give me a break!

right foot cuboid avulsion

After everything that the last 12 months, especially 2020, has thrown at me, a break from it all was probably on the cards. While out for a pleasant stroll with the family on Sunday, I got my break. However, it wasn’t the kind I perhaps expected. It happened because I did the right thing and moving across so as to ‘socially distance’ from oncoming people. The irony! Missed my step, rolled my ankle into a flower bed, and my entire weight came down on top of it.

As soon as I fell, I knew there was something not right. It felt far worse than a sprain. My gut told me that it wasn’t going to magically improve over the next 24 hours with ice and rest. On Monday morning I went to the doc for an opinion and he referred me for x-ray. The x-ray revealed an avulsion fracture of my cuboid in the right foot.

Sitting there in the minor injuries unit, speaking with the doctors, you could sense the disconnect in concern. For them, they were delivering the best of bad news. This is a very minor injury as fractures go. An avulsion is not a break of a bone but rather a fragment/flake of the bone that detaches. The road to recovery is much like a soft tissue injury. No cast is required to ensure the bone sets correctly. For me, this was the news that I would not run for a minimum of 4/5 weeks. I was distraught – they were scratching their heads.

a lucky break in some ways but not in a good way
a lucky break in some ways but not in a good way

recovery

The path to recovery is not as protracted as a typical fracture which is excellent news. It’s not six weeks in a cast and then physio to get back to normal. The path is more like a soft tissue injury over a slightly longer timeframe. I’m looking at 4/5 weeks with no running – that’s the bad news. I just have to suck it up and take it as forced rest while I refocus for the autumn. That will be the target now; getting myself back on track in the hope that something may happen in 2021 for races to recommence.

No cast was music to my ears. Not just because it meant that no bones were completely broken. It meant I was free to move and work on the injury rather than just wait for time to pass. That’s something I can deal with. I have a support bandage for the first 5 days and crutches for 3 days. All the time, lots of stretching and mobility exercises to help restore proper function.

The lack of a cast also gave me a sense of relief as I remember the pain endured following my scaphoid fracture some years back. My arm was in a cast for 6 weeks then. The pain when it was removed and while trying to restore strength and movement to the wrist joint was intense. If that had been the prognosis for my foot, I probably would have hung up my shoes or put them on eBay.

a failed runner again

Last year following another injury to my leg, I found myself being forced off my feet and onto my turbo trainer connected bicycle. My failed runner machine! It was a bizarre 3 weeks of tapering into the Waterford Viking Marathon but it kept my cardio levels somewhat up. A necessary evil.

Now, again, I find myself in this predicament albeit with no impending race deadlines. However, I still want to get back on my feet as soon as possible. In the meantime, I have to keep my cardio fitness levels as high as possible. It will be a couple of weeks before I can put any real pressure on the foot (even cycling). When the time comes though, it will be a sensible road back to fitness. I’m more than thankful to be able to embrace this option. There are far worse positions to be in.

The saga continues!

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