Here at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc., we are hoping that everyone has had a marvelous Thanksgiving and will continue to enjoy the holiday season. We wish your days are filled with warmth, joy, and good food.
As we progress into winter, we are still in the thick of football season. In the podiatric field, sports injuries rarely go unnoticed by us since sports medicine is a large component of our practice. That is why when Alex Smith of the Redskins injured his leg in the game against the Texans on November 18, we cringed with worry.
While the NFL categorized it as an ankle injury, we have knowledge that Smith specifically suffered a broken tibia and fibula after his leg twisted unnaturally from a tackle by J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson. Given its degree, such an injury can be career ending.
Immediate medical attention is recommended when an incident like that occurs. Depending on the physical and radiological findings, surgery may be necessary to correct deformities found. Such was the case of Alex Smith.
However, misfortune doubled down on Smith as news broke out revealing surgical complications. Smith is now said to be dealing with post-surgical infection–a condition that will only worsen his prognosis.
We are currently wishing Mr. Smith the best as he continues to recover from his injury. A broken leg is a very severe condition to endure that requires extremely professional care. Should you ever believe that you have broken a bone in your ankle or foot, then call us immediately at 310-652-3668 for prompt treatment. Thank you, and again, happy holidays!
Summer has ended, and we are now in the thick of fall. This season plants us right in the midst of various major league sports, and athletes everywhere are beginning to collect injuries. Most recently, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder suffered what is known as the most common athletic injury of all time: the ankle sprain.
Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankle are pulled beyond their limits and overstretch or tear. The most typical incident of an ankle sprain happens when you roll your ankle inward. Although this injury is categorized as the most common athletic injury of all time, it can happen to any ambulatory person of any background.
Ligaments of the ankle are of the strongest fibrous tissues in the body, and they help keep the alignment of our leg bones in proper position. When we twist or unnaturally bend our ankles, we tend to injure the lateral ligaments of our ankle the most. Fun fact: the anterior talofibular ligament is the most commonly injured ligament of the ankle.
When an ankle sprain occurs, you can expect to see swelling or bruising around the area. It can be tender to touch or walk on. If the ankle sprain is severe enough and the ligament is completely torn, the pain can be comparable to a broken bone.
To diagnose an ankle sprain, a podiatric physician would perform a physical examination that involves palpation of the ankle and testing its range of motion. Depending on the location and degree of replicated pain, your podiatrist can pinpoint the ligament damaged and its degree of damage. X-rays may be ordered to rule out bone injury.
The good news is that the majority of ankle sprains can be treated conservatively and without surgery. Most podiatrists will recommend that you give it RICE. This isn’t to be confused with the edible grain, but is an acronym for “Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation”.
- It is advised that you rest your injured ankle and avoid walking on it. Limit the amount of weight you place on your ankle while it is trying to heal. Ankle braces and crutches may be necessary depending on the patient.
- Ice your ankle intermittently to control the swelling, but remember to do it properly to avoid skin damage and frostbite. Do not place ice directly on the skin. Do not apply the ice for more than twenty minutes at a time.
- Add compression to the ankle to further control swelling. Be mindful of your own pain levels while compressing.
- Elevate your foot while in a comfortable seated or reclined position. It is ideal to keep the foot above the level of the heart.
Treatment of the ankle sprain can be managed at home, but if further complications arise, then make an appointment with our office today by calling 310-652-3668 at your convenience.
By chance, have you been dealing with foot pain lately? When you get out of bed in the morning, do the first few steps cause discomfort in the heel of your foot? If so, then you may want to read on. There is a likely chance that you suffer from a common condition known as Plantar Fasciitis. It is categorized as an overuse injury localized to the sole of the foot. Its symptomatic origin is from the long, flat, band-like ligament that connects the calcaneus (heel bone) to the metatarsals and phalanges (toe bones). This ligament is known as the plantar fascia, hence the condition’s name.
Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is called an overuse injury because it manifests when repeated impacts cause the ligament to stretch and sometimes tear. Those who have a recent history of weight gain or have dramatically increased the amount of walking, standing, or running in their daily activities may experience an onset of PF. Additionally, those with tight calf muscles are more prone to getting PF due to the anatomical connections between the tendon behind the ankle (Achilles tendon) and the plantar fascia ligament. However, people with flat feet or very high arches are both equally affected by PF.
Treatment for PF can range from stretching to surgery, but it’s best to start with the former. Should the pain be too intolerable at first, it might be best to rest the foot until inflammation has subdued. During this period, you may apply ice on and off the area of pain, for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Over the counter NSAIDs (i.e. ibuprofen) may be taken as directed on the bottle. Note that medicine and icing will only treat PF in short term. It is important to incorporate stretching in the plan to treat PF in long term. Low-stress exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the key goals in therapy.
Surgery should always be the last resort, only after all other options have been exhausted. If the aforementioned noninvasive treatments do not help alleviate your symptoms, then scheduling an office visit would be beneficial. Other treatment options that can be explored are orthotics or injections.