If you are raising a student athlete or are involved in high school or college sports yourself, you know how much is riding on your feet—scholarships for higher education, maybe even a professional career!
When you or your child experiences a foot or ankle injury on the field or court, I know that the temptation may be to try and walk or run it off and stay in the game, but as a Houston podiatrist, I’m here to tell you that is the worst thing that can be done!
When you feel a twinge in your foot or ankle as you run, jump or tackle, you may assume it’s nothing, but I see a TON of serious sports injuries in my office that seemed to start off as little nothings.
Some of the most common injuries I see are:
Achilles Tendonitis: This injury is a common side effect of hopping, jumping and running (think soccer and basketball players, not to mention track stars.) At first, the condition will manifest as discomfort in the Achilles tendon, which is located at the back of the leg and runs down to the heel, but if further strained, the pain can become unbearable and the tendon may even rupture, meaning surgery and months away from the game. To avoid this fate, see your podiatrist as soon as you notice pain in your leg, heel or ankle.
Sprains: When your ankle is unnaturally twisted or placed under great strain, your ligaments may stretch and tear resulting in a sprain. The recovery time and long-term impact of this injury will be largely connected to how quickly you get off your feet and seek medical attention.
Broken bones: Student athletes are vulnerable to two types of breaks: stress fractures and general bone fractures. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in your bone that develop for a number of reasons, but most often occur when you suddenly increase your training regimen, use bad form or change the surface on which you train (especially going from soft grass or turf to concrete.) A typical bone fracture is the result of an acute trauma that causes the bone to snap. Common signs of both types of foot fracture include pain, swelling, and bruising. Because these symptoms are so similar to those of a sprain, it is crucial to get a foot x-ray if there’s any suspicion that a bone may have been broken.
The key to coming back quickly from any of these common sports injuries is quick medical attention. If you or your child has any type of sports-related foot pain, come see Dr. Andrew Schneider immediately for care from a doctor that can protect your athletic future.