Sport / Work injuries
 

Foot or ankle injury, that caused pain or swelling. Most of the time our body movements do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury.


• Toe, foot, or ankle injuries most commonly occur during:

• Sports or recreational activities.
• Work-related tasks.
• Work or projects around the home.

 

In children, most toe, foot, or ankle injuries occur during sports, play, or falls. The risk for injury is higher in sports with jumping, such as basketball, or sports with quick direction change, such as soccer or football. Any bone injury near a joint may injure the growth plate (physic) in a child and needs to be evaluated.


Certain athletes, such as dancers, gymnasts, or soccer or basketball players, have an increased risk of toe, foot, or ankle injuries.

Older adults are at higher risk for injuries and fractures because they lose muscle mass and bone strength (osteopenia) as they age. They also have more problems with vision and balance, which increases their risk of injury.


Most minor injuries will heal on their own, and home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your symptoms and promote healing.


An acute injury may occur from a direct blow, a penetrating injury, or a fall, or from twisting, jerking, jamming, or bending a limb abnormally. Your pain may be sudden and severe. Bruising and swelling may develop soon after your injury.
 

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in the care and treatment of the lower extremities. If you’ve injured your foot or ankle, see a podiatrist. He or she can determine the extent of the injury and develop a plan of care to get you back in the game (or back to your everyday life) as soon as possible.

Increased pain, swelling, bruising, redness, or difficulty walking after an injury are definite signs that it’s time to see a podiatrist.
 

A podiatrist will carefully examine your feet and ankles and take a complete medical history. He or she will also order tests, including an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, to determine the extent of your injury. If you have a fracture that’s clearly visible on X-ray, you may not need additional testing. Ultrasounds and MRIs are useful for finding soft issue injuries (including torn ligaments) and stress fractures.
 

Treatment will depend on your injury. If you have a broken bone, your podiatrist may attempt to “reduce” the fracture, which means lining up the ends of the bones so they can heal properly. (You’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb the area first.) If the fracture is “unstable,” meaning that the ends of the bone do not stay in place after a reduction, surgery may be needed. Podiatrists can use metal plates and screws to fix broken bones.
 

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