Whether you’re a pro athlete, a runner, part of a club or school team, or just a weekend warrior, foot & ankle sports injuries happen often. Some injuries are minor and can relieve on their own, but lingering injuries can have terrible long-term effects. The doctors of Premier Foot & Ankle are experts in sports medicine and can help you return to your full activity quickly!
Sports injuries can be classified into two separate categories. Direct injuries occur when an athlete’s foot or ankle comes in contact with an object or person resulting in trauma and painful symptoms. Indirect injuries, on the other hand, occur due to twisting or “torquing” movements. This can be abrupt or repetitive, resulting in stress with wear & tear to the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles or other soft tissues.
Some of the more common sports injuries seen at our offices include:
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sports injuries encountered. Pain resides to the inside of the heel and persists throughout the day, with intense sharpness upon getting out of bed. The condition can worsen from an acute to chronic state with scar tissue formation if left untreated. Plantar fasciitis is seen in any athlete and most prominent in runners.
If you’re an athlete, chances are you’ve had an ankle sprain before. They generally occur after a jump while landing on the ground or running on uneven surfaces. The ankle rolls on the outside and underneath itself, resulting in immediate pain, swelling and bruising. The first question most people think of with an ankle sprain is, “Did I break my ankle?” An x-ray would be taken to rule it out, while a progressive treatment plan would be made in order to regain a person’s activity level as before. The key is healing the sprain while rehabilitating to prevent further injury.
Continuous and repetitive stresses to the foot and ankle is a popular cause of the different types of tendonitis an athlete can get while playing sports. The tendon tends to overwork itself repeatedly, causing an inflammatory process and resulting pain. Delaying treatment further weakens the tendons to the point where chronic changes and even tearing can happen. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body and is often the common structure affected by the condition.
Pediatric Heel Pain
The general rule is kids heal quickly! They are amazing in their ability to bypass pain while healing. However, there are certain conditions that occur frequently and are more difficult to treat. The most common injury seen in pediatric patients is heel pain. The growth plate of the child’s heel typically is growing until their mid-teens. Continuous stress and impact on the heel during athletic activities can irritate these growth plates, causing inflammation and pain.
Your big toe is very important for athletes! It is the main toe that absorbs pressure when pushing your foot off the ground. A turf toe occurs when the ligaments that support the big toe has a sprain. The injury is typically one of the worst sprains in the foot & ankle and can be very painful. Further imaging is often ordered to assess the severity of the injury.
Athletes put immense pressure on their toes and overlying nails when they are active. Whether it involves running, kicking, sliding or cutting, the nails are at risk for trauma. Blood under the nail is one of the most common things seen with the injury. Typically, there is a cut that has occurred at the nail bed, resulting in bleeding. If caught early, the bleeding can be released and nail salvaged. If untreated, nail lifting can occur with a hematoma forming underneath. It becomes an area at risk for infection or ingrown toenails.
Shin splints can be debilitating to one’s activity. They are usually due to vigorous physical activity or a sudden change in activity level where the tendons, muscles and soft tissue overwork, causing inflammation and tightness. Stretching is very important in preventative measures of shin splints and your podiatrist will be able to create a great program to treat the condition.
The most fearful thought of any injury is a broken bone. Although the human body is amazing in resistance and protective measures, injuries with enough force can result in fractures to occur. Some common signs of fractures include immediate pain, immediate swelling, moderate to severe bruising, and inability to walk. You may have a fracture if you heard & felt a pop, or if an injury lingers with severe pain. Your podiatrist will take an x-ray to assess the severity and decide if surgery would be necessary.
The podiatrists of Premier Foot & Ankle have extensive training in the treatment of sports injuries. They are very active in the athletic community, hosting multiple races for runners while providing on-site care. They treat athletes of all levels and ages, including pediatrics patients using state-of-the-art technology and techniques primed to help with faster recovery.
The goal is to regain mobility, flexibility, and strength with preventative measures of future injury. They use state-of-the-art technology in assessing and treating the various conditions. An EPAT is a new and advanced therapy that has a show to have great results in the athletic community!