Thursday, June 2, 2011

toe-grinding 2: maybe another time

I canceled the surgery today, after seeing the surgeon yesterday. It was turning out to be more extensive and with a longer recovery, and while I was at aikido last night, it occurred to me that I'm not quite ready to give it up for any number of months.

About 10% of humans have an extra bone in their big toe. I'm one of them, and somehow the bone spur is interacting with it? And since the pain is where that extra bone is, there would be an incision in the pad of the toe to grind down the spur and take the bone out. That means 3 weeks on crutches, instead of 2-7 days, and an even longer recovery--even with the regular bone spur on the side of the toe, most patients report it takes at least a year to feel really healed.

I had the surgery scheduled for the 14th, and I'm just not ready to be on crutches for 3 weeks on short notice. Also I live in a second-floor one-bedroom apartment with no couch and steep stairs.

My plan is to stop running: I'll join the local gym and do elliptical or whatever. Stopping running should let me keep doing aikido. And I'll probably investigate some kind of bodywork: I'm not satisfied with this problem suddenly appearing 6 weeks ago, after not bothering me at all for the years since the root injury (fracturing the toe joints). It just doesn't add up, and the doctor didn't seem to have a good explanation for what's going on in there, which doesn't exactly make me want to cut my foot open and start removing bones.

So I'll try this for a few months and see how it goes.


  1. Good luck. I hope the pain goes away when you stop running.

  2. It sort of has, though not as much as one would think, even when I go a stretch without aikido.