Statistics indicate that 82% of runners will suffer a running-related injury sooner or later. Hopefully, these injuries are minor and don’t require corrective surgery, but sometimes they do.
About ten years ago, I started to develop a bunion on my right foot. Ah yes, a glamorous bunion! A physical therapist friend informed me I would eventually need corrective surgery. My foot conditioned worsened by and I was diagnosed with “hallux rigidius”. I had pretty much worn all the cartilage out of my right big toe joint and corrective surgery would fuse my toe and foot in a more healthy position.
Before surgery, the arthritis in my big toe joint limited my running range of motion and I started to experience other “compensation” injuries in the form of pulled hamstring and calf muscles. This was the universe telling me the time has come to schedule my overdue foot surgery.
I put myself in the capable hands of Dr. Jay Groves, DPM, whose office is located in Covington, Louisiana. Jay confirmed surgery was necessary and I decided to pull the trigger.
The procedure went just fine and I began my temporary life on crutches. This was my first experience on “the sticks of pain”, but it turned out to be a not-so-bad experience. Scott McWilliams (PAC Physical Therapy) gave me a great crash course on how to properly use crutches – stairs take
on a whole new seriousness when you’re on crutches! I learned long ago to listen closely to the advice of medical professionals when it comes to rehabbing an injury.
Prior to my surgery, I was actually looking forward to six weeks away from exercise. It’s amazing how important exercise had become in my daily life and I missed it during my convalescence. Not only does exercise keep me healthy and more alert, but it serves as my main “stress management” tool.
During my six weeks of downtime, I also made conscious decision to really watch my nutrition. I did some reading and learned that certain nutrients improve the healing process and speed up recovery. My diet included a Jethro Bodine–sized spinach salad each day, plenty of skim milk and yogurt,
shelled almonds, and I began each morning with a four egg-white omelet to make sure I was getting plenty of protein. Protein is the building block for cellular repair and egg whites are a really good source.
It’s not that bad and if you’ve been putting off a needed procedure. With some planning and mental preparation it’s very doable.
Things I learned:
• Surgery should always be the last option, but don’t delay if you know you
need the procedure.
• Listen to valuable rehab advice from your doctor, physical therapist, or any
other medical professional.
• Be prepared to miss your exercise routine, but good things come to those
who patiently follow doctor’s orders.
• Watch your caloric intake and make sure you select nutritious foods that
speed the healing process.