Fall is the start of several sports seasons for many school-aged kids. Soccer, tennis, cross country running, football and volleyball pose risks to young athletes this fall season.
From violent contact sports injuries to overuse injuries common with runners and sports that involve a lot of starting, stopping, and cutting from side to side, there are endless injury possibilities for athletes. However, the most common injuries in these instances are foot and ankle related.
Please keep reading to learn more about the most common fall sport foot injuries and how to ensure your child receives the care they need to heal as quickly as possible.
Stress fractures are overuse injuries. Symptoms include:
- Pain during normal activity
- Pain when touching the affected area
- Swelling without bruising
Treatment for a stress fracture includes rest and sometimes casting. You must take stress fractures seriously, as the longer you go without addressing them, the more likely you’ll require surgery to help them heal properly.
Shin splints are the inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue surrounding your shinbone (tibia).
These typically develop when you overwork your muscles and bone tissue. Runners who increase the intensity or amount of exercise they’re doing are at an extremely high risk of developing shin splints.
- Sharp, dull, or throbbing pain
- Pain during and after exercise
- Sore to the touch
- Mild swelling
The Lisfranc joint is where the bones leading up to the toes connect to the bones in the arch of your foot. This joint helps move your foot forward when you walk and run.
Injuries usually occur from a high-impact force. If they are not detected early, they could cause chronic pain, osteoarthritis, and foot deformations.
- Foot swelling
- Pain throughout the midfoot when standing or during an examination
- Inability to put weight on the affected foot
- Bruising on the bottom of the arch
- Abnormal widening of the foot (could signal dislocation)
It’s essential to address this type of injury, so if you’re experiencing some or all the above symptoms, see a podiatrist or foot surgeon.
Sprained ankles can happen suddenly, especially in contact sports or sports where you have to make quick cuts and stops.
- Tenderness to the touch
- Restricted range of motion
- Ankle instability
- Popping sensation or sound at the time of injury
A professional should evaluate sprained ankles, especially if the ankle remains swollen and painful for days after the initial injury. These could be a sign of a fracture.
Broken toes are common in contact sports, especially soccer. When two people kick the ball simultaneously, that ball turns into a concrete wall. The force of the two feet hitting the ball simultaneously could be enough to break a toe or two.
Often, when a player has broken a toe, it will swell so much that it will become difficult to put a shoe on. This indicates that you should not be participating in practice or a game.
As with any injury, it’s vital to let your body heal, or you risk creating a significantly worse problem for yourself.
The Foot & Ankle Center
If you’re worried about fall sports injuries, make an appointment to visit The Foot & Ankle office. We can evaluate old injuries to ensure your child is ready for their fall season, or we can look at a new injury and discuss the best course of action to ensure it heals effectively and efficiently.
Don’t neglect your feet; visit The Foot & Ankle Center today!