Thru hike hopes dashed?

Leaving the podiatrist with news that I need to rest for two months before contemplating a return to the AT isn’t quite what I’d hoped to hear today. I’m very upset to be honest. All I could keep repeating while he was telling me was “this is very upsetting news”, ad nauseam. Rolling four times in three weeks is “very rare” and I’m “lucky to not have torn anything.”

While looking at my X-rays he asked if I’d broken any bones in my feet, to which I responded “no”. I’d told him about an old RAF injury when I was 20 that I caused by me missing the curb — while running full pelt — and rolling my left ankle severely. So severe in fact, that I had to go through five months of electro therapy. He thinks I actually fractured a bone that was missed during my treatment and showed me a faint dark line crossing my fibula close to my ankle.

Come to think of it, I remember sitting across my uncle Stuart’s road bike as a kid – ass on the frame with both legs dangling to the right side of the bike — I think he’d tried to make a turn and my left foot got caught in the spokes, while going a good 10mph – my little ankle was dragged in there with quite a lot of force. I can’t believe I still remember that, I was no older than six years old!

To add to this, he’s confident that I have compartment syndrome in my lower right shin; severe inflammation of the muscles in the lower shin area that are building pressure against surrounding muscle and tendon tissue, hence the swelling and pain. Warm compress with Epsom salts will draw out the swelling. Worst case scenario: I don’t do it and I will need to go under general and have holes poked through my muscle tissue to relieve the pressure.

He’s asked me to return in two weeks for a checkup.





One thought on “Thru hike hopes dashed?

  1. There’s always second opinions. Rolling is very rare? Not on the AT. My husband and I fell lots hiking on the AT and that’s without a backpack. On the other hand, resting two months would probably be very good for your body in general and strengthen you for future hikes.

    When I sprained my wrist in the Maine 100 mile wilderness, the ER doctor I saw in Greenville, ME, said he’s met enough AT hikers to know how important hiking is to them, and that he would never tell someone not to hike, just use their own judgment about how they feel.

    Hope you enjoy your rest and let your heart and body be your guide for when you do return to the trail. I still prefer section hiking. That way you can also include your family during vacation periods.

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