Out With the Boot, In With a Cast

Injuries can be tough, especially when you’re not quite sure what’s going on, or what to do. They can also challenge your patience and character. That was kind of the case for me last week. On September 2nd, it was bye-bye boot, and hello cast.

If you can recall, I was put in a boot in August due to peroneal tendon subluxation, which is the subluxing or dislocation of your peroneal tendons over the lateral malleolus. This subluxing can occur because of a loose or torn retinaculum (a sheath that hold the two peroneal tendons in place), a shallow groove in which the tendons sit, or something specific with the peroneal tendons.

Anyways, I saw the doctor on Wednesday and the tendons were still coming over the lateral malleolus and there was still a lot of pain. The next best thing to do was apparently put it in a walking cast. (No crutches at least, yay!) The cast will have to stay on for a month, and the intent of having my leg in a cast is to hopefully immobilize the tendons better than the boot did.

With the little amount of time I’ve had this cast on, I can tell you all that they’re pretty weird. When the technician first put it on it felt kind of soft and it was a little wet. After a few minutes the cast warmed up, hardened, and then I couldn’t move my ankle! I thought it was a really weird feeling. The thing I liked about wearing a boot was the fact that I could take it off to shower and scratch my leg if it was itchy. Those are things that I definitely cannot do with a cast on. Wearing a cast is a new challenge for sure.

Even with the many visits to doctors of all sorts, I was curious to know what was actually going on with the tendons, so to get an image of that, I had an MRI done on Thursday, the next day. The MRI showed that I had a longitudinal tear on one of my peroneal tendons. Longitudinal tears are not common. (Not good!)

The cast has been a huge struggle for the past week, and my family and I wanted a second opinion on the cast and my ankle. It’s so hard to do daily tasks like bathing and even walking! My mom and I went and saw a orthopedic surgeon this past Thursday. He informed us that there was a very unlikely chance that my tendons would heal in the cast, and surgery was the best way to go. I did get my cast off and my foot is back in a boot until the surgery.

So this upcoming Wednesday, Sept. 16th, I will be getting surgery to repair the torn tendon. The orthopedic doctor/surgeon looked at my MRI and noted that I had a shallow groove, which makes it more likely for the tendons to come out of the groove again, so he will shift one of my bones back 1 cm to trap the tendons where they’re supposed to stay. Then they’ll put screws in the bones so that they’ll heal together and then I’ll have to wait for six weeks, in a boot. I might even be able to walk five days after the surgery. (Woohoo!)

Never in my whole life did I expect to be excited for surgery, but I am truly excited to get this over with. I’ve been having issues with my left foot for about a year in a half,first the sesamoid and now the ankle issues and tendon, and I am really starting to get frustrated with everything that is going on. I want to thank everyone who has been supporting me and doing their best to help me get better and find answers. I look forward to a speedy recovery and hope to be back on the courts soon! 🙂

Out With the Boot, In With a Cast