the beach and my foot

The beach sand was not kind to my pitiful right toe. For folks who follow the blog, I finally broke down and had someone tell me exactly what the problem is back in April. Click here for that beautiful X-ray of my toe…. with no cartilage at all to prevent the bones from scraping on each other.

I was coming to terms with the fact that I would never run again, but when walking on the beach sand barefooted caused severe pain, I decided there had to be other options than this… toe fusion…


Joints shaved and fused together with a plate and screws which means no pain, but also no movement (i.e., you can no longer bend your big toe).

At the beach, I decided to look for other alternatives via Google. A good and bad thing to do as a lay person. By the time we came home, I had a few options I was interested in exploring.

But after 3 long walks (not runs) on the beach and barefoot walking, I was in serious pain. I decided it was time to try out the cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation as a first line of treatment. There are some people that can get these injections a few times a year and it makes the arthritis tolerable. So I went in for the giant needle. Of course Samantha came along and asked to see my initial X-ray. She also demonstrated the full range of motion with her big toe for the podiatrist. Sigh. That kid is destined to be in some sort of medical profession.

The podiatrist was also excited to share with me that her practice has decided to offer a less invasive option than the toe fusion after seeing the initial 5 year data on this intervention. It was one of the treatments I had Googled at the beach. Here it is.


Next step? A second opinion from a foot and ankle specialist at Duke. Rahul is working on that for me.

But I am getting giddy with excitement that I might have an outpatient surgery option to fix my feet so that I can run again. My brain wants this so much. And more importantly, I want to be able to walk on the beach sand without pain.

So fingers crossed this fancy silicone implant can help me. Outpatient surgery, only local anesthesia, no driving for only 2 weeks seems doable. I might be getting a new toe for Christmas. If Santa can bring that, I will be one happy girl!


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