Dr. Brad Schaeffer is deeply concerned about the giant "brain" of a mass that is taking over his patient's foot. In a PopCulture.com exclusive sneak peek of Thursday's My Feet Are Killing Me: First Steps, the podiatric surgery specialist consults via video chat with John and his family while making surgical and biopsy plans to determine if the unusual growth is life-threatening.
When asked how the mass was able to grow so large, John says through his family, who translates for him, that his feet have always been different. "He asked his parents what happened and they pretty much said, 'You had two big toes that were just growing too quickly,' so they just cut it off," his family member continues. "And I guess it just kept growing after that."
Still, the mass has gotten "a lot bigger" over the past few years, which adds a sense of urgency to getting a diagnosis. Also putting Dr. Brad's feet to the fire is the amount of pain John has been in, which feels like "somebody just has a knife underneath and is just going right through it." Looking at his X-rays, Dr. Brad notes "it looks like the bone is almost exploding" and clearly causing excruciating pain.
"I can only imagine how something like that has affected your life," Dr. Brad tells his patient. "Well, look, I'm honored you've reached out." Asking to get a better look at the foot over a video chat, Dr. Brad inspects the limb from all angles. "You can really see how that mass is affecting the whole front of your foot and it's even shifting your toes up. I mean, I can only imagine how uncomfortable that is," he says. While John has slight movement in some of his toes, the majority of the foot's sole is obscured by a wrinkled growth. "It really does look like a brain on the bottom of your foot there," Dr. Brad says, noting how much pressure John has to put on the front of his foot to walk. "It's like double the size." Will the doctor be able to help John determine what the growth on his foot actually is and regain a normal life? My Feet Are Killing Me: First Steps airs Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on TLC. For more on TLC's hit shows from PopCulture, click here.