Sports injuries often occur due to accidents, poor training practices, or improper gear. Sometimes such injuries occur because people are not in shape or don’t warm up or stretch enough before exercising or playing sports. Other causes of exercise injuries include repeating the same motion over and over again, not having proper form for your exercise, not resting in between workouts, pushing your body too hard or too quickly, and doing an exercise that is too strenuous for your level of fitness.
At Peninsula Podiatry, our foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Sarah Neitzel, recognizes and appreciates that getting back into action, work, and play is a priority for those who lead active lifestyles. Initial treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Depending on the type and severity of the injury you have sustained, Dr. Neitzel may recommend other treatments such as pain relievers, immobilizing the injured area (if possible), rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery.
Because the foot is such a complex structure, your foot can be prone to injury and pain. There are a number of different problems that can affect the feet. Our foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Sarah Neitzel, is highly skilled in a number of different treatments and procedures to help with foot conditions, including the latest developments in minimally invasive surgery.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. 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.
Forceful jumping or pivoting, or sudden accelerations of running, can overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. An injury to the tendon can also result from falling or tripping.
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An ankle fracture is a common injury that is most often caused by the ankle rolling inward or outward. A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone. An ankle fracture can range from the less serious “avulsion” injury (small pieces of bone that have been pulled off) to severe shattering-type breaks of the tibia and fibula. An 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.
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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, comprised of the anterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. These are the 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 side-to-side movement.
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 flat foot 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
- The ankle feeling wobbly or unstable
Sports Injury Assessment in Silverdale, Washington
If you have sustained a sports injury with persistent foot and ankle pain that doesn’t improve after 2 to 5 days of home treatment, schedule an office visit with Dr. Sarah Neitzel at Peninsula Podiatry. You can make an appointment online or call (360) 443-5632 to schedule your appointment.