"You like running. I like running. You like talking about gear. I like talking about gear. You like trash talking. I like trash talking. Let's be friends FOREVER! LIKE TOTALLY!"
Luke has insights into both the complexities of the jones fracture, and the stresses and strains both physical and mental, of attempting to be a competitve ultra runner.
Luke was kind enough to lay out a strategic plan of attack for my 2012 season that would ideally allow me to finally make that starting line at UTMB at the end of August. In line with that plan was a slow increase of mileage instead of the 0-60miles an hour, or better yet 0-100miles a week, that I incorporated into my training at this time last year. There was one additional stipulation however, NO MOUNTAINS. I know right, what's the point of running if there aren't mountains involved. Turns out that I guess there's something to that four or five times your body weight on descents that might stress a healing bone. Stupid physics.
MAY. That was what it all said. In MAY, assuming I'd had a successful build back at it through the first four months of the year, I could start in on some of those climbs and descents I used to live for. Yesterday was May 2nd and with a mix of slight trepidation and blatant excitement (not excrement, thankfully) I headed back into the mountains and onto one of my old favorites. A local trail called BCMC that's crazy technical and climbs 2700ft in well under 2miles. I had ZERO expectations but once I was out there I decided to see where my fitness lay compared to when I was last healthy. Apparently excitement carries with it adrenaline which is the perfect fuel to stoke an internally competitive fire. By the time I'd topped out I had to do a double take on my watch. I don't actually know my fastest time on this trail, but this was certainly right up there with them and significantly faster than I'd anticipated, in fact I had myself mentally prepared for a time nearly eight minutes slower, no really it went THAT well.
Back to the point. Last summer after snapping my 5th metatarsal for the second time in mere months I had a follow up xray six weeks out that could not have been any worse. Here's the evidence of just how bad that was. A month and a half after breaking my foot and it had actually gotten worse, not better.
|Late June 11 - 6 weeks out|
"I hate you" says the medial side of the fracture,
"I hate you" says the lateral side of the fracture,
"This is YOUR fault"
"NO F-IN WAY DUDE. YOU f-ed up this time!"
"Screw ME? How bout SCREW YOU. It'll take a f-in screw before I ever consider talking to YOU again!"
"Bring on the hardware. Get bent"
Along came the Orthofix Bone Stimulator, effectively acting like a mediator
"What's up guys?" Probably best to add in an Ikea accent for effect here
"F#$K you asshole" Angry bones are angry bones, what can I say
"Ohh, that's not very nice" Ikea accent
"Seriously, who the f are you? We're waiting for surgery. One more bad x-ray and it's guaranteed. Coupla more weeks and we should be good to go here."
"Well I know you guys won't want to listen to anything I have to say about the possible complications with surgery and how many athletes have had to have the screws removed after the fact so how bout a little massage to ease you minds" Ikea accent
"Massage? Don't touch us ya creep. And what's with your funny accent?"
"It's okay, people really like me when they get to know me. My second job is building human mazes filled with furniture were whole families have been known to disappear for months on end."
"Just a wee little mass-age. What's the harm in that?"
"Get...oh that feels kinda nice. HEY, hands off, what did we just sayyyyy, that's fantastic. Do you work out? Your hands are so strong and yet supple. What did you say your name was?"
"Ohhhh, you're like a magician in there"
"Ya know what, lateral side of non-union fracture"
"No what, medial side of non-union fracture?"
"I miss you"
"Ohh I MISS YOU TOO honey bunny"
"CENSORED" moans and growns
"My work here is done. I'll be back tomorrow for another three hour treatment" funny accent
That's the technical description of what happened. Here it is in laymen's terms:
The Physio-Stim Bone Growth Stimulator uses a very low-strength pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) to activate the body’s natural healing process.
Electrical currents have been used to heal broken bones since the mid 1800s. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that scientists made an important discovery. When human bone is bent or broken, it generates an electrical field. This low-level electrical field activates the body's internal repair mechanism, which in turn stimulates bone healing.
In some patients, this healing process is impaired or absent. The fracture fragments may not mend properly, and a nonunion results. The bone growth stimulation provided by Physio-Stim has proven very successful in treating fracture nonunions. In clinical studies, Physio-Stim helped 8 out of every 10 patients to heal.
This was followed by a daily treatment of three hours of bone stimulation. Non painful, and most nights I just slept with it on. Less than five weeks later and "the proof of the pudding was in the eating"
|Late July 2011|
I had a safety follow up x-ray just last week and Luke's response summed it all up nicely,
Where would we all be without a little help from our friends? THANK YOU Orthofix for getting my body to communicate with itself again. I can conclusively say that I would not be sitting here today (prepping to go on another mountain run) without a pin in my foot had it not been for your timely intervention.
(left image is late April 2012)
Two thumbs and one healed Jone's Fracture up from this kid. Now bring on the mountains already!!
I should also mention a huge thanks to my non-surgery surgeon Dr. Dory Boyer for always allowing me more of his time than he really had, supporting my every decision along the way, and getting me into contact with the crew over at Orthofix.I couldn't have done it without any/all of them.