16 year old female gymnast, PF or partial tear? for 9 months

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I am a 16 yo level 10 gymnast and practice 25 hours a week. I have had foot pain since last september (2013) and it just slowly got worse. I told a trainer at my gym about it and he said it was PF and i would be fine. At that point i was able to push through and get by just icing. The pain become unbearable by summer, however at the time we were using the pit a lot so i was still able to practice. By august we started landing on the hard mats again and that is when i finally went to the doctor and had trouble walking. They took an xray, saw nothing abnormal, and said it was pf. Docs told me i could do whatever i could tolerate and suggested I go to PT. I went to pt fm mid sept to mid dec without any improvement. I did everything they doctors said including wearing only shoes with orthotics, icing, motrin, stretching and it only got worse. I even saw a chairopractor a few times and got accupuncture. I got an mri in jan and they said it was "normal". After thay i went in a cast and crutches for 6 weeks to "reduce inflamation" and i thought this would be the fix. Wrong!! I was in the same amount of pain when it came off. Now i have been in a walking boot for the past two months. I went to a new doctor for another opinion and she said that she thinks i partially tore more PF. Is this different than plantar fascitis? I am going for a steriod injection on tuesday and am praying this relieves my pain. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Someone please help I am desperate and just want to get back to my sport.

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  • Posted

    Hi, 

    1) Ask your parents to take you to the London Podiatry Clinic where they will image how you walk and run to see if they can correct. you can look them up on Internet. 

    Ultrasound/MRI should have shown up any tears in the PF and the immobilisation should have helped. Where does it hurt? Does your achiles where it joins the heel at the back of your heel, about the top of your trainers also hurt? Do the base of your toes also hurt?  If yes to thee, ask for a blood test and explain to the doctor that the 3 main places where tendons join to bones in your foot also hurt, as this woudl lead to a different diagnosis.

    Know it sounds odd, but diet really helps. Fruit, veg, fish, seeds. Terribly boring but lots of anti-oxidants and if i keep religiously to this, then I am much better. 

    The Lonodn Olympic Centre also helps a lot of athletes - but i'd try the Podiatry Clinic. Your parents might have to pay but its worth it.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi I actually live in the USA so thats not an option :-(. I gor blood work done and it was normal. Also my foot hurts right where the pf attaches to the heel bone. Not the arch. It is also always so swollen and i cant walk for more than 5 mins without having to sit down. They said the reason it wasnt clear on the mri was because it has been so long since i hurt it that it was already starting to heal and looking like an old injury. Thanks so much for your help
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    • Posted

      Also i forgot to add that i have been taking extra vitiamin d to strengthen my bones. Like 1000x the amount a day. I also eat very healthy. Lots of fruits and veggies and meat.!
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  • Posted

    Hi 

    I think there must be a national association for gymnastics in USA> try and find out / google who the Consultant Physio to the national or state team is and then email them. Medicine is all about accumuated knowledge and they will have dealt with this before.  Get to the best sports physio - world class - that you can. Forget the local guy. email your national association and the top guy - i think they will try and help you. Dont give up. x

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    • Posted

      Hi There,

      I have never responded to a form before, but I am compelled to do so with you, because I have an identical condition, progression by progression -- only, I'm not an athlete.  I am a restaurant R&D consultant, which means I have to be on my feet a long period of time, although not everyday.  But I totally feel your pain, frustration, and anxiety.  I too have a ligament bruise and tried everthing over the last 6 months. Today I just got a steroid shot. I have not seen any difference, in fact it hurts more, but praying and hopeing it will get better in few days. 

      PLEASE KEEP POST THE PROGRESSION OF YOUR CONDITION. 

      I will too. Perhaps we can be of help to each other. 

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