I’ve never liked my feet. When I was a kid, I had Flintstone feet–flat slabs with toes at the end. I remember crunching up my feet when I walked around the local public pool so I could make the cool “hang 10” footprints like everyone else. My actual footprints were boxy-flat slabs, and I hated them. I was told I had a flexible arch meaning I had arches until I actually stood on my feet!
Later in life I dealt with plantar fasciitis on several occasions, bought all sorts of foot pads, and even had surgery to replace a metatarsal that had been eaten away by a cyst.
So when the most recent bout of foot pain developed, I knew what it was and how to treat it. Although the pain was in a different place than it had been in the past, I was 99% sure it was plantar fasciitis. So I rested my foot, did stretches, took ibuprofen, iced it, rolled a ball under my foot and so on.
Despite my best efforts, the pain continued, so yesterday I saw a podiatrist–Dr. Wilde. My diagnosis was correct, and the doc was outstanding. Not only did he do a thorough exam, he provided information no other doc had shared.
According to Dr. Wilde I have Z-foot, a bilateral, congenital foot deformity where the front part of the foot is skewed or bent sideways. It’s also called skew foot. In my case, the bones in my feet are shaped like single quotation marks, and my right foot is more deformed than the left. I knew I had problems with my arches and pronation, but this condition explains not only why I have these problems, but also why my calf muscles and foot tendons are always so tight, and why I’ve always had problems buying shoes.
To fix the deformity would require a number of very complex surgeries during which they’d essentially break almost all the bones in my feet, set them, and put in hardware to straighten everything; then they’d have to deal with the muscles and tendons to make them fit with the new alignment of the foot. I have ZERO interest in this remedy.
However, since my only pain at the moment is from plantar fasciitis, he’s treating that with anti-inflammatory drugs and a splint. He also taped up my feet to simulate the relief I would get from new orthotics to see if that’s a direction we need to go in. I go back in a week.
On the bright side, the doc’s confident my insurance will cover the orthodics since I have a deformity.