My foot issues started in April of 2020. Initially my big toe began hurting as if something was rubbing on it, but within a few days my big toe became enlarged. This was extremely painful and made sleep impossible while at the same time forcing me to lose time at my job as I work outside as an arborist, which requires me to be extremely active. I saw several podiatrists over the next few months who said I had gout as well as fractures in several toes, neuromas, and floating bone fragments that were extremely small. I was prescribed several harsh medications, which caused my fingers, toes, and joints new pains and tingles. My big toe was given numerous shots of cortisone which only lasted 7-21 days. I was subjected to countless x-rays, MRIs with and without contrast with no real outcome.
After 3 months I began seeing another podiatrist who recommended me seeing an orthopedist. This doctor recommended me getting surgery to search for these miniscule bone fragments that she herself said she may not be able to find. The recovery time would be 1 month and she could not assure me this would be successful. I went for a second opinion and this doctor said, "Well, you've done everything else, there is nothing else left to do." As I'm sure you would agree this was not a ringing endorsement to do the surgery. I then went to my 4th podiatrist, who had me do the rounds: x-rays, MRIs, and a second pair of orthotics. She recommended I wear a boot to protect my big toe, which did help but caused new issues. I wore this boot for 3 months and I now had a new problem. I had worn it for so long my sesamoid started to cause me extreme pain to the point I could not walk. Now she recommended to remove a piece of my sesamoid. I asked in doing so will that relieve the initial and compounding issue of my big toe continually being swelled and irritated. She said I hope so! This surgery would have a rehab timeframe of 3-4 months. I got another opinion which didn't sway my concerns.
I went to see a client of mine and as were on his estate looking at some trees (of course I was wearing my boot) he recommended me to Dr. Positano. I immediately set an appointment up, which to my delight, was simple and his staff was extremely friendly unlike others I've had to deal with. (Oddly a week later, another client of mine, who was a gastroenterologist, also recommended Dr. Positano and said he was amazing.) Dr. Positano did an x-ray and ultrasound and while he did concur with the preexisting issues my other doctors had said, he also noted that I had tremendous scar tissue built up that was not allowing me to heal. He looked at me while he was examining me and said, "We will get you back on your feet and get you back to work!" To say I was skeptical would be a huge understatement. Well after 3 months of weekly treatments using the EPAT system to break up my scar tissue followed by ultrasound which brought fresh blood to heal my foot I was 85% better with no surgery. This excited me so much I called my previous podiatrist to let her know of this technique that could help cure her patients without surgery! Finally after playing phone tag I shared my great news and while she was extremely nice and worked very hard during my time with her, I got the quick brush off and she said I'm glad your feeling better, all the best to you. She did not want to hear about a non-surgical approach.
At 47 years of age I was extremely disappointed that many doctors get stuck with their way of treatment even if it doesn't work. She did not want to hear about the EPAT system nor the ultrasound that Dr. Positano used to help me restore my professional life as well as my personal life. If I was not lucky enough to be given his name, I would have been forced to find a new career after 35 years and who knows the financial and personal stress and depression that may have been brought on me and my family due to me being crutch bound. Nine months later I would say I'm 99 percent healthy. My job requires heavy lifting and roughly 10-12 miles/day in walking 5 days week. Well I'm doing exactly that thanks to Dr. Positano and his staff. I've learned to deal with the best of the best if you're lucky enough to find them and trust your gut. I came close but I knew the surgeries they recommended would not work. But to be honest, I didn't think Dr. Positano's approach would either but I went with my gut and thank God I did. Dr. Positano was confident and detailed in his treatment plan which helped me make my decision. My family and I thank you and your staff for all your hard work, sincere care and passion. You saved us from what could have been a life-altering situation. Thank you Dr. Positano!