With so many bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles in the foot and ankle region of the body, it should come as no surprise that there are many variations of injuries and painful conditions that can occur. Sports injuries of the foot and ankle are typically the result of trauma suffered during training regimen or in the act of competition.
Other common medical conditions affecting the foot and ankle include those associated with disease (such as arthritis), stress or overuse injuries, and deformities (such as hammer toes or bunions). Foot and ankle pain is often the result of sprains, strains, fractures and conditions.
Foot and Ankle Sprains
Sprains, which represent the stretching, tearing or rupturing of the ligaments that hold the ankle bones together, are one of the most common injuries. Active people are more highly susceptible to sprains. Running, pivoting, kicking, jumping … virtually any sport, from basketball to golf or tennis, can cause you to land in such a way as to cause a sprain within the foot or ankle. Everyday mishaps, like twisting an ankle or landing awkwardly off a curb or step, can also result in a sprain.
Foot and Ankle Strains
Strains, as opposed to sprains, represent damage to muscles and tendons, not ligaments. Foot and ankle strains are common among people who overdo their activity, fail to warm up properly, pull or stretch the foot, wear poorly fitting shoes, or consistently run on hard or uneven surfaces.
Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Fractures of the ankle bone (the talus) can occur on either side of the ankle, or as a chip off the front part of the heel bone (the calcaneus). The symptoms of fractures are similar to those of sprains: foot and ankle pain, bruising, swelling or inability to bear weight. A fracture may also feel tender to the touch, and give the foot or ankle a deformed appearance.
Foot and Ankle Conditions
Painful medical conditions like arthritis and tendonitis can be triggered by past injuries to the foot or ankle. Arthritis in particular can form after a break or fracture of the joint, while tendonitis can arise from the constant strain on tendons associated with an overpronated running style (landing on the outer rim of the foot). Some common foot and ankle conditions treated at the Gelb Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center include: Achilles tendonitis, arthritis of the foot and ankle, ankle instability, peroneal tendonitis, bunions, corns and calluses, flat foot, hammer toe, Lisfranc injury, Morton’s neuroma and plantar Fasciitis,
Treating Foot and Ankle pain
Simple sprains and strains of the soft tissue can often be treated at home with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). However, more serious or widespread problems require a physician’s examination. A bone chip or fracture, for example, can leave fragments in the joint that further compromise the ankle’s weight-bearing ability or the foot’s range of motion.
Arthroscopic procedures are frequently the most effective way to diagnose and treat pain and the “buckling” or “locking” sensation of a foot or ankle condition. This minimally invasive treatment employs video cameras to survey the inside of the injury, where the surgeon may then use delicate instruments to remove or repair chips, fractures or tears.
Those suffering from pain or discomfort as the result of an injury or condition of the foot and ankle will be best served to seek evaluation from an orthopaedic surgeon specialized in foot and ankle care. At the Gelb Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, our medical staff is trained in the latest procedures used to procure optimal outcomes for patients.
Request an appointment online or contact us at 561-558-8898.