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Posts for tag: Ankle Injuries

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
July 18, 2017
Tags: Ankle Injuries  

Find out if a lateral ankle injury could be to blame for your constant ankle pain.

Q. What is a lateral ankle injury?ankle injury

A. A lateral ankle injury is a sprain or tear of the lateral ligaments, or the ligaments found on the outer portion of the ankle.

Q. What are the symptoms of a lateral ankle injury?

A. The most common symptoms are: chronic pain in the ankle, reduced mobility and function in the foot, swelling and inflammation, a weakened ankle, and poor range­of­motion. Some athletes with a lateral ankle injury may not be able to bear any weight on the foot, or they may feel as if the ankle is unstable and gives out when walking.

Q. What are the causes of a lateral ankle injury?

A. One of the primary causes is playing sports, especially spots that involve inversion movements or changing directions quickly, like basketball or tennis. Lateral ankle injuries occur when the athlete rolls the ankle inward, causing tears or strain on the lateral ligaments. Chronic lateral ankle pain can also be the result of an ankle sprain that never properly healed.

Q. How are lateral ankle injuries diagnosed?

A. We will discuss your medical history and then delve into the symptoms you are experiencing. We will ask if you’ve ever had any previous ankle injuries and what the treatment process was for your past injuries. Besides running a thorough physical examination to check for tender or swollen areas of the ankle, we may also run a series of X­rays to look at the health of your ankle joint.

Q. What kinds of treatments are available for lateral ankle injuries?

A. The initial treatment requires that patients stay off their injured foot and rest as much as possible to reduce pain and swelling. Icing the injury can also be helpful for the first couple days to reduce inflammation. It’s best to follow the RICE method when it comes to caring for your injury at home: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

You will also want to see your podiatrist for physical therapy, where we will perform a series of strengthening and stretching exercises that are meant to re­strengthen damaged ligaments and improve range­of­motion. Because those with lateral ankle injuries are also prone to future injuries, following routine strengthening exercises will help reduce your chances of reinjury. Expect to be in physical therapy for about six to 10 weeks.

There are some patients that don’t experience any relief from their symptoms even with these treatments. When this happens, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to repair the damaged ligaments and promote better healing.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
March 02, 2017
Category: Foot Care

Give your ankles optimal stability and protection when hitting the basketball court.

When you’re playing a rousing game of basketball it can be hard to think about anything else. With your head in the game you may not even be thinking about whether your feet and ankles are getting the best protection they need to stay strong and to prevent injury; however, with the sudden stops and quick changes in movement your ankles can take quite the beating. To prevent injury to your ankles, here are some ways you can protect them while also enjoying your next game!

Opt for supportive shoes: While no shoe can completely prevent foot injuries from happening, some high top tennis shoes can absorb some of the shock and improve an athlete’s performance while in the game by offering better traction and structural support.

Consider an ankle brace: If you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, a sprain or stress fracture, then it might be time to consider wearing an ankle brace while in the game. These braces consist of soft shells, semi­rigid material and stirrups that offer superior ankle joint stability and protection, making movement easier.

These braces are also meant to provide relief while promoting better performance. Some studies have even found that those players who wore ankle braces were less likely to deal with injuries than players who didn’t.

Perform proprioceptive exercises: While wearing better shoes and supportive braces can be helpful, it won’t prevent ankle sprains and other injuries. For those who have already suffered from sprains in the past, your lack of balance may be to blame. To improve your muscle, tendon and ligaments’ response to certain movements, exercises such as single­leg balances and inverted hamstring stretches can improve your proprioception.

Don’t overexert yourself: If you’ve already suffered from ankle injuries in the past, you’ll really want to pay close attention to your body. If you notice pain, then stop playing and give yourself some time to rest and recoup. Those who have been injured in the past are often more likely to develop a similar injury in the future. Don’t play the game if something doesn’t feel right.

Of course, even with the most diligent care and attention, accidents can still happen. If you experience any ankle injury while on the court, it’s important not to push yourself. The sooner you rest and get off your ankle the faster you will heal. If you think you’ve injured your ankle, then it’s time to see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan!

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
March 01, 2017
Category: Foot Care

Foot and ankle injuries among dancers is common, particularly in the foot and ankle and understanding the potential injuries can keep dancers on their toes!

