Saturday, April 7, 2012

Curse of the blog

One sure way to ruin your running career; start a running blog. My internet medical diagnosing skills have proven accurate enough to earn me an honorific doctorate from Whimpering University. Almost three years ago, I pronounced myself diabetic 6 months before the medical system verified my cloud informed findings. They were still testing for stomach parasites and prescribing Aciphex while I embarked on my first low carbohydrate diet and started graphing blood sugars with my mother-in-law's expired meter and strips. And now after 9 months of whining, testing, doctorin', massaging and surfing the web, my keyboard divination has been substantiated by MRI and Duke University's Chair of Orthopedics. To be fair, I did misdiagnosis myself with a few brain tumors, an absorbed twin, and tryotoxism over the same time period.

Obviously not my MRI. I am taller. A good
stand in from the internet.
I have long suspected a torn brevis or longus due to ankle instability and pain along the entire chain on the left leg. Surprise! its both. Duke's Dr. James A. Nunley reads the MRI as a longitudinal peroneal tear of both tendons. The recent swelling across the front of the ankle following the Uhwarrie Mountain Run refocused my search for a resolution and ended at his office. The inability of the peroneals to anchor the ankle shifted the load to the tib anterior, which could not handle the stress and completely ruined the dapper silhouette of my injinis. 9 weeks cross training and running rest resolved the nerve entrapment and swelling, but the instability remains.

Nunley scheduled surgical repair for Tuesday April 10, 2012 with a projected running return 9 months from now. The tendons do not have the capability to heal lateral tears. I was rather relieved that I did not really have a choice. I could severe the remaining tendons exiting the car or foxtrotting and their condition will only degrade with time. I am announcing Umstead Trail Marathon 2013 my comeback race. I am hoping for a 100% return to function and an Umstead 100 mile 2014 debut.

My understanding of the recovery timeline.

1) Trained angry monkeys gnaw through my ankle.
2) Surgeon shows off Milwaukee tool skills.
3) A lot of debridement, excising, and removal.
4) Put Ryan Dumpty back together again.
5) Two weeks toes above nose with an open splint to for allow swelling.
6) 6 to 8 weeks in a weight bearing cast
7) A walking boot for 2-4 months
8) 3 months of physical therapy
9) At the 9 month mark, my first run.

Very similar to chicken tenderloin prep.
I am starting to understand vegans.
I hope to see a lot of my friends out there as I will now have to volunteer to feed my race shirt fetish. I started with the Umstead 100 mile endurance run and hope to have a write up for it soon, hopefully, with colorful hydrocodone induced  commentary. I am going to attempt to record this new journey through Blogger. I have scoured the computer webs for commentary on this process and not found a lot. I hope those before me survived and are all too busy running ultras to write. Just as I brought my finely tuned bloggers body to running, I now hope to utilize all of my running skills in recording my recovery by blog.  In between bouts of Tiger Woods golf 2006 and Gilligan's Island reruns, I will also try to get my diabetic page posted. I am anxious to see what Mary Ann looks like on a High Definition TV. 

This is what the MRI suggests. I am hoping for greater than  50%
material remaining, so as to save the tendon.
As this blog, which has already netted me $0.49, is my primary source of income for the next two weeks click on an ad before you leave and make it rain nickels up in here. Stay healthy and upright.

If you have eight minutes and a solid stomach click here for the full procedure on YouTube.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Matt. Could have been worse. Maybe I'll come out taller.

  2. Crap! Crap! Crap! Shit! Crap!

    I was *really* hoping you could PT your way back to health, but that MRI looks pretty conclusive. Well, I guess you will be joining me in the post-leg-surgery running club (the PLSRC is a super elite club, so be proud!). On the bright side, you do get some cool scars. And since you like to get ink, start thinking about creative ways to highlight them. I have some ideas we can discuss over (low carb) beers while we watch Gilligan's Island re-runs. Drop me a line once you have recovered from the knife a bit.

    Oh, and sorry about the blogging curse. You'll need to convince someone else to start blogging so you can pass it on.

    1. I'm hoping to be treasurer for the PLSRC by next year. I will do my best to forward the blogging curse.

  3. The guy who won the Umstead 100 had major hip surgery not that long ago.

    Also, you're right about the blog. A few months after I started my blog extolling the benefits of running barefoot, I gave myself a foot injury that kept me on the couch for weeks, and away from running for months. Man, that was embarrassing.

    Oh, and thanks for the pics. I didn't want to digest my breakfast anyway.

    1. I use those pics to stay at my fighting weight.

  4. On the bright side you can now reset your PR sheet. The rest to running recovery fills the pain bucket allowing you to reap the rewards for many races to come. Heal well!

  5. A year off fricking sucks, but you are only 38. Get it fixed and you can run for another 40 years.
    I REALLY hate to give advice, so I'll just share something I learned the hard way. It's a bad idea for me to put races on the schedule when I'm broken. The best way to hurt myself is trying to come back too soon. After a painful year, I realized the first goal should always be to get healthy.
    Get healthy my friend!

    1. Who are you and how did you hijack Anthony's blogger account?!

    2. Thanks AC. I have enjoyed following your reboot into running. Although Shannon is amazing for finishing U100, I still think your barefoot 5k is the bees knees. I am hoping to transition when I can start back up. I will follow your exploits for good examples.

  6. Hope your surgery went well today, Ryan!

  7. Hi Ryan - just saw your blog listing on the RW forum. I had the same surgery and also a 3 cm tear on Jan 13 this year. They ended up not casting me, which was great. I was allowed to run 1 minute on the treadmill on Thursday (week 14 post-op). Now that the worst is behind me it's easy to say "it wasn't that bad" - but I definitely had some low points. Love that you have the pics of the surgery, too - my doc was awesome and sent them to me. Keep your spirits up! Cheers, Maureen

  8. Greetings IronMo. Really glad you made it to the other side. I am green with envy over your 1 minute treading. Just over 3 months to the hamster wheel sounds like you have done very well. Its hard to rest and wait, but patience has always been my Achilles heel. I freaked when I saw what my calf had shrunk to in just one week. Best of luck on your journey back. Maybe we will pass each other for 1st and 2nd place in a distant NYC marathon :)