The Toll of Trauma
Most people take their feet for granted until something happens that hurts their ability to use them. Foot injuries can severely limit your mobility, along with causing you significant discomfort. If it isn’t treated, a small or big problem can have further complications, resulting in far worse damage than the original issue.
Most injuries are hard to prevent because they happen in a moment. These traumatic conditions are often very painful and result in a quick loss of strength and stability. Some problems, like overuse issues, develop over longer periods of time, but result in a similar discomfort and weakness. However your injury occurred, ignoring the issue and attempting to self-treat tends to make everything worse. Some of the most common problems include:
Sprains occurs when the connective tissues in a structure become stressed or overstretched. In your ankle this happens when you roll or twist your foot in an awkward way. The tendons and ligaments that stabilize your ankle can stretch or even tear. If not treated, the injury can heal incorrectly and cause chronic ankle weakness.
This can occur in one or more bones that make up the ankle joint break. The joint comprises three bones: the talus, which sits directly on the heel bone, and the tibia and fibula, which are the lower leg bones. When one of them breaks, you feel immediate, sharp pain and are usually unable to bear weight. A break needs to be treated right away to ensure proper healing.
You have 26 regular bones in each foot, along with two small sesamoid bones under your first big toe joint. Just like any other bones in your body, they can break. The injury can be small, like a stress fracture, or big, like a full break. Depending on the kind of injury, the pain can develop slowly over time or very suddenly.
These are benign, though abnormal, bone growths that develop during childhood and adolescence, usually on the surface near the growth plate at the end of a bone. Though they can be harmless, they do need to be monitored. Depending on where they develop, they could cause pain during activity or even press against a nerve.
Sometimes trauma to the end of a bone can cause a section of cartilage, along with a thin layer of bone under it, to lose its oxygen flow and peel away. As long as the loose tissue stays in place it doesn’t usually cause problems, though it may be uncomfortable. The pieces can fall down into the joint, however, and cause significant stiffness and discomfort.
This is a common overuse injury to the tissues in the lower legs. The muscle, connective tissue, and even bone becomes irritated and may swell. The more you continue to use the inflamed legs, the worse they become.
Athletes are at high risk for a number of injuries. They put a lot of heavy pressure on their feet by running, jumping, stopping suddenly, changing directions, and performing many other movements. Without proper conditioning and footwear, they are open to a wide variety of overuse and hard-impact conditions, like turf toe, athlete's foot, sprains, and others.
You should never ignore pain in your feet or ankles. Even small, simple conditions can worsen if you continue to try to use your feet without addressing the problem. Dr. Sanjay Patel is highly experienced in treating these problems and many others, using conservative, noninvasive treatments that get you back to your activities as quickly as possible. If you have injured your feet, don’t wait until you can no longer walk to seek help. Contact Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. for an appointment or more information by visiting the website contact page or by calling either of our two office locations: (203) 876-7736 for our Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location.