A while back a patient of mine stopped me as I was walking through the gym to ask me about his foot.
“Ash, I’ve hurt my foot”
“Ok, what have you done?” I replied.
“I twisted it stepping off an escalator… but then I went skiing and it seems to have gotten worse!”
So I asked to take a look, then and there on the gym floor, and so he took his shoe and sock off and showed me.
The foot looked quite swollen and bruised.
Se we went to the treatment room for a proper look.
I had a feel and the foot felt quite hard so by this point I sespected the 5th metatarsal was fractured.
The metatarsal bones are the ones you hear footballers break all the time.
The tuning fork test did indeed cause pain so I recommended this guy goes to hospital to get it checked.
Sure enough it was exactly what I suspected. You can see the actual X-Ray image of the fracture to the right (permission has been granted to use the picture obviously).
But the best part of this story is that when this guy went in to the A&E department he told them his osteopath thought there was a fracture and had diagnosed it using a tuning fork. Naturally the clinicians couldn’t understand this as it was a method they had never heard of.
The outcome was that this guy had to have his foot in a “moon boot” for 6 weeks and then have a follow up X-Ray. The follow up X-Ray still showed a fracture so he had to remain in the boot for a further 6 weeks. Now however all is healed and he is walking around just fine.