STAMFORD, Conn. -- Hospital for Special Surgery's Dr. Jordan Metzl answers questions on marathon and injury prevention.
Is there any way to treat plantar fibromas?
This is kind of a rare entity. Plantar fibroma is a non-malignant thickening of the feet’s deep connective tissue and can cause the foot to become stiff and painful. Try rolling your foot on a lacrosse ball to loosen up the tissue, and try wearing arch supports. If that doesn’t help, sometimes a cortisone shot can help.
I’ve been dealing with shin splints for weeks, any advice?
Start with your feet. Buy proper running shoes and try an over-the- counter orthotic. The key point is if it hurts too much to run smoothly, get it checked out so you don’t run yourself into an even more problematic injury.
Is it better to take a weekly, recovery day-off from running with no exercise or to cross train during these days?
It’s okay to cross-train on the days that you’re not running. I like to run three to four times per week and cross-train other days. I suggest strength training, yoga, swimming and bicycling. An ice bath after a long run can be especially helpful.
I have peroneal tendon pain in my ankle. I’ve been icing it a lot, but it’s been six weeks and no improvement. Is there anything else I can do?
You’re doing the right thing by icing it. If it doesn’t get better, you might consider either a cortisone shot or platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. Doctors who offer PRP inject your own concentrated blood platelets into the abnormal tissue, which can promote tendon healing. PRP injections can help with many nagging tissue injuries; however, it takes a month to work, so I would only do it if you aren’t running a marathon in the near term and after you’ve had an MRI to assess any damage.
The joints in my ankles, knees and feet hurt, but I’m afraid to switch up shoes. What do you suggest?
An insert is fine to try out. I would also consider submerging your feet in an ice bath, which should help with pain.
Dr. Jordan Metzl is a sports medicine physician who specializes in the nonsurgical treatment of sports-related injuries in adults, teens, and children. He practices at both the HSS Outpatient Center in Stamford, CT and the hospital’s main campus in New York.