Simon's adventures in Podiatryland: Part 2 – A tale to make you weep

We are exploring some of the more unusual things I have seen in my long and dubious career in sports medicine, and today I want to tell you a tale that always fills me with great sadness.

The purpose of these little diatribes is to present the clinical red flags that might just spring to mind in your own practices when you see, as you inevitably will, something that just does not seem quite right.

This then, is Sean’s story...

When I first met Sean, he was a pretty fit and very cheery 24 year old who was having a great time playing mixed netball. Yes, it is likely he was only doing this to meet girls, but hey, we’ve all been there right?

Anyway, Sean came to see me because he had been bothered by niggling midfoot pain for some time (more than 6 months) and despite seeing another podiatrist, the symptoms had failed to settle.

His first podiatrist diagnosed mechanical problems leading to ‘midfoot overload’ and prescribed custom orthoses to do the job.

It did not work, and so he came to see me. I quite like this scenario, because often the first practitioner has either wittingly or unwittingly narrowed down the list of possible diagnoses and has also provided a test lab for treatment options, in this case orthotic therapy.

Unfortunately for Sean, they did not help – was it the orthoses, were they right or wrong, or was something else afoot?

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical

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