ZocdocAnswersHow would I know if the tendon tore?

Question

How would I know if the tendon tore?

Last year I hurt my foot, I went to my regular doctor and he ordered an X-ray and it showed I had a stress fracture of the 5th metatarsal. He sent me to a foot doctor and he ordered an MRI and he said it didn't show the fracture but showed tendonitis on the inside of my foot (which he said can cause flat foot if it isn't treated). My foot doctor said to do physical therapy but I never did it. It has been hurting a lot more than before recently in that spot. My question is how would I know if it tore or if it got worse?

Answer

Tendonitis is a really tough condition, because the blood supply to the tendons is quite limited, meaning that healing occurs very slowly. This healing is also slowed by repetitive injury or overuse of the tendon. Therefore, if you find that things are not getting better after an entire year, then it is definitely time to go see a doctor again for follow-up appointment. You could see your primary care doctor to start with, or you could set up a visit with an orthopedic specialist or with a podiatrist (assuming the pain is limited to the foot itself). In addition to examining the area, they may want to repeat some testing, such as another x-ray or MRI scan, to evaluate the old broken bone for healing and also take a look for swelling in or around the tendons. Based on what they find, they will be able to make recommendations for treatment. These recommendations will almost certainly involve stopping any form of high-impact exercise on the foot, which will prevent healing. They also may recommend special footwear or anti-inflammatory medications. Very severe cases may require consideration of a surgical procedure. Make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.