Sports Injuries to the Foot and Ankle

Fall 2011 – Sports injuries of the foot and ankle.

Fall is the time for return to school and return to sports. Unfortunately this also means increased sports related injuries of the foot and ankle. However, with prompt and proper care we can minimize the effects of these injuries and get the athletes back to doing what they love to do. Both Dr. Shanahan and Dr. Popofski are avid athletes themselves and know the mindset of the injured athlete. Their goal is to provide optimum care to get their athletes “back on the field”.

When a foot and/or ankle injury occurs the most important immediate treatment is ice, elevation, and compression. Usually a trip to the emergency room is not needed and becomes a waste of valuable time. If you contact the office of Dr. Shanahan and Dr. Popofski we can get you in quickly to begin a treatment protocol.

Before Seeing the Podiatrist

If an injury or accident does occur, the steps you can take to help yourself until you can reach your podiatric physician are easy to remember if you can recall the word “rice.”

  • Rest. Restrict your activity and get off your foot/ankle.
  • Ice. Gently place a plastic bag of ice wrapped in a towel on the injured area in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle.
  • Compression. Lightly wrap an Ace bandage around the area, taking care not to pull it too tight.
  • Elevation. To reduce swelling and pain, sit in a position that allows you to elevate the foot/ankle higher than your waist.
  • For bleeding cuts, cleanse well, apply pressure with gauze or a towel, and cover with a clean dressing. See your podiatrist as soon as possible. It’s best not to use any medication on the cut before you see the doctor.
  • Leave blisters unopened if they are not painful or in a weight-bearing area of the foot. A compression bandage placed over a blister can provide relief.
  • Foreign materials in the skin-such as slivers, splinters, and sand-can be removed carefully, but a deep foreign object, such as broken glass or a needle, must be removed professionally.
  • Treatment for an abrasion is similar to that of a burn, since raw skin is exposed to the air and can easily become infected. It is important to remove all foreign particles with thorough cleaning. Sterile bandages should be applied, along with an antibiotic cream or ointment.

The most common sports injuries we see are ankle sprains, fractures, tendon trauma, nail trauma, lacerations, shin splints, growth plate issues, and the list goes on. However, there are structural foot deformities (i.e. flat foot; high arched foot) that can lend themselves to chronic injury issues also.