We are all athletes.
It doesn’t matter whether you play youth sports, are a member of the military, or hold any other kind of active job or hobbies. All of us are active to some degree, and that means proper foot and ankle care is critically important.
Unfortunately, far too many people would rather “play through the pain” instead of giving their feet and ankles the care they need immediately after an athletic injury. And in the long run, that can mean more pain, more time on the sidelines, and more difficult treatment.
Common Foot & Ankle Sports Injuries
Sports injuries to the feet and ankles can be categorized as either traumatic or overuse. The need for treatment after a traumatic injury (such as a sprain or ruptured tendon) is usually obvious, but chronic pain from overuse injuries is more likely to be overlooked and underestimated. Both types of injuries are serious and require prompt treatment, especially if they are keeping you from enjoying activities.
Common injuries we see in our office include (but are not limited to):
- Ankle sprains. The most common athletic injury. Failure to treat a sprain properly may result in chronic pain and instability, as well as increased risk of future injury. Don’t take chances—get it treated.
- Heel pain. Heel pain is one of the most common overuse injuries among athletes. Adults are most likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis, while kids tend to experience inflammation of the growth plate of the heel (Sever’s disease). However, we are seeing an increase of traditional plantar fasciitis in kids.
- Broken bones and dislocations. Severe twists, falls, or crushing accidents can result in bones cracking, breaking, or popping out of place.
- Stress fractures. In this type of fracture, repetitive stress causes cracks to form in the surface of bones, leading to aching pain. If you do not allow them to heal, they can worsen into more serious breaks.
- Shin splints. Pain in the front of the shin—in or around the tibia—is a common overuse injury in runners and military recruits.
- Achilles tendon injuries. Because it handles such immense loads when running and jumping, the Achilles tendon is prone to stretching, tearing, or even completely rupturing—especially among middle-aged “weekend warriors.”
- Toe injuries. Broken toes, ingrown toenails, bruising under the nail, and other toe injuries are common in athletes and runners—particularly if your shoes or boots don’t fit properly.