sports medicine

Podiatrists often see patients who have experienced a foot or ankle injury while playing sports. Popular sports such as running, soccer, football, basketball, tennis, and dance can be particularly hard on the feet and ankles. Strain on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones of the lower limbs from overtraining and repetitive motions can lead to overuse injuries. Acute trauma to the feet or ankles while playing sports or training are also common. Some of the sports injuries that podiatrists frequently diagnose and treat include plantar fasciitis, turf toe, sesamoiditis, stress fractures, ankle sprains, and Achilles tendonitis.
If you are an athlete, you may be tempted to ignore the symptoms of a foot or ankle injury in favor of continuing to train and participate in your sport. This is ill-advised, as the pain or discomfort you are experiencing is the first sign that something is wrong and needs to be checked out by a professional. Left untreated, even seemingly mild injuries, such as a grade one ankle sprain, can progressively worsen, become chronic conditions, and increase the likelihood of reinjury. Common symptoms of a foot or ankle injury that should never be ignored include pain, swelling, and bruising.

Running Injury Prevention:

Running injuries are an unfortunate, but all too common occurrence. Understanding a running injury is the key to effective prevention. The following list is an example of the injuries commonly seen by our office. It is important to note that most foot and ankle injuries can easily be prevented by proper care and education. Most of these injuries are caused by overuse, ill-fitting shoes and lack of proper support.

Pain in the rearfoot and heel

  • Plantar fasciitis (heel spur)
    Pain in the heel which may radiate into the arch of the foot.
    Plantar Fasciitis is mainly caused by abnormal pronation of the subtalar joint and can easily be remedied by proper fitting, stable shoes and custom orthotics.
  • Bruised heel (Fat pad contusion)
    Pain from bruising under the heel.
    This problem is caused by sudden increase in mileage or speed. Old worn out shoes are another major factor.
  • Calcaneal stress fracture
    Stress fracture of the heel bone or calcaneus.
    Very serious condition which requires medical attention. excessive, sudden increase in
  • Medial calcaneal nerve entrapment
    Also known as Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome – pain sometimes sharp radiating into the arch of the foot, heel and sometimes toes.
  • Achilles bursitis (Retrocalcaneal bursitis)
    Pain at the back of the heel caused by in inflamed bursa.
  • Bursitis under the calcaneus bone
    Pain under the heel caused by an inflamed bursa.
  • Blisters
    Prevention and treatment of this common complaint.

Pain in the middle of the foot

  • Navicular Stress Fracture
    A poorly localized midfoot ache associated with exercise
  • Extensor tendinopathy / inflammation
    Pain with possible swelling on the top of the foot.
  • Inflammation of flexor tendons of the toes
    Midfoot pain – less common than Extensor tendinitis but can be more painful and disabling
  • Plantar fascia strain
    Localized tenderness and pain under the arch of the foot.
  • Lateral Plantar Nerve Entrapment
    Pain under the inside of the heel which radiates up into the inside of the ankle.
  • Stress fractures
    Stress fracture in the bones of the foot.
  • Sinus Tarsi Syndrome
    Poorly localized pain just in front of the lateral malleolus (bony bit on the outside of the ankle).
  • Tarsal coalition
    Fusing of the foot bones in adolescents
  • Midtarsal Joint Sprain
    Injury to the midtarsal joint is rare but is more likely seen in gymnasts, footballers and sports involving jumping.
  • Cuboid Syndrome
    Dislocation of the cuboid causing pain when weight bearing on the outside of the foot.
  • Abductor hallucis strain
    Pain along the inside arch of the foot.
  • Lisfranc’s injury (fracture / dislocation)
    A serious injury of the tarsometatarsal joints in the foot which should always be considered if midfoot sprain is suspected.
  • Inflammation or rupture of peroneus brevis tendon
    Pain at a specific point on the outside of the foot.
  • Tibialis posterior tendinopathy
    Pain on the inside of the ankle or at the attachment of the tendon to the navicular bone in the boot.
  • Peroneal tendinopathy / tendinitis
    Pain on the outside of the ankle and heel caused by inflammation of the peroneal tendons.
  • Blisters
    Prevention and treatment of this common complaint.

Forefoot pain

  • Corns and calluses
    Hard skin due to excess pressure and poor foot biomechanics.
  • Pes cavus (claw foot)
    A genetic defect in the foot with a high arch.
  • Metatarsalgia (Metatarsophalangeal joint synovitis)
    Inflammation of the MTP joints in the forefoot
  • Mortons neuroma
    Pain in the forefoot, specifically on one side of a toe and the adjacent side of the next toe.
  • Bunions
    A bunion is a painful swelling of the soft tissue, and bone enlargement over the inside of the ball of the big toe.
  • Turf toe
    Sprain at the base of the big toe.
  • Metatarsal fracture
    Fracture of the long bones in the foot.

If you are involved in sports and experience any foot or ankle pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist. A podiatrist can determine the nature and extent of your injury, offer treatment options, and advise you on how to prevent sports-related foot and ankle injuries in the future.

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