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Sports Medicine

Depending on the sport, your feet and ankles can certainly take a beating from repetitive play. For more information on the injury risk factors while playing your favorite sport, see the topics listed below or also read the article.

Baseball

Your feet and ankles take a beating when you’re playing baseball. Baseball players should be aware of the following risks.

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

Basketball

Feet and ankles take a beating in basketball! Injuries can occur from running, jumping, cutting, 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 peroneal tendon injuries, fractures, and chronic ankle instability.
  • 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.

Field Hockey

The running and side to side cutting in field hockey are common causes of injuries to the foot and ankle. Field hockey players should be aware of 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 sometimes 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.

Football

Football players can receive injuries to the foot and ankle due to running, side to side cutting, or from direct trauma, such as from another player during a tackle. They should be aware of 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 sometimes require surgery.
  • Contusions and bone bruises may also result from high impact during 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.

Golf

Although golf doesn’t involve running or jumping, injuries do occur to the foot and ankle. Golfers should be aware of the following risks:

  • Heel pain (or plantar fasciitis) can be exacerbated by excessive walking on the golf course. 
  • The golf swing can also place stress upon the feet and ankles. Common complaints are especially noted to the ball of the foot that pivots to help drive the golf club through the swing. The stress on the ball of the foot can cause capsulitis of the second toe, neuromas, and increased pain in the great toe joint (often hallux rigidus).

Lacrosse

The running and side to side cutting in lacrosse are common causes of injuries to the foot and ankle. Lacrosse players should be aware of 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 sometimes 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.

Rugby

Rugby is hard on the feet and ankles! Injuries can occur from running and cutting, direct trauma during tackling, and during the scrum. Rugby players should be aware of 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 sometimes require surgery.   
  • Contusions and bone bruises may result from high impact during 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.

Running

Whether an athlete is a recreational, competitive, or elite runner, foot and ankle health is essential for optimal performance. Runners are susceptible to overuse injuries including heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, neuromas, capsulitis of the second toe, stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis (or PTTD), and calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents.

Evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon will help the athlete determine the underlying cause of pain and the best course of treatment. Custom orthotic devices are often used for treatment of these conditions.

Soccer

Soccer is hard on the feet! Injuries to the foot and ankle can occur from running and side to side cutting, sliding or tackling, and from striking the ball or another player with the foot. Soccer players should be aware of 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 sometimes require surgery.   
  • Contusions and bone bruises may also result from high impact, 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.

 Softball

Your feet and ankles take a beating when you’re playing softball. Softball players should be aware of the following risks:

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

Tennis

Tennis involves a great deal of foot work. Foot and ankle injuries can occur from the continuous side to side and quick stopping and starting motions required in this sport. The playing surface also plays a role, as hard courts are less forgiving compared to clay courts. Tennis players should be aware of the following risks:

  • Inversion ankle sprains can damage the ankle ligaments, and can also be associated with peroneal tendon injuries and fractures. 
  • 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.

Volleyball

The repetitive jumping and side to side movements required in volleyball increase the risk of injuries to the foot and ankle. Volleyball players should be aware of the following:

  • Inversion ankle sprains are a common injury in this sport. Ankle sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to determine the extent of injury, including possible peroneal tendon injuries or fractures. The foot and ankle surgeon will develop a treatment plan: failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains. 
  • 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.
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