Bone spurs

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Sunday 1st to Thursday 12th July

More lovely weather ☀️ so when I wasn’t at work I could mostly be found walking (I was finding some of the longer ones hard going, I blame the heat as well as my toe 😖) or pottering about in my garden 🌻 Or if an England game was on, in the pub! It was fun going out to watch the football, that is of course until they lost in the semi finals and were knocked out of the World Cup. That was sad ☹️

I visited the John Radcliffe Hospital on the NHS’ 70th birthday.

I gatecrashed a walk which the Oxfordshire NHS Retirement Fellowship (a group of former NHS staff) had organised, between the four major hospitals in Oxford, which I found out was starting off from the John Radcliffe! (Thank you for letting me join in 🤣)

And I bought some special jazzy cake which I ate while sat in the sunshine in the JR garden to, in my own way, say Happy Birthday and thank you for saving my life 👍

I went for my yearly skin check. This is something I need to have because I take immunosuppressants and ‘solar keratoses’ (an early warning sign which develops before skin cancer) were found last year.

‘If you have had a transplant or have other chronic medical conditions you will be given immunosuppressive drugs. These can prevent your body from rejecting a transplanted organ or are used to treat your medical condition. These drugs work by reducing your immune (defence) system. However, these treatments also increase your risk of skin cancer and some benign (non-cancerous) lesions and infections.’

I was okay this time 👌

And I finally had my very long awaited podiatry appointment.

The podiatrist did an ultrasound on my big toe. He was very good and showed me the screen and explained it to me. Then he did the same on the other big toe and you could very clearly see the difference between the two. Quite fascinating really.

So – I have two spurs which have grown on the top of the two bones in the joint where my big toe joins my foot! As this joint moves when I walk they are rubbing together and this is what is causing such pain. There is also some inflammation.

“What is a Bone Spur in the Big Toe?

The MTP joint, or the metatarsophalangeal joint in the foot is located at the base of the big toe. This spot is the most common site for arthritis. This joint is very important since only when this joint bends can you take a step. Since every time the MTP joint bends when you are taking a step, walking will become very difficult if this joint becomes painful and you find difficulty in bending this joint.

Like every other joint of the body, the MTP joint is covered by a circular smooth cartilage where the two bones meet. In case of any kind of damage that has occurred in this cartilage like wear and tear of the articular cartilage, the bone ends tend to rub together. These raw bone ends rubbing together lead to the formation of an outgrowth on the bone which is identified as bone spurs. The bone spur in the big toe not only develops difficulty in walking but also causes pain while you try to bend your toe, hallux rigidus. This causes tremendous stress to the joint (occurring in humans between the age of 30 and 60) and damages the bones leading to the creation of differences in foot anatomy.”

Now while it is a good thing that at long last I finally know why my toe hurts SO bad, it seems that there is not really too much that can be done about it 😩 I’m not allowed to take the recommended anti-inflammatory medication ibuprofen which can ease the swelling and the pain, they can give a steroid injection into the joint but as I am not a ‘normal’ person the podiatrist seemed to think that it would not be a good idea for me to have this and if it gets very severe they do sometimes operate but he also thought that this would try to be avoided, so the only answer for me it seems to be is to try to alter the way I walk so that the bones don’t get the chance to rub together! The podiatrist suggested I do this with shoes with ‘rocker’ soles so I guess that I will just carry on putting up with it until I have searched out some of these shoes …

Then time for me to help just a tiny bit with setting up behind the Riverside stage at Cornbury Music Festival.

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