About me

I’m a 30 year old male from Scotland. I play football (Soccer), golf and like to run every now and then. I work in banking, and I am engaged to get married (2021). No kids at the moment - but I suspect it won’t be long after marriage!  I was born without a thyroid, but have managed it very well throughout my life with medication.

For as long as I can remember, I have always suffered with incredibly painful heels and pain in the sole of both feet. I’d describe it as almost as if someone was digging a knife into your foot. The pain wasn’t always ever-present, but would flare up after exercise, or even longer walks. Sometimes it’d be one foot, other times both. I’ve played football most of my life, but the last two years have been incredibly difficult. After one training session, or game I’d be in agony for three days, whereas before I’d usually manage to go again the following day with heat rubs/ compression socks.

My Injury history

Now you’re probably wondering “What did your doctor say”? - We have the wonderful NHS over here in the UK and whilst it is great, it has it’s limitation in terms of funding, and the timescales for things getting done are incredibly long. I think I first went to see my GP about my issues around 7/8 years ago, and at the time was told it was plantar fasciitis, but I’d be referred to the hospital for an Ortho assessment. 6 months went by and I finally had my appointment. At the time there were no obvious signs for bone issues (although no scan/xray was carried out), and that the GP’s assessment of PF was probably accurate.

So for a few years, I would take advice from my GP and the internet. I treated my pain as PF, using insoles, compression socks, night splints, doing the necessary stretches and exercises. Sometimes I’d go a few months with “a little” pain, then there would be months where I’d be crippled for a day or two after.  I would visit my GP a few times over the years, but was continuously told the same thing, given the same exercises and the odd pain medication when it was particularly bad, not once was I referred for an X-ray or MRI. I should note here that I love the NHS, my mum is nurse for the NHS and they do so much for our country, they are just not very well funded, but I won’t go into any political debates.

Then in 2014 I was injured playing football and suffered compression syndrome and a huge blood clot in my left calf. I had to have 3 surgeries in 4 days in order to save my leg. That put me out of football for 2 years, so I turned to coaching. From 2014-16 I didn’t really do much in terms of high impact sports/running as my injury didn’t allow, and I think throughout this time I didn’t really notice my foot pain as much.I returned to football late 2016, and was back loving it. The first year or so went okay, with the pain similar to what I’d experienced before.  From around September 2017, things started to turn really bad. The pain was getting to the point that I’d be struggling after warming up pre-match/training and as a result changing the way I ran (i’d go on a side of either foot). This slowed me right down and the guys in the team jokingly mocked that it looked like I was ice skating. The pain progressively got worse, where it was almost ever-present. The only time I’d not have pain was if I rested for 2 weeks in a row, and even then a 30 min walk would trigger it.

I gave myself a good rest from May-July 2018 without any football. I returned to pre-season and things were pretty much the same, but I was aware I only have a few years left of football so wanted to power through. This wasn’t a smart idea - My ‘new’ running style was having an impact on other parts of my body, and in the first game of the 2018-19 season I tore my left hamstring (grade 3 tear).  It was at this point I thought there’s something more than PF going on here.

So I got my hamstring seen to and had physio to recover from that. In November ‘18 I returned to my GP for PF. I stressed how much agony I was in and how much it was affecting me play football. Again, I was referred to ortho but knew this could take months to get an appointment. It was around February that a colleague mentioned they used our work’s private medical benefit to get his shoulder fixed. I immediately enquired about this and it turned out we had full private health care cover with Bupa.  This was when the game changed! I called up straight away, and booked an appointment with an Ortho Surgeon. I was seen within 10 days and what we found was unreal.

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