Recently a patient came to my office with complaints of severe foot and arch pain. She has been experiencing this pain for over four months and it was now preventing her from walking with her friends. Walking with friends was a social and exercise activity she did 3 to 4 days a week. This was her way to relieve stress and spend time with her friends. She went to multiple doctors for this issue. The first doctor she went to was her primary care physician. The PCP did a five-minute examination without even touching her foot and told her that she had strained the foot and proceeded to prescribe her 800 mg of Motrin. He also told her to stop walking and the foot may heal on its own.
After one month of not doing anything she went back to the doctor and told him her foot was no better than when she had initially came in. The doctor then sent her to physical therapy. After waiting almost 3 weeks to get a physical therapy appointment she proceeded to undergo physical therapy for four additional weeks. During physical therapy they showed her strengthening and stretching exercises and worked on her core. She thought this was strange since she had a foot problem. After every visit they would ice the foot for 10-15 minutes. She felt like sometimes this would make her foot feel worse and cause a lot of stiffness.
With over four weeks of physical therapy under her belt and still no improvement she decided to seek out a podiatrist. She assumed a foot specialist would definitely know what was going on. At this point she was very frustrated, not being able to walk and was gaining weight more and more rapidly. Slight depression started to set in. This is something we often see with runners and athletes when they are unable to train or workout.
After finding a podiatrist within her insurance network she scheduled an appointment immediately. At her visit the podiatrist did a quick five-minute examination and said that he could fix her foot but she would need custom orthotics. At this point she became frustrated. She was willing to do whatever it took to get this problem fixed. She decided to pay the $800 and get custom orthotics from the doctor hoping this would be the miracle cure. Without taking any measurements of her foot the doctor had her step into a foam box and took molds of her feet. He then told her that her orthotics would be done in two weeks. She found it odd that he still had not really taken the time to examine the foot.
Two weeks later she got a call from the office and went back in to pick up her new custom orthotics. When she first tried them out they were hard and uncomfortable. The podiatrist told her to try them out and little by little she would get used to them. Not knowing much about orthotics she listened and tried to use these so-called “custom orthotics”. After weeks of using them and still no improvement in her foot she decided to go back to the podiatrist and let him know she was still an enormous amount of pain. He proceeded to tell her that the next course of action would be a Cortisone shot. At first she was apprehensive since she hated the idea of sticking a large needle into her foot but since nothing else was helping she was willing to give it a try. She described this injection as being “the worse pain she had every felt before”.
Once the injection was done, she was told, “that after about 2 to 3 days her foot would feel a lot better and should be pain free”. She waited and waited but her foot got worse. At this point she was at her wits end, feeling more depressed and still continuing to gain weight due to the lack of exercise. One Sunday she was at a frien