Whether you go to the gym, participate in a sport, or consider yourself to be a competitive athlete, it’s common for foot or ankle issues to arise. It’s also common for these injuries to occur during the occasional falls, slips, or other personal incidents. We treat many sports and everyday injuries.
Stress fractures are tiny, hairline cracks that can occur in the bones of the foot. They are usually caused by overtraining or overuse, improper shoes, improper surfaces, flatfoot or other foot deformities or osteoporosis. If left untreated, a stress fracture can lead to a complete break. Signs to watch for are pain, swelling, redness and sometimes bruising.
Inflammation of the tendon caused by overuse or sudden and repetitive activity involving the tendon. Left untreated, inflammation can progress into tendinosis — the stage during which microscopic tears develop and the tendon starts to degenerate. Symptoms of tendinitis:
- Stiffness, soreness or tenderness within the tendon
- Tenderness when the sides of the tendon are squeezed
- Enlarged tendon
A black, purple or brownish colored toe nail is frequently due to trauma to the toe nail, such as when something is dropped on the toe or shoes worn too small. The change in color is a result of a blood clot or bleeding under the nail, and may involve the entire nail or a small portion. When the entire nail is involved, it can be very painful and may need medical attention right away to relieve the pressure caused by bleeding under the nail. Although rare, a more serious cause of black toenails is malignant melanoma however, a foot and ankle surgeon can evaluate the toe(s) to rule out this cause. Black toe nails can also be caused by fungal infections, chronic ingrown nails, or health problems affecting the rest of the body.
An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle. Ligaments connect one bone to another and bind the joints together. Think of them as bands of tissue, like rubber bands. In the ankle joint, ligaments provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement. Sprained ankles often result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position. Ankle sprains commonly occur while participating in sports, wearing inappropriate shoes, or walking or running on an uneven surface. Previous ankle or foot injuries can also weaken the ankle and lead to sprains. Any ankle sprain, whether it’s your first or your fifth, requires prompt medical attention. Symptoms of ankle sprains may include:
- Pain or soreness
- Difficulty walking
- Stiffness in the joint