Apr 27, 2014 11:10 AM
About 2 years ago (summer 2012) I was near the end of my run and felt something very painful in my foot. I tried to finish my run but was only able to run for about a half block until the pain was just too much to bear. I ended up limping home and completely stopped running. I waited a couple of days before seeing a doctor as I was hoping the pain was temporary and would just go away. The first Dr I saw diagnosis was pre-dislocation syndrome. He prescribed a steroid pack and some anti-inflammatories which did wonders within just the first few days. My pain went from a 9 to a 2. He also said I should be able to get back to running pain free in 3 months.
I waited the entire 3 month period before trying to run again. Walking I felt fine most of the time, but as soon as I started running the pain would return, although not nearly at the same level as it was initially. Since I still had pain, I knew it hadn't completely healed and didn't try to continue running. I waited 3 more months and tried running again with the same results, so I went to see a second Dr. This Dr's diagnoses was hammer toe and had me tape my big toe and 2nd toe together for a couple of weeks, along with daily icing, and taking anti-inflammatories and putting a metatarsal pad on an insole I purchased from a running store. 2 weeks later I felt better walking, but still felt pain when I tried to run. I decided to wait a bit longer and see if things would improve naturally.
At the beginning of this year I thought maybe the injury had healed. I bought a Landice treadmill with an ortho belt and tried running at home. I ran for a few days, but the pain kept coming back. I decided it was time for a permanent fix and scheduled an appointment with a 3rd Dr (I moved to a new state after seeing the 2nd Dr). The 3rd Dr's diagnosis was a plantar plate tear and would need an osteotomy (shortening of 2nd toe bone). The Dr's office setup surgery for April 24 at one of the local hospitals.
I called each place to get an estimate of fees, and was told the outpatient hospital facilities charge would be $15,000, surgeons fees would be around $3,000 and the anesthesiologist's fees would be $750. These amounts were the contracted rates with my insurance company - United Health Care. The surgery was to take about 1 hour, and require around 30 minutes in the recovery room.
When the hospital told me $15,000, I wanted to reach through the phone and slap them. I couldn't even believe they could actually say that with a straight face. I ended up calling my Dr's office and asked if they do surgeries anywhere else, and they told me about some surgery clinic. I called them and was told the fees would be $3,300 for the exact same procedure. Needless to say, I decided on going to the surgery clinic.
As a side note, the surgery clinic was connected to the hospital that wanted to charge $15,000, and many of the workers were from the hospital. My wife works at that hospital and ran into many people she has worked with. Absolutely insane that they'd charge 5 times the amount as the surgery clinic, with using the same employees.
So I showed up for my surgery on the 24th at 8:00, surgery was at 9:00, and I was back in my car at 11:00 am. A total of 3 hours, with a full hour being check in time and prepping for surgery. Really, the hospital wanted to charge $5,000 PER HOUR? Again, absolutely insane. Make sure you know the facilities charges before you go in for any surgery of this type.
After the surgery, the doctor said everything was what he expected, and my tendon was barely hanging on. I've read where other people have received a grade rating of their tear, but my Dr did not tell me the grade.
After surgery I went home and sat in my chair with a big footrest, and propped my foot up with about 6 pillows and applying ice often. The first day I was anticipating a lot of pain, so I was regularly taking the hydrocodone at the prescribed times. I never really felt much pain even now, 3 days after surgery, and not taking meds. Walking with the boot has been extremely difficult and painful, although today seems much better.
The Dr said that I should be able to run for 3 miles in 3 months, so I'm hoping that actually happens.
Anyway, just thought I would share my experience, and I hope it helps out someone who also has the debilitating injury. It has been extreme long, much much longer than I was originally told it would before I could run again (3 months), but now I'm hopeful after surgery I really can get back to it and lose some of the pounds I've put on while not running.