Most Common Foot and Ankle Injuries

Posted on May 11th, 2015 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

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If you have ever participated in organized sports, chances are you have probably incurred a foot injury or two. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 25% of all sports injuries are related to the feet or ankles.

It’s not surprising when you think about it; in the foot alone there are 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 different tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Combine that with the fact that our feet absorb much of the impact caused by running, jumping, and cutting, and it is easy to see why injuries to this area are so frequent.

Here are five of the most common foot and ankle injuries, as well as a little bit of information on each.

  • Sprained ankle. Sprained ankles are the most common sports injury in America, with about 25,000 occurrences per day (not all sports-related). A sharp, sudden twisting of the foot can cause the ligaments in your ankle to stretch, or even tear. There are varying levels of severity with ankle sprains; mild cases can be cured with a little bit of ice and rest, but severe cases may require a walking boot or even rehab.
  • Turf toe. “Turf toe” is the common name used to describe a sprain of the ligament at the base of the big toe. It is caused by the hyperextension of your big toe and generally occurs with athletes wearing flexible shoes, which allow the foot to bend too far forward. Symptoms include tenderness and swelling at the base of the big toe, as well as pain when pulling the toe upwards.
  • Torn achilles. Your achilles tendon is located at the back of your lower leg, running from your heel bone to your calf muscles. Symptoms of a torn achilles include pain and swelling in the back of your foot and above your heel, difficulty pointing your toes, and sometimes a popping or tearing sound at the time of the injury. A complete tear of the achilles can take upwards of six months to fully recover.
  • Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis isn’t an easily recognizable name like the others, but it is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves the inflammation of your plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the toes. People who suffer from this usually experience sharp pains during their first steps of the day, or after sitting for a long period of time. Treatment options include pain relievers, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery.
  • Broken bones. With 26 different bones in the foot, many of them are susceptible to breaking. An individual can experience fractures in their ankle, heelbone, toes, and midfoot (also known as a Lisfranc fracture). Causes, symptoms, and recovery times are all different for these injuries, so it is best to visit an orthopedic specialist to correctly diagnose and treat your injury.

If you live are currently experiencing pain or swelling in your foot, don’t wait until it’s too late; you may already be injured, and continuing your daily activities will only make it worse. Connecticut residents can rely on the Orthopaedic Specialty Group for a reliable diagnosis and treatment options. Call us today at (203) 337-2600 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed orthopedic specialists, or stop by our OrthoFast walk-in clinic, located at 75 Kings Highway Cutoff in Fairfield, CT.