An “anatomical nightmare” and a 7 letter word no runner wants to hear.

I saw a another specialist yesterday who came highly recommended by one of my friends and I’m sure everyone will be very un-shocked to learn that I received a different diagnosis.


I’m not even surprised by this anymore. It’s just par for the course.

As much as I don’t like this guy, I couldn’t not like this guy. When I walked into his office, the waiting room was decorated with posters from the Baltimore Running Festival and the Boston Marathon. Everyone there was nice. HE was nice. He just told me some things that I really didn’t want to hear.

The long and short of it is that my pain is continuing because my deep peroneal nerve is entrapped. Another term for this is “tarsal tunnel syndrome”. He thinks the best course of action to relieve my pain entirely is something that no runner ever wants to hear.


Well actually he said “SURGERY”, but that’s basically the same thing.

The procedure is similar to the one used to fix carpal tunnel so it’s only minimally invasive and then obviously I wouldn’t be able to run for a couple weeks afterward. And then I would probably have to do physical therapy. I don’t know. By that point I was internally screaming so loudly that I couldn’t even hear him talking.

I am not okay with this information. I’m even more not okay with the fact that the neurologist I’ve been referred to is conveniently on vacation starting next week so aforementioned surgery would probably take close to a month to schedule. He told me I’m allowed to run as long as I can tolerate it, but yeah. “Tolerating” my runs sure sounds like a fun time.

We rounded out the appointment with this doctor congratulating me on my running because – in his words – I am “an anatomical nightmare” and I should not be able to do what I’m doing.



It was the weirdest backhanded compliment I’ve ever received.

I cried as I left the office and then I sat in my car for a half hour digging desperately around online for peroneal nerve entrapment treatments that don’t involve surgery. I found that in addition to making some small changes – ie: no more sandals…I’m currently rocking a pair of my most cushiony running shoes with my work attire and if anyone says anything to me about it they can kindly shove off – sometimes these things can resolve spontaneously.

Not that I’m really expecting that to happen seeing as I’ve now been dealing with this for more than a month, but it’s certainly a nice thought.

So where do I go from here? Who the hell knows. I have an appointment with my chiropractor today and even though he got it wrong the first time at least now I can go in there with this diagnosis and ask him his thoughts on how I can avoid surgery. And then I guess I wait for the nerve guy to call? And in the meantime just do what I can?

It’s a good thing that I have Betty because otherwise life pretty much sucks right now.

Any happy thoughts for my nerve would be greatly appreciated. ❤

Has anyone else dealt with something like this? Any suggestions for me?

Cutting off my toe is seeming like a more attractive option every day.




116 thoughts on “An “anatomical nightmare” and a 7 letter word no runner wants to hear.

  1. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    Ugh I don’t even know what to say. I know you will figure out the best thing to do but right now it seems like its kind of soon for them to be recommending surgery?! I know you’ve been to a bunch of different people about this but maybe you should try getting another opinion…I really don’t know. But if you do end up needing surgery at least it sounds like a relatively easy process and recovery!

    • runsaltrun says:

      That’s exactly how I felt about it. I know I’ve been in pain for more than a month, but this was the first time this guy had seen me and he was jumping straight to surgery. That’s why I called my chiro to see if there was anything else he could do (and that appointment went well!) Thank you so much, friend. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, I’ll deal.

  2. Kelly @ Turned up to Eleven! says:

    I really really hope you can find an alternative to surgery – so sorry you’re dealing with all of this girl!!! Rock those running shoes like there’s no tomorrow. Worst case make the doctor write you an Rx for your employer that says “She can’t wear sandals, only running shoes, shove it!” 🙂 ox

  3. Run Colby Run says:

    Ok. I’m here. I fell off the Blog-O-Sphere for a second, but I’m here. What the fuck, Salt. I’m so, so sorry to hear this. I can NOT believe what you’re dealing with. I’m not a health care professional by any means, but I would say that before deciding on surgery, get a second opinion. The second may be the same as the first, but I would definitely check it out. Have patience Dear Friend. Don’t push it until your feeling much improved. And remember, you’re incredibly fit. Everything won’t disappear over night. Muscles have memory. 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoo

  4. Tina @ Jog Wild says:

    Ahhhh! I am catching up on blog reading and just read this. Well, POOP. Although a possible bright side is that post-surgery, you might be good to go for a long, long time. No foot pain forevs, yes?! You’re going to bounce back and be pain-free, I swear. In the meantime, it’s gonna suck. But you’ve got lots of running support in the blogosphere!

  5. Eat Pray Run, DC says:

    i was at a conference yesterday and didn’t read much on the interwebs. i’m sorry friend. that really really really sucks and there’s nothing to say to make it suck less. boo. i’m gonna say a little prayer for healing for you and grace to deal with whatever the outcome may be. xx

  6. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Oh no, I’m so sorry. An anatomical nightmare??! WTF?! What does that mean? I wish I could fix it for you…keep your chin up. We’ll be rooting for you!

  7. piratebobcat says:

    You crack me up, even delivering not so nice news. I’m sure it will work out. Get as much info as you can. I wish I had more to offer you here. I’m rooting for you Salt!

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