Your foot and ankle work hard to support your weight and to provide mobility. This means that your foot and ankle are prone to injury, especially if you engage in sports.
All athletes, whether professional or amateur, are at risk of sustaining foot and ankle sports injuries. So even if you play only the occasional tennis match or soccer game, that kicking and running can injure your feet and ankles.
Let’s talk about some of the most common foot and ankle sports injuries that affect athletes:
One of the most common foot and ankle conditions is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the heel with the calf muscle. The condition is called Achilles tendonitis, and it is usually a result of overuse. This injury is common among runners, tennis players, and basketball players.
Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the back of the lower leg, above the heel. It tends to be worse in the morning and gets worse with activity.
Achilles tendonitis usually resolves itself with self-care. However, severe cases can lead to tendon tears, which require surgical intervention.
This injury is due to an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the band of tissue along the bottom of your foot connecting your heel to your toes. The injury is characterized by a stabbing pain in the heel, and it is usually a result of too much stress on the foot.
Millions of patients see their doctors for plantar fasciitis each year, especially athletes. Plantar fasciitis almost never requires surgery. The RICE method is usually very effective in treating this injury, which involves:
…of the affected foot. Be sure not to put ice or ice packs directly onto the skin, but rather wrap the pack in a towel in order to prevent frostbite.
This type of injury in the feet and ankles tends to particularly affect figure skaters, dancers, and gymnasts. It is a result of repetitive stress on the bones.
With a stress fracture, there are one or more small cracks in the bone tissue. Symptoms include swelling and pain that goes away during rest.
This type of injury in the foot or ankle should be examined by a podiatrist, because stress fractures that do not heal properly can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain.
Ankle sprains are usually caused by a sudden twisting of the foot either inward or outward. This abrupt twisting may damage the ligaments of the ankle.
The degree of pain you feel from a sprained ankle may vary. A mild to moderate sprain can make standing and walking difficult, while a severe sprain can prevent you from standing altogether.
Ankle sprains usually respond well to self-care treatments and heal without surgery, but a complete tear of the ligament will require surgery. Anything severe should be evaluated by a skilled podiatrist.
Foot and Ankle Doctors in Central Maryland
Our podiatrists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland Foot & Ankle Care diagnose and treat a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions. We not only treat injuries, but we also provide patient education so that you can successfully prevent foot and ankle sports injuries in the future.
We believe in providing compassionate, patient-centered care. For your convenience, we have podiatry clinics in Catonsville, Eldersburg, and Columbia.
To schedule an appointment, please call (410) 644-1880 or request an appointment online via our easy-to-use form. Nothing makes us happier than seeing you back on your feet as quickly as possible.