More people have been out running, especially when we all had to stay at home. Actress Nicole Kidman is no different. She was spotted wearing a fracture boot on her foot and ankle at her husband’s drive-in concert for front line workers. Her husband, country music star Keith Urban, said in an interview that Kidman broke her ankle when she was running around the neighborhood and stepped into a pothole.

This is not as uncommon as you think.

Now that the Houston heat is picking up, most runners start early while it is still cooler outside. When it’s dark outside, it makes it hard to see everything that’s coming up in front of you. You may end up stepping into a pothole twisting your ankle.

When that happens, you’re at risk for two things. One is a severe ankle sprain or fracture. When you step into a hole, there is more force coming into your ankle and it will lead to injuries. You can tear ligaments, which occurs in a sprain, or the bone could break. Both need immediate attention to heal properly.

The other thing that can happen is a fracture of the base of your fifth metatarsal, known as a Jones fracture. This fracture in your foot happens because of the pull of a tendon when your ankle twists. It is a fracture that is very difficult to heal. Sometimes you just need to be in a boot and other times it needs surgery to heal it.

Here are 5 things you can do to avoid an injury like Nicole Kidman’s:
  1. Run where you know. When it’s dark outside, it’s not a good time to try new routes. Run in areas you are familiar with.

  2. Wear a headlight. If you’re running when it’s dark, a light will allow you to see what’s on the road ahead.

  3. Avoid running on uneven surfaces. Consider running on a high school track or a well-maintained trail like the one at Memorial Park.

  4. Wear the proper shoes. Running shoes are not only there to give you traction and support, they are also there to protect you. Wearing the right shoes for your foot type and the surface you’re running on will help you prevent injuries.

  5. Run with a partner. Having a running partner will motivate you to get up and go. Running with a partner also gives you another set of eyes for hazards along the way.

While avoiding foot and ankle injuries while you’re running is ideal, injuries do happen. The best thing you can do is seek out help as soon as you can after you suffer an injury. The sooner you get it checked, the quicker you’ll be able to get back on the road. Click here to contact Dr. Schneider for an immediate appointment.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.
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