What To Do When You Have A Treat A Sports Injury to the Foot and Ankle
Dr. Jeffrey Agricola, your foot doctor at Prestige Podiatry in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, is a sports enthusiast. So, in addition to his extensive training in podiatric sports injuries, he well understands the pain, worry and immobility sudden or repetitive injuries can cause. Learn more here about common sports injuries, how they're treated and what you can do to avoid them.
What's the most common injury?
It's the ankle sprain, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. A stretching and tearing of the three supporting ligaments of the ankle (especially the one on the outside of the ankle), ankle sprains cause considerable pain, swelling, redness, and limited mobility and range of motion. Usually, the lateral twisting motions associated with running on an uneven surface or slipping on wet pavement cause sprains.
Upon visual inspection and X-ray examination of your extremity, your foot doctor will grade the severity of your sprained ankle and base his conservative treatment plan on that grade. Only the worst cases of sprained ankle require surgical stabilization, but many sprains need:
- Compression with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and provide support
- Elevation above heart level
- Over-the-counter analgesics to control pain
- Physical therapy and strengthening exercises
- Soft casting and crutches (as needed) to limit weight bearing
As with many other injuries related to sports, both amateur and professional athletes can prevent ankle sprains with common sense strategies such as:
- Adequate warning up and stretching before your activity
- Staying in good physical condition
- Keeping within normal weight limits
- Wearing quality footwear with adequate support
- Allowing sprains and other injuries adequate time to heal
Many sports injuries do not happen suddenly with traumatic force but with the repeated stresses of running and jumping, placing undue pressure on various foot and ankle structures. For example, tennis, dancing and running, which basically pound the foot over and over again, cause injuries such as:
- Stress fractures, fine cracks in the bones of the foot or ankle
- Sesamoiditis, inflammation of the sesamoid bones underneath the big toe
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the broad connective tissue between the heel and big toes
- Heel spurs, small bony protrusions at the front of the calcaneus, or heel bone
- Achilles tendonitis which affects the tendon between the heel and the calf
Your Indianapolis foot doctor sees these injuries at Prestige Podiatry. He carefully evaluates symptoms, does a hands-on exam and takes X-rays images or other tests as needed. From there, he writes a care plan aimed at recovery of mobility, reduction of pain and prevention of further injury.
Are you athletic?
Actually, anyone who is very active is prone to sports injuries. So, if you're experiencing foot or ankle pain, swelling or dysfunction, call Prestige Podiatry today for a consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Agricola. For the Indianapolis office, call (317) 881-0070. For Carmel, phone (317) 846-4111.