Common Injuries of the Foot & Ankle
There are numerous injuries that account for foot and ankle pain. Although injuries to the ankle are often sports related, many times it’s something as simple as walking on an uneven surface that causes a fall, resulting in a painful sprain or broken ankle. An ankle sprain or fracture can happen to anyone.
Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis
One of the most common causes of heel pain, especially in runners or those who are overweight, is plantar fasciitis. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which connects your heel bone to your toes.
Symptoms & Diagnosis for Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis
Stabbing pain upon wakening is generally the most common symptom of plantar fasciitis. Although the pain may lessen throughout the day, it can return after long periods of standing.
Treatment for Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis
Treatment for most people with heel pain is generally conservative. However, depending on the severity, there are more aggressive nonsurgical and surgical options available as well.
A sprained ankle is an injury that happens when you twist, turn or roll your ankle in an unnatural way. As a result, the tough bands of tissue which help to hold your ankle bones together can stretch or tear.
Symptoms & Diagnosis for a Sprained Ankle
An ankle sprain might cause a “popping” feeling or sound at the time of injury. There is generally ankle pain and swelling, and a restricted range of motion.
Treatment for a Sprained Ankle
Depending on the severity of your sprained ankle, treatment may be conservative or more aggressive. Read more about treatment options for a sprained ankle.
An overuse injury of the Achilles tendon (the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone) is called Achilles tendinitis. Although Achilles tendinitis commonly occurs in runners, it's also common in middle-aged, active people who play sports.
Symptoms & Diagnosis for Achilles Pain
Typically the pain associated with Achilles tendinitis begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after sports activity. There might also be tenderness which usually improves with rest.
Treatment for Achilles Pain
Achilles pain is often treated conservatively. But if conservative methods prove unsuccessful, surgery to repair your Achilles tendon may be suggested. Read more about Achilles pain treatments.
Ankle fractures are common injuries and can happen in many ways. The seriousness of an ankle fracture can vary. Fractures can range from small cracks in your bones to more serious breaks which may require surgery.
Symptoms & Diagnosis of an Ankle Fracture
If you have a broken ankle, you may experience pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty walking or bearing weight, or deformity. You also may hear or feel a snap when the injury occurs.
Treatment for an Ankle Fracture
Treatment for a broken ankle ranges from immobilization in a cast to surgical intervention if necessary. Read more about broken ankle treatments.