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Sports Medicine and Dance Medicine

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Different Sports-Related Injuries
Ankle sprains – One of the most common sports injuries, an ankle sprain, requires prompt evaluation and treatment by one of our foot and ankle doctors. Sometimes what you believe to be a sprain is an ankle fracture, and treatments for these two conditions are very different. Ankle injuries are very serious. Don’t skimp on rehabilitation and physical therapy, either! An ankle that has not been properly healed and strengthened is more likely to suffer repeated injury, leading to chronic ankle instability.

Disorders of the Achilles tendon – Athletes are at higher risk for developing Achilles tendon disorders. Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon that runs down the back of the lower leg, can progress into a degeneration of the tendon. The sudden increase of a repetitive activity can lead to micro-injuries of the tendon fibers and cause these painful conditions.

Heel pain – Although heel pain can be caused by a stress fracture or other injury, it is most often caused by plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot). The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is faulty foot structure, but it can also be caused by wearing worn-out shoes or shoes that are not designed for the sport in which you’re participating. Keeping the Achilles tendon stretched can help get rid of this pain, but continued pain should be examined to rule out a fracture or other cause.

Morton’s neuroma, also called “intermetatarsal neuroma,” is a thickening of nerve tissue in the ball of the foot that results from irritation and compression of the nerve. Causes of this condition include motions that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or court sports. Symptoms start gradually and may come and go when activity irritates the nerve. It’s important to treat this condition early before the damage becomes more severe.

Injuries From Baseball
Your feet and ankles can take a beating when you’re playing baseball. Our experts for sports-related injuries in Roselle, IL, say that baseball players should be aware of the following risks:

  • Excessive training and overuse may sideline some athletes with Achilles tendinopathy or heel pain (often plantar fasciitis, or calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents).
  • Cleats may pose challenges in the forefoot and aggravate neuromas, sesamoids, bunions, and hammertoes. To stay at the top of your game, ensure that cleats are fitted properly and have any injuries evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
  • Ankle sprains may occur while fielding balls, running, stepping on, or sliding into bases. Sprains should be evaluated by one of our podiatrists to determine the extent of the injury, including possible peroneal tendon injuries or fractures. The foot and ankle doctor will develop a treatment plan. Failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurring sprains.
  • Contusions may occur from impact with the ball or contact with other players.

Injuries From Basketball

Basketball related injuries can occur from jumping, cutting, running, quick starts and stops, and direct contact with other players. Basketball players should be aware of the following:

  • Inversion ankle sprains can damage the ankle ligaments and can also be associated with fractures, peroneal tendon injuries, and chronic ankle instability.
  • Overuse and excessive training can lead to stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis (or PTTD), heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents.

Injuries Related to Field Hockey
The side-to-side running and cutting in field hockey are common causes of injuries to the foot and ankle. Field hockey players should keep the following risks in mind:

  • Overuse and excessive training can lead to heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis (or PTTD), and calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents.
  • Inversion ankle sprains can damage the ankle ligaments and are also associated with peroneal tendon injuries and fractures.
  • Ankle fractures, metatarsal fractures, and Lisfranc fractures can sideline athletes and sometimes require foot or ankle surgery.

Injuries From Football
Football players are prone to injuries to the foot and ankle from running, side-to-side cutting, or direct trauma, such as from another player during a tackle. Consider the following risks:

  • Inversion ankle sprains can damage the ankle ligaments and can also be associated with peroneal tendon injuries and fractures.
  • Ankle fractures, metatarsal fractures, and Lisfranc fractures can sideline athletes and can require surgery.
  • Overuse and excessive training can lead to heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis (or PTTD), and calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents.
  • Contusions and bone bruises may also result from high impact during tackling.

Injuries From Soccer
Injuries to the foot and ankle while playing soccer can occur from running, side-to-side cutting, sliding, and tackling. Striking the ball or another player with the foot can also cause injury. Soccer players should be aware of the following risks:

  • Ankle fractures, metatarsal fractures, and Lisfranc fractures can sideline athletes and sometimes require surgery.
  • Inversion ankle sprains can damage the ankle ligaments and can also be associated with peroneal tendon injuries and fractures.
  • Contusions and bone bruises may result from high impacts, such as in slide tackling.
  • Overuse and excessive training can lead to heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis (or PTTD), and calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents.

Hockey and Figure Skating

Skates can aggravate a bony prominence on the back of the heel known as a Hanglund’s deformity. Hockey players call this a Bauer bump. Proper fitting skates are a must, but you may need pads or inserts to customize the fit of your skates. Tendonitis of the Achilles tendon, posterior tibial tendon, and peroneal tendons is also common and should be promptly evaluated to avoid chronic tendon damage. Tight skates can lead to blisters and ingrown toenails. Make sure to get these evaluated by one of our doctors so we can correct the problem before they get infected.

Gymnastics and Dance

Heel pain is common in rapidly growing adolescents and results from separation and inflammation of growth plate in the heel bone. This is known as Sever’s disease. Pain usually resolves with bracing the ankle and reducing activity; however, it is important to get an x-ray to rule out a bone cyst, tumor, or fracture. Overtraining can cause stress fractures especially in sports that are performed barefoot. A stress fracture is caused by repetitive stress. These don’t always show up on x-ray right away so an MRI might be indicated. Your doctor will be able to determine if you need a supplement to improve the strength of your bones and avoid future fractures. Tendonitis is common in high-level dancers and gymnasts. It is essential to correct any muscle imbalances in the foot so that the pain does not get worse or become permanent. This is done through bracing, strapping, daily stretching, and physical therapy exercises.

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