A sport injury is a common problem faced by many. Both competitive and recreational play subject the feet to numerous sources of stress and pressure. From the repetitive pounding the feet receive on paved surfaces to the side-to-side motion seen in court sports, there’s no question that athletes are often prone to foot and ankle injuries.
Whether you participate in sports regularly or are just a “weekend warrior”, you are still susceptible to different types of foot and ankle injuries. Be on the lookout for some of these common problems and learn what causes them.
Usually due to an underlying injury, ankle pain refers to any kind of sudden or worsening discomfort affecting any part of the ankle.
Bone spurs (also called osteophytes) are smooth, hard bumps of extra bone that form on the ends of bones.
Broken Ankle (Ankle Fracture)
Ankle fractures can range from less serious avulsion injuries (small pieces of bone that have been pulled off) to severe, shattering-type breaks.
High Ankle Sprain
The high ankle ligaments are located above the ankle, as opposed to the more commonly injured ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by repeated strain on the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot.
A sesamoid acts as a pulley to help a tendon flex and curl. A sesamoid injury affects the bone’s ability to provide leverage while walking and jumping.
A stress fracture is a small crack or severe bruising within a bone and is mostly caused by overuse and repetitive activities.
Tendinopathy and Tendonitis
Tendonitis is the resulting inflammation from tendinopathy (or tendinosis), a common overuse injury caused by frequent and long-term excessive compression.
A tendon rupture is a tear in the tendon connecting bone to muscle. This foot injury is painful and prevents the foot and ankle from moving freely.
Common symptoms for a foot and ankle injury include pain, which is often sudden and severe. At the same time, swelling and bruising may be seen around the affected area. Your ability to walk or bear weight on the injured joint will also be compromised.
For cases like Morton’s neuroma, symptoms start gradually and may come and go when the nerve is irritated due to activity. It is important to have it treated early on before the damage becomes more severe.
Acute pain usually comes on suddenly in response to an injury and may come and go. The sensation may be similar to coming into contact with a sharp object.
Bruises, or contusions, appear when the tiny blood vessels in the skin are damaged due to trauma. They are often visible by the discoloration they cause.
Inflammation is a process by which the white blood cells, and substances they produce, protect us from an infection of foreign organisms, such as bacteria.
In evaluating a foot and ankle injury resulting from sports activities, the doctor will ask about how the injury occurred and examine the injured area. The physical examination can be a painful procedure as the doctor needs to move the foot to evaluate the pain and swelling in order to make a proper diagnosis.
Some tests may also be required such as x-rays and MRIs. This can also help determine whether there may be other related injuries. With sport injuries, you need to act immediately. Contact a doctor as soon as possible.