It’s a while since I last wrote about podiatric attempts to alleviate my foot dystonia; in fact, I didn’t write much about the last couple of visits at all. At the end of last year, I went to see a podiatrist again. He took an imprint of my feet and ordered me some custom insoles, which arrived in February:
The metatarsal dome – similar to the off-the-peg version that I had before – is a biomechanical means of straightening clawed toes.
Unfortunately, my problem isn’t a straightforward biomechanical problem, and – while the insoles no doubt did a wonderful job of correcting my gait (which has never troubled me), they didn’t do anything for the dystonia. I tried. I wanted them to work. I wasn’t even all that worried about the fact that the insoles were so thick that, dystonia or no dystonia, there wasn’t actually room for them and my feet inside most of my shoes.
The only shoes I had that worked were a rather dilapidated pair of mens’ hikers. This is them in their finer days:
I replaced them with something similar, but browner.
The insoles still didn’t help the dystonia.
So, I asked to see the podiatrist again. He had discharged me – I am not sure who was most surprised: me, to find that I had been discharged on the assumption that the insoles would work, or him, to find that the insoles did not work. I was undischarged, and saw him again today.
I could see the intransigence of my feet eroding his confidence. This wasn’t how feet were meant to behave! He checked that the dome was in the right place. He told me that he didn’t think he could help. Then I asked him about toe props. I had forgotten what they were called, but managed to describe them.
He said that the idea hadn’t occurred to him, but it was worth a try. He gave me a pair of these:
to try out (the loop goes around the middle toe; the pad goes under the toes).
If they work, they can be incorporated into a new pair of custom insoles.