Over the last few months I’ve had a problem with an injury. I have been suffering with a foot problem which has stopped me from running. Leigh my wife says that I’m like a bear with a sore head when I can’t run as I get frustrated and cranky. The injury has interfered with my training big-time, as running is usually the backbone to my routine. I enjoy running, it is a way to get away from it all, whilst enjoying fresh air and open space. Running gives my brain time to free-wheel and to mull things over. When I can’t run, my life doesn’t flow and I lose motivation.
So, what is the injury? After years of running, sometimes long distances, the heel strikes have resulted in a reaction. My foot has developed extra bone growth at the back of the heel as a reaction to constant heel-strike impacts. The medical term for this bone growth is Haglund’s deformity. Although I also have a couple of small spurs growing in another area of my heel.
This extra bone is causing the ligament to be stretched and causes pain, not so much when I’m actually running, but the next morning when I get out of bed, I can’t walk because of severe pain.
The good news is that after months of seeing physio’s and doctors, I have finally been referred to a specialist, and went for my first consultation yesterday. He confirmed that the problem is Haglund’s disease and heel spurs, and that surgery is needed. The operation procedure will require the surgeon to slice and dice to remove the extra bone. Afterwards, I will need to be in a full-leg plaster cast for 2 weeks, then an ankle-cast for a further four weeks, followed by 4-6 weeks on crutches. Of course, it will be impossible to do any of my usual training during this time. I won’t be able to run, swim, cycle, row or use the elliptical trainer. I will have to turn to alternative ways to keep fit. I might be able to do some stretching, perhaps some core-stability work. Hmm, I’ll think on that.
After the 10-12 weeks out of action I will need to build up gradually back to full capacity. Luckily the surgery is not urgent, it just means I can’t run until it’s sorted. So, the surgery will simply have to wait until after the RAAM event, so I will be booking the surgery probably for July.