort to lose weight and get fit again, she was getting quite a lot of pain in her right foot. Mary explained that she’d been walking for about 3 weeks, 3 to 4 times a week for about an hour at a time.
Mary is a 49 year old mum of three children she leads a busy life; she works full-time, still runs the family home, volunteers at her husband’s footy club and is trying to get fit!
Mary noticed that she started to get a little bit of pain after each of her walks but put it down to just ‘getting used to walking’. After another week she noticed the pain became more intense and noticed it started very quickly after she began to walk. The week following she noticed the pain began to increase over time it went from hurting when on her walks to eventually hurting when she was not walking at all and all through the day. Mary swears she also has noticed that the arch of her right foot was falling.
After taking a detailed history we began to palpate (push and prod in non-doctor talk) around Mary’s ankle to find the area under the inside of her ankle bone (Her medial malleolus in doctor talk) was very swollen and painful to touch. Using our specialised digital video walk and run analysis equipment we discover that Mary had quite rolled in (over pronated) feet and she was correct, her right foot was more rolled in than her left. We sent Mary off to a radiologist with a referral for an ultrasound to confirm our suspicion that Mary was suffering Posterior Tibialis tendon Dysfunction. She returned that afternoon with exactly that!
Having confirmed our diagnosis, we began looking after Mary with the best quality care available. Firstly before leaving we strapped Mary’s foot to take pressure off the overused tendon, we ordered her a specialised brace for the short term again an immediate relief in pain and after a discussion we also prescribed a pair of custom made orthoses. These will stop the overuse of the tendon by reducing the excessive pronation.
Mary’s results have shown that unlike some people who wait too long, Mary came in quickly and has avoided the need for surgery, which can be necessary if this is left too long and not caught quickly. Her orthotics were manufactured in A Step Ahead’s own orthoses laboratory using our custom made milling system and hand finished by our technicians. After a fitting and wearing her orthoses for several weeks we also began a series soft tissue therapy sessions with our team to help rehabilitate the damaged muscle.
The good news – Mary’s ankle and foot is now back to normal and she has started back to walking slowly! After we designed a ‘return to exercise’ program for her to follow, she has reduced the chance of re-injuring her foot. Rehab took quite some time but was made easier by Mary’s compliance and her willingness to work hard at getting better.
Its always rewarding for our team to meet people like this who are striving to get back to health!