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Home » Foot and Ankle Injuries Common for Football Players

Foot and Ankle Injuries Common for Football Players

Proper Diagnosis is Key to Right Treatment, Speedy Recovery

From midget teams to the NFL, football season is in full throttle. It’s one of the most physically demanding sports you can play. So, the risk of injury is high with foot and ankle injuries among the most common musculoskeletal injuries players suffer.

When football players and other athletes need a sports medicine specialist in Paramus, NJ, or throughout Bergen County, they should choose the best. They should choose Kayal Orthopaedic Center, where they’ll receive world-class care from an award-winning team.

Players of All Ages Vulnerable

Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants has been plagued by an ankle injury this season. And a recent injury report from the NFL listed nearly 30 players dealing with foot or ankle injuries, including Marcell Dareus of the Buffalo Bills, Matt Forte of the New York Jets, Jordan Hicks of the Philadelphia Eagles and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks.

In college football, foot and ankle injuries affect more than 70 percent of players, according to the American Journal of Orthopedics. These types of injuries are certainly not uncommon among younger players, as well.

Here are some of the common foot and ankle injuries that football players suffer:

Ankle Sprains

This is the most common ankle injury. It occurs when one or more ligaments around the ankle joint are stretched or torn. Symptoms include: pain, bruising, stiffness, difficulty walking and swelling. Ignoring a sprain can result in long-term ankle instability. Most sprains can be treated successfully with RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), physical therapy and medications. When the sprain is more serious, surgery may be required.

Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

This problem occurs when the plantar fascia, which is the band of tissue that stretches from your heel to your toe, becomes inflamed. It is typically the result of flat feet, high arches or some other foot issue. It can be the result of overuse or spending a lot of time on hard, flat surfaces in shoes that lack proper support. Symptoms include swelling and pain on the bottom of your heel or the arch of your foot. Treatments include stretching, ice, rest, footwear with adequate support, medications, physical therapy, custom orthotics, injection therapy or a removable walking cast. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary.

Ankle Fractures  

A fracture is a completely or partially broken bone. Ankle fractures are usually the result of rolling the ankle inward or outward. These fractures are often mistaken for sprains. The treatments for fractures and sprains are different so it’s important to get a diagnosis from your foot and ankle specialist as soon as possible. Symptoms include pain (which can extend from the foot to the knee), severe swelling, bruising and blistering. Sometimes, the bone protrudes through the skin. You might not be able to walk, but, if you can walk, don’t assume your ankle is not broken. Treatments include RICE, casts, splints and surgery.

Turf Toe

This injury got its name because it’s common for athletes who play on artificial turf. It occurs when the ligaments around the big toe are sprained. Your big toe gets jammed or is repeatedly injured as you push off to run or jump. Symptoms include pain, swelling and restricted movement of the joint. It can usually be resolved with RICE and proper shoes. Surgery is rare but may be recommended in extreme cases.

Achilles Tendonitis

This is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It’s not usually a long-term problem. However, when it’s not addressed, it can escalate into Achilles tendonosis, a degeneration in which the tendon is prone to microscopic tears. Achilles tendonitis is usually caused by overuse. Symptoms include pain and soreness. With tendonosis, the tendon can swell and develop nodules. Treatment options are ice, casts, removable walking boots, night splints, medication, custom orthotics and physical therapy. When these efforts are ineffective, surgery may be the answer.

Metatarsal Fracture

The foot contains five metatarsal bones, which run from the ankle to the toes. They are fragile and easily damaged. The fifth metatarsal is injured most frequently. Treatment includes rest, crutches, wheelchairs, casts and surgery.

Some athletes think it’s a sign of strength to play through the pain. But that’s rarely the case, especially when you are injured or are experiencing intense or prolonged pain. Ignoring or playing through pain often leads to more serious injuries. Whether you need a custom orthotic device in Glen Rock, NJ, or a joint replacement in Paramus, NJ, our elite surgeons have the expertise and experience to diagnose and treat your problem to get you back in the game as quickly as possible—pain-free and ready for action.

Kayal Orthopaedic Center specializes in minimally invasive surgery, injury prevention, innovative therapies and pain management. Schedule a same-day appointment at one of our three convenient offices in Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes or Westwood by calling 844.777.0910; or contact Kayal Orthopaedic Center by filling out this form.