Sports injuries often occur due to accidents, poor training practices, or improper gear. These injuries can happen because people:
- Are not in shape
- Don’t warm-up or stretch before exercising or playing sports
- Repeat the same motion over and over again
- Do not have proper form for their exercise
- Do not rest between workouts
- Push their bodies too hard or too quickly
- Do an exercise that is too strenuous for their level of fitness
At Pacific Point Podiatry, our foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Tea, recognizes that people who lead active lifestyles want to get back to their daily routines as soon as possible.
Treatment for Sports Injuries
Initial treatment for sports-related injuries often begins with the RICE. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) protocol to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, Dr. Tea may recommend other treatments, such as:
- Pain relievers
- Immobilizing the injured area with a cast, where possible
- Surgery (occasionally)
Several different problems can affect the feet, and Dr. Tea is highly skilled in many treatments and procedures to help with foot conditions, including the latest developments in minimally invasive surgery.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Also called the “heel cord,” the Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping to raise the heel off the ground. An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity.
Sudden and forceful movements can sometimes overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. An injury to the tendon can also result from falling or tripping. Treatment for the ruptured tendon involves both surgical and non-surgical options.
A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone. An ankle fracture is a common injury most often caused by the ankle rolling inward or outward. An ankle fracture can range from the less serious “avulsion” injury (small pieces of bone that have been pulled off) to a severe shattering-type break of the tibia and fibula. The injury can also be a combination of both.
Unfortunately, many people mistake an ankle fracture for an ankle sprain, but they are quite different and therefore require an accurate and early diagnosis.
An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle, usually on the outside of the ankle. More specifically, the ankle sprain is an injury to the lateral ligamentous complex, comprising the anterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament (ligaments that support the ankle). Ligaments are bands of tissue (like rubber bands) that connect one bone to another and bind the joints together. In the ankle joint, ligaments provide stability by limiting the side-to-side movement of the foot.
Some ankle sprains are much worse than others. The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn, completely torn, or involves a number of ligaments. Ankle sprains are not the same as strains, which affect muscles rather than ligaments.
Chronic Ankle Instability
Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring “giving way” of the outer (lateral) side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains. Flexible flatfoot can also be the underlying cause of ankle instability. Usually, the “giving way” occurs while walking or doing other activities, but it can also happen when you’re just standing. Many athletes, as well as others, suffer from chronic ankle instability.
People with chronic ankle instability often complain of:
- A repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports
- Persistent (chronic) discomfort and swelling
- Pain or tenderness
- Wobbly or unstable feeling in the ankle
Sports Injury Assessment at Pacific Point Podiatry in Freedom, CA
If you have sustained a sports injury with persistent foot and ankle pain that has not improved after 2 to 5 days of home treatment, schedule an office visit with Dr. Tea at Pacific Point Podiatry. You can request an appointment online or call (831) 288-3400 to schedule your appointment.