FOOT AND ANKLE SPRAINS
Ankle sprains are one of the most common lower extremity injuries and occur in all ages. They occur when the strong ligaments that support the ankle get stretch beyond their limits and tear. They range from mild to severe depending upon how much damage there is to the ligaments. If your ankle is very swollen and painful to walk on or you can't put weight on it, make sure to get it checked out by a professional. If left without appropriate treatment and rehabilitation, you may be vulnerable to repeat sprains which may lead to long term problems including chronic ankle pain, arthritis, and ongoing instability.
FOOT AND ANKLE FRACTURES
A broken bone is never a pleasant experience. But while any potential foot or toe fractures should be brought to the attention of our team as soon as you can, these injuries do vary quite a bit in terms of where and how they are broken, and how severely. Foot fractures are usually (although not always, especially in the case of stress fractures) the result of a sudden severe trauma, such as twisting, falling, or a direct impact (such as an auto accident, falling off a ladder, dropping a heavy object, etc.). Pain tends to be swift and severe, and may be accompanied by bruising, swelling, and even dislocation or deformity in the shape of the foot if the fracture is unstable.
Common Types of Foot and Ankle Fractures
Toe and forefoot fractures occur in the front portion of the foot, often involving the long metatarsal bones. Many people mistakenly believe that nothing can be done for these types of fractures, and that there’s no point seeing a doctor unless you’re unable to bear any weight. But nothing could be further from the truth
Stress fractures are not “full” breaks, but hairline cracks that form in the surface of bones. Unlike most other sprains and fractures, stress fractures tend to develop slowly over time due to overuse. Stress fractures are common in weight-bearing bones (such as the long metatarsals in the front part of your foot) and can eventually worsen into more severe breaks if you try to keep pushing through the pain.
Midfoot fractures develop in the area of the arch, where a “clump” of irregularly shaped bones (the tarsals) connect to the long metatarsal bones at the front part of the foot. A severe twist or impact can dislocate or fracture the bones in this region. While this typically makes it too painful to bear weight, some people are able to continue walking on a midfoot fracture—which unfortunately only makes the problem worse.
Ankle fractures are often sudden and severe, and require immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize they have one since the symptoms can overlap with those of a severe sprain. Broken ankles typically need to be casted and often require surgery, so it’s critical to identify and treat them as soon as possible.
What are shin splints?
Shin splints refers to a painful condition that develops along the inside of the shin. The usual location of shin pain is along the lower half of the shin, anywhere from a few inches above the ankle to about halfway up the shin. Shin splints can however, effect just about any part of the lower leg.
What causes shin splints?
Shin splints generally come about due to increased physical activity or a change in activity such as increasing the distance of a daily run/walk. Running on hard surfaces with inappropriate footwear can also cause this condition. The main reason why shin splints occurs is due to poor mechanics of the foot. This can result from muscles that originate in the leg being overworked and fatigued during activities. Pains in the shin can also be due to bony changes which result from poor shock absorption during activities.
While athletes often experience peroneal tendonitis, it’s can also affect women who wear high heels, anyone who stands a lot, or those who work on uneven surfaces. It is caused by excessive stress on the peroneal tendon in the foot. There are two peroneal tendons that stabilize your foot and protect it from sprains. They stretch side-by-side from the fibula (outer ankle) down into the foot behind the ankle bone. One connects to the outside of the foot while the other runs under the foot and connects near the inner side of the arch. When one or both of them become inflamed, that’s called peroneal tendonitis.
Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis
Symptoms include pain or tenderness around the ankle or foot, swelling, stiffness, pain while stretching, a concentrated warm feeling in the foot, and a foot that feels warm to the touch. These symptoms might come on suddenly following an injury or slowly due to overuse.
Turf toe is caused when the big toe is jammed over and over again on a hard surface. We see this mostly with athletes who play on artificial turf and repeatedly stop and start suddenly, such as with soccer and football.
Symptoms of Turf Toe
This sprain of the joint where the big toe meets the foot can cause pain at the base of the big toe, which may be accompanied by swelling or stiffness. If left untreated, it will get worse. It can also lead to instability, dislocation, arthritis and loss of cartilage Unfortunately, most athletes will ignore this condition, but this just causes the injury to linger on and sometimes can cost the athlete their entire season. Treating turf toe means lots of rest. It takes at least three weeks for turf toe to heal and may be coupled with ice, anti-inflammatory medications and elevating the foot. In some cases, orthotics or special inserts are prescribed that can decrease motion of the big toe joint to help you avoid future injury.
This is also known as a subungal hematoma. Tennis requires a lot of stopping, starting and changing direction, which can lead to bleeding under the big toenail. This can be both painful and unattractive. It is not limited to just tennis, the condition is caused by the big toe and toenail being constantly jammed against the tip of the shoes. It can be seen in runners, direct trauma to the nail or improperly fit shoes. If the "tennis toe" is causing you pain, it’s important to relieve the pressure from the pooled blood under the nail. This can be performed with minimal pain in office.