Foot Doctor Blog

Posts for tag: Sports Medicine

Six Tips to Protect Kids in Fall Sports

Article from foothealthfacts.org

Every fall season, foot and ankle surgeons see an increase in ankle injuries among young athletes. Football, soccer and basketball are the sports most likely to lead to sprains, broken bones and other problems.

If your children are playing sports this fall, here are six tips that could protect them from serious ankle injuries:

  1. Get ankle injuries treated right away. What seems like a sprain is not always a sprain; in addition to cartilage injuries, your son or daughter might have injured other bones in the foot without knowing it. Have a qualified doctor examine the injury. The sooner rehabilitation starts, the sooner long-term problems like instability or arthritis can be prevented and the sooner your child can get back into competition.
     
  2. Have old sprains checked by a doctor before the season starts. A medical checkup can reveal whether your child's previously injured ankle might be vulnerable to sprains and could possibly benefit from wearing a supportive ankle brace during competition.
     
  3. Buy the right shoe for the sport. Different sports require different shoe gear. Players should not mix baseball cleats with football shoes.
     
  4. Children should start the season with new shoes. Old shoes can wear down like a car tire and become uneven on the bottom, causing the ankle to tilt because the foot cannot lie flat.
  5. Check playing fields for dips, divots and holes. Most sports-related ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. That is why some surgeons recommend that parents walk the field, especially when children compete in nonprofessional settings like public parks, for spots that could catch a player's foot and throw them to the ground. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.
     
  6. Encourage stretching and warmup exercises. Calf stretches and light jogging before competition help warm up ligaments and blood vessels, reducing the risk for ankle injuries.

At Aurora Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stanford treats many athletic patients. He performs a thorough exam and assessment and offers an extensive course of treatment to get that athlete back to playing on and off the field.

We also specialize in prescription custom orthotics that can be fabricated specifically for running shoes, cleats and skates. Read more on our Orthotics page.

article from foothealthfacts.org

Lack of preparation and insufficient gear may increase risk for pain and injury.   

In the United States, more than 38 million people annually go hiking, and the popular recreational activity has recently seen increased interest in its more competitive and extreme forms. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) reminds all hikers, whether avid or recreational, that injuries are common and careful planning is essential to reducing the likelihood of injury and complications when they occur. 

"We've all seen hikers accomplishing great feats, such as completing the Pacific Crest or Appalachian Trails, and these stories inspire us to undertake more challenging or longer hikes," says Gregory Catalano, DPM, FACFAS, a Massachusetts-based foot and ankle surgeon and Fellow Member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. "As the number of people hiking increases and they take on more challenging terrain, we are seeing an increase in injuries of all levels of hikers, from Achilles tendon and heel pain to more traumatic injuries, including sprains and fractures of the foot and ankle as well as stress fractures of the leg, foot and ankle."

Hiking-related injuries range from minor concerns, such as blisters and bruises, to more serious conditions, including stress fractures and ankle sprains. These complex hiking injuries may initially be assessed as less serious or even overlooked as an overuse injury that will repair itself. Some hikers first attempt to treat pain by modifying their walk (gait) or pace or by switching shoes. While these kinds of modifications seem straightforward, they can actually contribute to complications and further injury. 

"It is critical that hikers know the signs and continually monitor for complex injuries, as not seeking treatment may result in additional damage that can lead to longer, more involved treatments and recovery periods," continues Dr. Catalano.

Careful preparation can help reduce the likelihood of injury and make it easier for professionals to treat when problems occur. ACFAS advises hikers that a few key steps can make an important difference:

  • Protect toes from blisters and toenails from bruises by wearing proper-fitting footwear.
  • Select material for socks that wick away moisture and protect from the cold.
  • Condition boots before setting out on a hike.
  • Know the hiking route and options for accessing medical assistance.

Carry supplies, such as bandages and wraps, to help immediately protect and stabilize injured feet and ankles.