8 Most Common Foot-Related Injuries That Can Be Treated By A Foot And Ankle Specialist

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The issues that a foot and ankle specialist can address can include anything from sports-related injuries like stress fractures or ankle sprains as well as working with athletes to advancing of spinal, leg and foot alignment by using orthotics or physical therapy. When minor pains and aches are treated early-on, it can prevent severe issues later.

Podiatrists work with various age groups ranging from young children to amateur sport and world-class players in all kinds of sport. They can recommend appropriate warm-up and cool-down practices or the best type of shoes for prevention or recovery of sports injuries.

8 Most Familiar Foot-related Injuries Treatable by a Foot and Ankle Specialist

Common Foot Related Injuries

1. Injuries of the Ankles and Feet

Virtually all sports activities have the probability of sustaining harm to the ankle or foot, even swimming. The location and level of injury may vary, and appropriate diagnosis and treatment are centered on basic evaluation methods.

Familiar injuries include:

  • Abrasions or blisters
  • Toenail bruising or injury
  • Tendon injuries
  • Joint sprains
  • Muscle injuries
  • Contusions
  • Bone contusions or fractures
  • Growth plate injuries in children

Toenail bruising is a well-known occurrence during exercising and lifting or blackened toenails generally happens as a result of minor trauma. The toes are wedged into the shoe with every step, and the tautness of the calf muscles amplifies the effect of minor trauma, which was caused to the toenails. It is essential to ensure that your shoe fits properly and your calf muscles must be stretched periodically. Once you’ve noticed your toenails turned black or are lifting, you must consult with a podiatrist. These injuries can escalate into ingrown toenails, fungal infection, and even abnormal growth.

2. Blisters and Abrasions

Abrasions happen when the top layer of the skin is broken due to scrapes that occur on the skin. Blisters are caused by extreme friction where the skin stayed intact, and fluid gathers under the skin. The area with abrasion must be cleaned with water and soap, and an antibiotic ointment and light bandage must be applied. In the case of the abrasion turning red or gets infected, a physician must be consulted.

Blisters may be a symptom of abnormal foot function. If you are experiencing re-occurring blisters, a podiatrist must be consulted.

3. Contusions

Muscle Contusions

Blunt trauma is the main cause for contusions, and if the condition escalates to bruising or swelling, it is an indication that bone injury or soft tissue injury has occurred. Bruising is a sign of ruptured blood vessels, and in such cases, X-rays must be considered. Ice packs to the affected area can help reduce swelling and slow down bleeding under the skin after which a physician must be consulted.

4. Tendon injury

CT7KHN Achilles tendon problems

One of the most predominant sports injuries are tendon injuries, and they can be caused due to the over-assertive playing of sport, muscle imbalances, sprains, or blunt trauma.

Your most commonplace tendon injuries include:

  • Achilles tendon injury (Posterior tibial tendon injury on the inside of your foot).
  • Extensor tendon injury on top of your foot.
  • Arch or heel injury.
  • Peroneal tendon injury on the side of your foot.

It is recommended to contact a foot and ankle specialist to help you with appropriate treatment.

5. Muscle injuries

These injuries generally happen due to direct trauma and over physical exertion in the context of a muscle imbalance. If bruising is visible, a Podiatrist in Nassau County must be consulted to assist you with treatment. When a muscle sustained an injury, mild compression and ice may relieve some of the discomfort. Heat is not recommended as it will make the swelling worse.

6. Joint sprains

These sprains occurred when a joint was forced to move abnormally or beyond the typical range of motion. Examples of familiar joint sprains are:

  • Big toe joint
  • LisFranc’s injury (sprain of the midfoot)
  • Ankle Sprain

7. Children with growth plate injury

Growth plate injuries among children are quite common. The growth plate is located in the area within a bone that controls proper bone growth. Injury to this area inside the bone can lead to the early closure of the growth plate or abnormal bone growth.

Common injury relating to growth plates are:

  • Big toe injury
  • Freiberg’s disease (Pain inside the ball of your foot)
  • Kohler’s disease (Pain located on the inner side of your foot)
  • Pain located on the outside of the foot
  • Seiver’s disease – pain in the back of your heel.

Closing of the growth plate generally occurs in girls at the age of fourteen and in boys at sixteen years. A podiatrist must evaluate if there are any joint sprains or trauma caused to the ankle or foot in a child.

8. Bone injuries (contusions and fractures)

Credit: Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic

There are basically two main types of fractures to the bones. The more palpable fracture is caused as a result of a joint sprain or direct trauma.

The second type of fracture is referred to as a stress fracture and generally occurs when uncharacteristic repetitive forces are being produced through the bone. Common areas of the foot where stress fractures can occur are as follows:

  • Navicular stress fractures – pain arising on the upper inside of your foot.
  • Metatarsal stress fractures – pain occurring inside the ball of your foot.

Conclusion

There are various types of injuries relating to sports activities. Diagnosis of such injuries is generally based on conventional modalities and diagnostic practices which are known to a podiatrist. The appropriate treatment methods for these injuries can make a significant difference between resuming of your sport without it being too painful or experiencing ongoing pain and perhaps the termination of the sports activity. It is essential to acknowledge that the body’s healthy healing can’t be hurried but can only be slowed down.

Even if it leads to you not being able to proceed with regular seasonal play. It is vital to remain patient with your doctor and his recommendation on the prescribed time for proper healing of your injuries. It is always best to wait, and once you return to your sports, you’ll be in top form rather than resume sports activities and injuring yourself further which can result in permanent impairment resulting in you not being able to play again.

Karly Millar

    Karly Millar

    A Doctor of Public Health, Karly Millar has accrued more than ten years of experience, making a name for herself as a researcher, writer, policy analyst, and project manager specializing in public health and international development. She earned her PhD in Community and Behavioural Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, her Master’s Degree in Global Health and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and her Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Biomedical Sciences (with minours in Biology and Psychology) at the University of Waterloo.