Have your feet been hurting lately? You may have injured yourself unknowingly, or decided simply to “walk off” that stubbed toe or twisted ankle. Pain in your feet should always be taken seriously, because your feet bear the brunt of your weight.
Runners, dancers, basketball or soccer players, and other athletes are aware that stress fractures can be among the most serious of sports injuries. Stress fractures are a type of repetitive use injury, wherein fatigued muscles transfer stress to the bone. This can cause small, hairline cracks to form, causing severe pain.
While you can get a stress fracture in any bone in your foot, they are most common in the second and third metatarsals, which are the longest bones in the toes. Stress fractures can take 6 to 8 weeks to heal, and may require professional intervention. If you suspect a stress fracture, see your orthopaedist immediately.
The band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel along the bottom of your foot is called the plantar fascia., When this band of tissue is inflamed, the condition is called plantar fasciitis. This is commonly caused by high-impact sports, jobs that require standing on hard surfaces or walking constantly, or being extremely overweight. Ask your orthopaedist for solutions for your plantar fasciitis. A night splint can help, as can special stretches for the bottom of your foot to release tension in the band of tissue.
Narrow toed, high heeled shoes can cause bunions, a malformation of the joint at the base of the big toe that pushes bone and tissue out of place and causes intense pain. Left untreated, bunions can become so painful that you lose the ability to walk. In most cases, bunions that are caught early can be treated without surgery.
Overexertion of the calves can cause intense inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Switching workout regimens abruptly can lead to this injury, as can overextension on the field while playing various sports or when running. Adequate stretching and warmups as well as a varied training program can help decrease the chances of this injury. If you do pull your Achilles, see a doctor as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.
It’s tempting to “walk off” an ankle sprain, but repeated ankle sprains indicate an instability and can lead to an actual dislocation. You should see your doctor immediately if your ankle cannot bear your weight.
If you believe you have suffered a serious foot or ankle injury, contact Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics for a consultation today.