Foot and Ankle Sports Injuries

What are Foot and Ankle Sports injuries? 

For athletes, sports activities are more than play. Participation in athletics improves physical fitness, coordination, self-discipline, it gives children valuable opportunities to learn teamwork and adults a place to work off stress. 

However anytime people compete in athletic activities it creates the possibility that there will be injuries and one of the most common places to experience an injury is in the foot or ankle. For example, every mile you walk puts 60 tons of stress on each foot. So, when doing sports activities people are putting a ton of wear on their feet and ankles.

Sporting injuries around the ankle and foot can vary from simple sprains that will resolve spontaneously within a few days to severe injuries which may require surgery to fully recover from. Some of these injuries can be easily overlooked altogether or misdiagnosed with potentially devastating effects on future performance. That’s why it’s important you consult an experienced foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon when more serious problem arise.

At Campbell Clinic understand the importance of sports in people’s lives and our goal is to get our patients back to competing normally as quickly and as safely as possible. Here we treat a wide variety of foot and ankle injuries in athletes of all age groups.

“The mission of the Campbell Clinic is to provide unsurpassed patient care while being recognized as a leader in teaching and research in the profession of orthopedic surgery.”

Before you see a physician

Some important questions to consider before you see a physician include:

  • When did the pain start?
  • Where exactly is the pain? Does it occur in one foot or in both feet?
  • When does the pain occur? Is it continuous, or does it come and go?
  • Is the pain worse in the morning or at night? Does it get worse when walking or running?
  • Have you had an injury to your foot or ankle in the past?

What are common sports injuries we treat?

If the pain in your foot or ankle is impacting your ability to walk or exercise normally you should see a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon  to go over potential diagnosis and treatment options.

Treatment options largely depend on the cause of the foot or ankle pain, some common sports injuries which cause of foot or ankle pain include:

  • Ankle fractures A broken ankle is also known as an ankle “fracture.” This means that one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken. This can range from a simple break in one bone, which may not stop you from walking, to several fractures, may require that you not put weight on it for a few months. Learn more about Ankle Fractures
  • Ankle sprains A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs on the ligaments located on the outside of the ankle. This usually occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way when the foot rolls inward underneath the ankle or leg. This can stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together. Learn more about Ankle Sprains
  • High ankle sprains These tend to be much less common than a traditional ankle sprain, yet much more serious in nature. The high ankle ligaments (also called the syndesmosis) are located above the ankle, as opposed to the more commonly injured ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Learn more about High Ankle Sprains
  • Achilles tendinitis and ruptures Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. A ruptured Achilles is a tear in that tendon which causes the tendons normal function to be impaired. Learn more about Achilles Tendinitis and Ruptures
  • Stress Fractures in the foot or ankle A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone. Most stress fractures are caused by overuse and repetitive activity, and are common in runners and athletes who participate in running sports, such as soccer and basketball. Learn more about Stress Fractures
  • Turf toe the simplest definition of turf toe is that it is a sprain of the main joint of the big toe. The injury happens when the toe is forcibly bent up into hyperextension, such as when pushing off into a sprint and having the toe get stuck flat on the ground. Learn more about Turf Toe
  • Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed (sub calcaneal pain). Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis
  • Jones Fractures A Jones fracture is the name often used for a fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal, the bone on the outer side of your foot. Jones fractures are one of the most common foot injuries. This broken bone may heal slowly because of poor blood supply to the area and the amount of force placed on this part of the foot. Learn more about Jones Fractures

Prevention methods and other tips

While injuries are a normal part of participating in sports activities there are lots of ways to protect yourself a minimize the chance of injury, some include:

  • Be in proper physical condition to play a sport (a pre-participation sports physical examination can be very useful in screening for potential problems for younger athletes)
  • Stretching before and after activity
  • Wear appropriate and up to date equipment (for example, shin guards for soccer, or shoes that are not worn out)
  • Know how to correctly use athletic equipment (for example, correctly adjusting the bindings on snow skis)
  • Always warm up before playing
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid playing when very tired or in pain

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