Fat Pad Atrophy

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by Barefoot TJ, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Barefoot TJ

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    I think I may be suffering from fat pad atrophy after having four neuromas removed back in January (two in each foot). I had a ton of treatments, injection procedures, and cryosurgery prior to that, so the scar tissue has built up quite a bit from all of these scarring treatments and surgeries.

    I have been seeing a deep tissue massage therapist, referred to my by my podiatrist, who is helping to break up the scar tissue and remove the calcium deposits from my feet (nerves and what's remaining of them, tissues, and bones). Scar tissue is very painful. She is also working on the plantar fasciitis.

    I had hyperparathyroidism for many years and had a tumor removed from one of my parathyroids 10 years ago. As you know, with hyperparathyroidism, the body flushes the calcium through urine and also deposits much of it in the hands and feet and refuses to absorb the calcium into the bones, which left me with osteoporosis. Since having the tumor removed I am no longer in the osteoporosis category, but now in the osteopenia category, so that's a great improvement.

    With my massage therapists' help, I am not limping as much as I used to (just before I saw her), and I can stay on my feet for longer periods of time, so I know she is helping. But I am wondering if she could be causing the fat pad to thin out. I feel like I am walking on the metatarsals in my feet and that leads to my feeling bruised in the balls of my feet and my toes feeling like they are going to pop under pressure. I had these sensations before seeing her too, but with all the pain level and types of changes, it's hard to gauge. Could she be causing damage to the fat pad? If not, why do the bottoms of my forefeet/balls of feet seem so much thinner than before the surgeries?

    How can I tell if I have fat pad atrophy for sure?

    Has the US allowed treatment of the fat pad through fat or silicone injections yet? A few years back it was a no-no in the US, but accepted in the UK.

    Any help and info on this, I would much appreciate.
     
  2. Robbi

    Robbi Barefooters
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    Not to derail the post, but I have seen folks like Tellman talking about 'fat pads' on the feet, and it always struck me as odd, because I don't see this being referred to in a lot of places. It seems very counter-intuitive that adaptation would would result in a fat buildup as opposed to tougher cellular structure formation through the process of running barefoot.

    So I supose I must ask...do we really have fat pads on the bottom of our feet, or is this misinformation?
     
  3. Barefoot Dama

    Barefoot Dama Barefooters
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    TJ, I have read that as we get older our fat pads get thinner my guess is that since you have being of your feet for so long your fat pads deconditioned?
    I've noticed my fat pads are so much thicker now that I barefoot run.
    Hopefully yours go back to the way they were before your surgeries.
    I really don't think the massage is causing your symtoms but then again I know nothing,well I won't go that far because I do know a little about everything and a lot about nothing ;)

    @ Robbi, I do think we do have fat pads(that's what I have heard all my life)so that makes it legit-right?
     

  4. BarefootGburg

    BarefootGburg Barefooters

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    The bottom of my feet are much thicker and more "padded" then they were before I began barefooting. I think it's about what your foot is subjected to.
     
  5. Barefoot TJ

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    Yes, fat pads are a real thing. Run an internet search and you will see, they are very real and can degenerate. (Your heels are also made up of fat pads.)

    Also, I agree with you 100%, I do not see how we can build up fat by running barefoot. We can perhaps thicken our plantar skin, yes, but not fat.

    Metatarsalgia is categorized as any pain in the forefoot that hasn't been specifically diagnosed as some other condition. People with Metatarsalgia use gel pads in their shoes to compensate for the lack of fat. There are a lot of products on the market for this purpose. They do provide some to much relief for some folks.

    Here's an article written by one of the barefoot-friendly doctors about this subject:
    Forefoot pain (Metatarsalgia) and Atrophy of the Plantar Fat Pad ...

    www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150237054797188
    Dr. Nicholas A Campitelli - Podiatric Medicine and Surgery wrote a note titled Forefoot pain (Metatarsalgia) and Atrophy of the Plantar Fat Pad. Read the full text ...
     
  6. Robbi

    Robbi Barefooters
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    Thanks TJ - I took a look, and yes, we do have fat pads! I almost wish I hadn't searched - sometimes all the ailments around running (hell and just life for that matter) seem overwhelming.

    Think I'm just going to listen to my feet and hope for the best. Hope them fat pads are OK with that :).
     
  7. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc

    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    Someone recently asked me about fat pads over at the SockDoc site. Basically it's not normal that they decrease to the point that they should be causing pain or problems. Sure many things naturally decline as we age, but a healthy person even at age 90 (I'm making that number up, but I think it's reasonable) should not have foot pain from lack-of-fat-pad, or any other foot problem. Just like muscles deteriorate more than a human ages (sarcopenia), and bones (osteopenia) so do all body tissues in an unhealthy person. Healthy, normal aging does not result in pain.
     
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  8. Barefoot TJ

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    Remember, Doc. It's me we're talking about. I ain't healthy. :(
     

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