Sports Injuries

Common sports injuries of the foot and ankle:

  1. Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries. The starting, twisting and stopping motions of running, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball and tennis place athletes at higher risk for this type of injury. Typically, ankle sprains occur during a fall, jump or turn. The athlete lands on the side of the foot or the foot is accidentally turned inward. This movement stretches or tears the small ligaments that support and stabilize the ankle. Sometimes, a snap is felt or a pop is heard. The ankle swells, is tender and painful.
  2. Stress fractures and tears or strains to the muscle or ligaments can result from over training without resting the body. Running long distances without a break from training is a common example.
  3. When the Achilles tendon (the tendon that connects muscles in the lower leg with the heel bone) is overstressed, it can become strained or torn. Sports such as basketball and jumping that tighten the calf muscles put athletes more at risk for this type of injury. A direct blow to the foot, ankle or calf in contact sports such as soccer and martial arts can also injure the Achilles tendon.

What should I do if I injure my foot or ankle during exercise or sports?

  1. Immediately treat the injury with RICE. This means:

    · Rest the ankle.

    · Ice the area to decrease swelling.

    · Compress the area by wrapping or taping the ankle.

    · Elevate by placing the ankle on a chair or stool.

  2. When applying ice, be careful not to leave it on too long to prevent damage to skin or nerves. There are several good methods to use:

    · Wrap a thin, damp cloth around the injury and place a plastic bag filled with crushed ice over it. Keep the bag in place by wrapping the area with an Ace bandage.

    · Fill a bucket with water and ice. Place your ankle in the bucket just until it gets numb.

    · Freeze water in a short Styrofoam cup or hold an ice cube with a hand towel. Slowly rub the injured area with the ice in a circular motion, being careful not to ice any area for longer than 20 to 30 seconds.

    · It is best to ice the injury several times a day.

  3. If the discomfort persists or you feel a professional opinion is needed, call Global Foot and Ankle Clinic to schedule an appointment.

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