Healthy feet and ankles are critical for any athlete, at any level, in any sport. That’s just as true whether you play professionally or just like to play a little pickup soccer at the park on weekends.
Unfortunately, feet and ankles are also highly vulnerable to injury. And if you ignore those injuries and try to play through the pain, without proper care? The result may be chronic pain, frequent re-injury, and ultimately, losing your ability to keep living your active lifestyle.
At the Colorado Center for Podiatric Sports Medicine, we provide comprehensive and cutting-edge care for all kinds of foot and ankle sports injuries. Read on to learn more about some of the common injuries we treat.
Heel pain isn’t so much an injury in and of itself. Instead, it’s a common symptom associated with several possible diagnoses. During your appointment, will help you figure out what exactly the problem is and help you correct. Common heel pain conditions include:
Plantar fasciitis. Tearing and swelling in the plantar fascia ligament near the underside of the heel. The most common form of heel pain in adults.
Heel spurs. Bony deposits reaching up to half an inch in length may form on your heel bone if you have untreated plantar fasciitis for a long period of time. These can cause pain and tenderness if they push on sensitive tissues.
Sever’s disease. Inflammation of the growth plate of the heel bone. The most common form of heel pain in children and adolescents.
Achilles tendinopathy. Tendon injuries can have very different causes and mechanisms of pain; for example, tendinitis is acute and inflammatory, while tendinosis is degeneration with no inflammation. Accurate diagnosis, therefore, is a critical part of prescribing the best treatment.
Ankle sprains are the single most common major sports injury requiring athletes to miss training and game time. They should never be underestimated—even a “minor” ankle injury can develop into chronic pain or arthritis, or become permanently weakened and unstable, if it is treated improperly.
Sprains can vary greatly in both severity (grade I, II, or III) as well as location. Inversion sprains, in which the ligament on the outside of the ankle is torn when the foot twists inward, are the most common type.
Ankle fractures are also relatively common, and aren’t always obvious—sometimes people assume they just have a sprain, when they actually have a pretty severe broken bone. Ankle fractures are often more serious than sprains and require even more care with treatment, so please get off your feet and visit us for a full evaluation if you suffer any kind of ankle injury.
Shin splints can refer to any kind of pain, inflammation, or stress in the tissues surrounding shinbone, also known as the tibia, or even in the shinbone itself. It is very common in runners, but just about any active individual can be affected.
In the beginning pain is usually only apparent during and after exercise. However, chronic shin splints that remain untreated may start to hurt almost all the time.
Not all bone breaks happen in a single traumatic injury. Stress fractures are cracks in bone that develop over time due to constant pressure and impact forces. They are extremely common in the weight-bearing portions of the foot, such as the metatarsal bones of the arch and forefoot, but can occur in other places as well.
Stress fractures are highly frustrating for athletes because they often take a long time to heal, and there have been few effective treatments besides rest. However, running or playing sports before your stress fractures have healed may undo whatever progress has been made or even make the situation worse. We work hard to help you recover quickly with advanced treatments, and pursue alternative exercises to keep you active and engaged during your recovery.
Other Injuries and Conditions
Other common injuries we see and treat at the Colorado Center for Podiatric Sports Medicine include:
This is by no means a full list. Simply put, if any kind of pain or injury with your feet or ankles is affecting your ability to stay active, we will help you treat it.
We can offer a lot more than your standard foot and ankle specialist, too, with advanced tools and procedures designed to help dedicated, focused athletes return to full activity:
Biomechanical gait analyses
Athletic orthotics, including soccer orthotics made by the same laboratory provider used by the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams.
Advance treatment options like shockwave therapy, prolotherapy, MLS laser therapy, and more!
In short, if you have a foot or ankle injury—and you want to get back to full activity as quickly and safely as possible—give us a call. We understand what you’re going through and love helping bring active individuals back up to speed.