Trauma / Sports Injuries

From the ankle to the toes, the foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons. All of these structures bear all of the weight of the body while you walk, run, jump and perform weight-bearing exercises, This all adds up to your feet taking a lot of punishment day in and day out and it is not surprising that foot trauma often occurs.

Sports-related injuries are the most common reason for foot trauma and even athletes tend to take their feet for granted, until something goes wrong. Sports injuries typically include:
 
  • Ligament Sprains or Ligament Tears.
  • Fractures.
  • Tendon Strains (tendinitis) or Tendon Tears.
  • Joint dislocation
  • Rarely an arterial or nerve related sport injury may develop

Any of these issues can put your workout, and even just your daily activities, on hold.

Symptoms
Sport injuries are typically some of the most painful foot problems. Some typical presentation of sport injuries are:

  • Bruising
  • Not being able to stand on your feet.
  • Pain when standing or walking 
  • Swelling of the foot and/or ankle.

Causes
With so many supporting structures in the foot, there can be a wide array of foot injuries. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Tendonitis or tendon tears are caused by inflammation or degeneration of the tendons that occur from overuse. A tendon is the extension of muscle to pull a bone in one direction. 
  • Fractures can occur any time your foot undergoes a stressful force. You can have a full fracture and sometimes you can have a stress fracture where the marrow in the bone is inflamed.
  • Ligament Sprains occur when the ligaments are suddenly and violently stressed.The purpose of a ligament is to hold two bones together.
  • Dislocation of a joint can occur from a sudden impact where two bones who share a joint will get pulled apart from each other. This typically occurs with a Ligament Tear but sometimes if the ligament is loose it can happen without the tear.
  • Sudden numbness, extreme pain, or flaccidity of a tendon or muscle can happen when a trauma involves an artery or a nerve and affects its function. These are amongst the hardest injuries to treat and require a quick diagnosis as time is of the essence. 
Treatment
The best treatment for injuries is preventing them in the first place. Thoroughly warming up to be sure your blood is flowing and stretching your feet before exercising will go a long way towards keeping your feet healthy.

Some sports-related injuries, like sprains and tendinitis, will heal with R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). However, many of the more serious conditions require immediate medical attention. Serious conditions may even require surgery if prolonged or the need arises. If you have suffered some type of foot trauma or sports-related injury, contact Dr. Alex Tievsky today for help in determining what the best course of treatment is to get you on the road to recovery.
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