I got some good news and some bad news and that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On the Run podcast.
I was just reviewing some comments on YouTube videos and I got one from a woman named Mary who had just viewed the video on permanent calf atrophy and how that can happen if you spend way too long in a fracture walking boot or a cast because if it takes too long to heal and you’re in a boot too long, you’re immobilized in a cast too long, you actually can get atrophy that is irreversible and Mary replied and she said basically, “Great. Now you depressed the crap out of me. Thanks. Ugh.”
Well okay, so I got some good news and some bad news for you, Mary. The good news is, is it’s not actually your fault. If the doctor didn’t really understand how important running was to you and they put you in a fracture walking boot or a cast as the simplest way to get your injury to heal, they’re really trying to protect you and help you and get it to heal as quickly as possible but they just didn’t understand how important it was to you to remain active after injury. It’s not really your fault. It’s the doctor’s fault for not really understanding your situation.
Now, the bad news is that it’s entirely your responsibility to fix it. The doctor is not going to exercise for you. The doctor is not going to pay attention to your nutrition. Your doctor is not going to figure out how to really aggressively work to overcome that atrophy so that you can get back to the activities that you enjoy. Now unfortunately, doctors are in the business of treating injuries, not helping injured runners run for the most part and many times, frankly, they just don’t understand because we as runners don’t tell them when we go to see the doctor, how important it is.
The good news, it’s not your fault. The bad news is there is hope but you have to work. You have to try to do something different. You’ve got to remember that your fitness comes first. The injury is what you worry about later but you can’t just sit and wait for two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, 12 weeks or a year to actually keep your fitness, maintain your fitness. If you really want to get back to running, that’s just the way it is.
Remember fitness first, injury second, and if you pay attention to that, you can stay fit, you can maintain your running fitness and you can get back to running a whole lot faster.