Fat Pad Syndrome, It’s A Thing

Dear Audy,

My goodness, two weeks can pass so quickly that I’m left staring blankly into the blurry void of the past and wondering what happened.

So, that thing that is wrong with my right foot turned out not to be plantar faciitis. Most likely this is because plantar faciitis is a fairly common problem and it would be incredibly unlike me to actually have a medical problem that people have heard of.

My plantar fascia is fine. However, apparently one can damage fat. Yep, fat. That gluggy stuff that makes us insecure while it hangs around waiting for us to run out of food. That stuff. Ok, maybe not that stuff exactly, I’m pretty sure our bellies are safe, but the soles of our feet are susceptible to incoming fat attacks.


This is my favourite web page explaining the issue. Fat Pad Syndrome (hilarious) means that I’ve damaged the baffles (hilarious) in the fat in my heel. Yep, it might be slightly baffling, but fat has baffles. They’re joiny bits that hold the fat in place.

How did I damage my fat pad?

I suspect this is the outcome of a stone on concrete injury. I have these stupid white stones in my backyard (designing a yard? You do not need stones. Get pavers) and some stepping stone paver things. Over the time that I’ve lived here, I’ve had a few owie moments when one of the stones gets onto the pavers and then my foot comes down atop that stone.

I don’t remember the specific incident that set off my fat pad syndrome (still hilarious) however I do recall that no so long ago I had a particularly painful episode of foot-on-stone-on-paver. Being that it’s the only explanation for how I ended up with damaged fat, I’m sticking with that.

What are my options?

Ultrasound man, who informed me that one can damage fat and that I had damaged mine, also mentioned that it was an option to inject the area with cortisone, however the success rate for this sort of injury is only about 50%, which is a little bit too risky for me.

I’ve been injected with cortisone in CRPS affected areas before, it’s kind of like being injected with boiling poison.

I chose to forgo the treatment and wait for my stupid heel to heal the slow way.

How long will this take to get better?

No, seriously, if you know how long, let a sister in on the secret!!

I’ve read about healing periods ranging from 5 days to 3 months. When I obtain an injury, I usually account for the CRPS but doubling the recovery time. Potentially, I could be dealing with this stupid heel for 6 months. Hopefully, I won’t be, so I’m trying to take good care of it in the meantime.

How does one care for one’s fat pad?

I have some squishy gel pad orthotics that help if I need to walk around, however I’m pretty wobbly and extremely unreliable. If I’m leaving the house right now, I need to take my cane.

I try to step on the foot as little as possible. It’s the opposite mind frame to living with CRPS, usually I am not doing damage when my nervous system tells me that I am. In this case, I am re-bruising the area, so I need to be careful.

I am trying to manage the rest of my body and keep my tension levels down. This has been particularly difficult in the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a bit of a virus and some excess stressors hanging around my life. Sleep has been eluding me as I wake up in a hot flush every couple of hours – this never helps my coping abilities in general.

Relaxing has been rather tough, but I’m starting to feel like I’m getting somewhere again. It’s kind of hard to meditate when I’m used to focusing on my breathing and I’m quite coughy with this bug so breathing isn’t all that smooth and easy right now. I’m trying to focus on other senses instead, mainly sound, but I’m still finding positive results are filtering through much more slowly than in general.

Coughing also makes Feldenkrais a bit more of a challenge, but I am trying to keep it up by doing shorter sessions a couple of times a day.

I hate that it can take so long for me to deal with such small setbacks in the grand scheme of things. Everybody gets sick sometimes, everybody has a silly little injury here and there. I hate that when it happens to me it can completely knock my life of kilter for weeks, if not months. I’ve gotten through worse and I’ll get through this, I’m just a little fragile at the moment. I’m feeling overwhelmed, which makes concentrating difficult.

Managing my days has been taking up all of my time and strength. Thanks so much to everyone who has been leaving me comments and messages, I shall get back to you ASAP, just need to get myself functioning a little better.

Love & Sprinkles,

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  • 4 thoughts on “Fat Pad Syndrome, It’s A Thing

    1. Kiwikchat

      ouch ouch, I hate sharp little stones. We had some at my house when I was growing up and they can be nasty. I hadn’t realised the risk of fat pad baffle damage! (sounds like an item on thai menu…I’d like the fat pad with a side of baffle please.)

      Sounds like you are an expert on pain management and have the right attitude to cope with this new challenge.

      Sending you some ‘get better soon’ vibes.

      xx K

      1. Hayley Cafarella Post author

        LOL! it does sound like a menu item :) I have developed such a hate for stones, even before one of them attacked me! Landlords seem to love to cover rentals with them, as though they are easy to manage, really they just invite weeds and make mowing the nearby lawn difficult. There will be no stones at all in the garden at my new house…can’t wait!!

    2. Tracey

      Goodness me … it all sounds very painful and very bizarre … it’s amazing what the human body can do to itself.

      Take care.

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