I always say that seeing patients is the best part of my job, and that’s true: I love spending my days meeting new people and reconnecting with established friends. But what I especially appreciate about my specific field of medicine is how I can truly change my patients’ lives, often in just one or two office visits.
I know that living with foot pain can be debilitating. And I know that it’s easy to give up the hope that you’ll ever walk comfortably again. But I’m here to tell you: that’s just not true. And I’ll be checking in with you periodically to share inspirational stories from the patients whose lives have turned around here at Tanglewood Foot Specialists.
Hard Problems, Easy Answers: Yes, it’s Possible
Just recently, I saw a man in his 50’s, who came to the office complaining of severe pain on the inside of his ankle. But the problem didn’t stay there: the pain extended to his arch, and he noticed that arch was beginning to drop. By the time he saw me, the difference from his other foot and ankle was markedly visible. Not only that: his pain level was so extreme, he was only able to walk if he wore one pair of high tops that laced all the way to the top. In short, he was desperate for relief.
First things first: I had to take his pain levels down, so I started this patient on a course of anti-inflammatory medication. I also gave him a cortisone injection, to relieve some of the sight-specific discomfort. Next, I sent him for an MRI, and secured his diagnosis: damage to the posterior tibial tendon.
Now I knew the source of the problem, I could start treating the underlying issue, instead of just putting virtual band-aids on his painful symptoms. So, rather than continuing with medication and cortisone injections, which could further damage his tendon over time, I suggested going down a different treatment road, and this patient was ready to give it a shot!
So, here’s what we did: I gave him an injection of platelet rich plasma into and around the tendon. This injection is special because it contains concentrated platelets spun from the patient's own blood. This nutrient-rich fluid is full of growth factors and release stem cells to repair the injury. I gave the injection under ultrasound guidance to be sure it hit the exact right spot.
The Road to Tendon Recovery: Faster Than Ever Before Imagined
And guess what? Three weeks later, at our follow-up appointment, dramatic changes were apparent. The swelling was completely gone; pain in and around the injection site had been reduced to a well-managed level. So, now that the pain was truly controlled, it was time to protect the mechanics of the tendon and prevent a recurrence. And we did this by fitting my patient for a custom orthotic.
Now, down the road, he may benefit from another platelet rich plasma injection in another section of his tendon, since it still gives him a bit of trouble. But, the point of my story is this. With just two, non-invasive treatments (a special injection and custom orthotics) we changed the ending on a story of pain and debilitation. In just three weeks, we returned pain-free mobility to this patient. And we can do the same for you as well, if only you’ll let us. So stop ignoring that nagging foot pain you’re sure can’t be helped: come into the office and see how easy it can be to get the relief you deserve!