The 3 most common injuries in dancers:

  1. Stress Fractures
  2. Tendon Injuries
  3. Sprains and Strains

Any foot or ankle injury that includes bleeding, severe pain, loss of sensation or increased weakness should be brought to a doctor’s attention for evaluation.  Dr. Discont and Dr. Krahn specialize in foot and ankle injury treatment.  In addition to the three most common injuries, we also see Morton’s Neuroma and Plantar Fasciitis from over usage of feet and ankles among dancers. These conditions are similar in that they consist of pain in between the 2nd and 3rd toes and can feel like pins and needles, numbness, or burning sensation in the feet. Symptoms become more intense when wearing the wrong shoe.

Dancing on Pointe is the culprit for another condition called Tendinopathy. Tendinopathy is a disease of the tendon and can cause tenderness and/or pain while dancing but can be managed by wearing a brace.

Common risk factors associated with dance injuries:

  • Duration of training
  • Type of dance and frequency of dance activity
  • Floor/ground conditions
  • Equipment, costumes and shoes
  • Dancer’s body alignment
  • Prior injuries
  • Nutrition and health

The dance world is filled with excitement and movement! A foot or ankle injury is not often considered when emmeshed in this art.  If you take time to think before you enter the studio or the stage, you may enjoy more of your performance and stay healthy for years to come.

Preventative steps to stay safe while dancing:

  • Work with your teacher and medical professionals with any previous injuries or conditions
  • Wear properly fitted shoes always
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Do not dance through pain
  • Know your body’s limits and adhere to them
  • Include proper warm up and cool down in your classes and performances

While ballet is a beautiful and graceful movement, we know that there are consequences for practicing this art over many years. These injuries can develop over time or happen spontaneously with a quick twist of the foot or fall.  At Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC we strive to keep you active so call us at 480-732-0033 and schedule a visit to our Chandler, AZ office. The bottom line is that your feet should move you safely through the art of dance!

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
July 07, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Heel PainAnytime a person engages in sports, they are running the risk of suffering an injury to the foot and ankle. Many of the injuries that cause foot ailments and pain are caused by high-impact sports, such as running. Other times foot problems can arise from wearing improper footwear or from inadequate training.

There are a number of foot conditions that an athlete can suffer from, including ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot and blisters. Let’s take a brief look at two of the more serious and most common conditions: plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains. When these conditions occur, your podiatrist is available to provide you with the best treatment available.

Heel Pain Caused By Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot ailments experienced by runners and the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a thick, dense tissue that runs from the ball of the foot along the arch, connecting to the heel. People with flat feet or individuals who overpronate are more susceptible to heel pain because of the increased stress that occurs at the heel.

Many times the pain is worse in the morning when you first get up, but subsides as you move around throughout the day. Treatment will vary depending on each case, but generally rest, ice and stretching can help ease the pain. When conservative treatments aren’t effective and the pain persists, see your podiatrist for recommended treatment, such as orthotics.

Ankle Sprains

Caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones, an ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries experienced by athletes. The severity of a sprain will depend on the extent of the stretching and tearing of ligaments. How severe the tear is will determine how long it takes for your ankle to heal - sometimes up to several months. When a sprain first occurs, there will likely be chronic ankle pain. The ankle will swell, and discoloration may occur. 

The RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) procedure should be administered right away for an ankle sprain. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments. If you’re prone to ankle sprains, avoid running on uneven terrain and wear firm, supportive footwear for improved stability. Unfortunately ankle sprains are often recurring. Your podiatrist can help determine the severity of your sprain and the necessary course of treatment, including exercises to strengthen your weak ankle. 

Heel pain and ankle sprains can be easily treated, yet many athletes delay proper treatment for fear of discontinuing their favorite sport.  Delaying treatment will only make the injury worse, often times leading to a far more serious injury that requires extensive care and treatment. If you frequently participate in sports and other physical activities, it’s important to pay close attention to your feet and ankles as they are placed under tremendous pressure and are at high risk for injury.

Remember to train properly for your specific activity and wear supportive shoes that offer stability for your specific sport.  If you are experiencing pain for extended periods of time, take time to rest. Chronic pain likely indicates a serious foot problem and continuing to play your sport will only make matters worse. Talk to your podiatrist about the best ways to prevent and treat common sports-related foot injuries.