5 Most Common Foot and Ankle Injuries

What is chronic ankle sprain?
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Straits Podiatry

Our feet and ankle are complex structures that are so carefully designed to withstand our body weight and even higher loads when we stand and move about daily. Therefore we should take good care of our feet, otherwise, they are prone to injuries. Here are five of the most common foot and ankle injuries that we see in our clinic:

1. Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are a common ankle injury that occurs when the ankle overly twists inwards or outwards. The ligaments in the ankle often become stretched or torn, resulting in redness, swelling, and stiffness of the ankle. Sports that involve many twisting and turns such as basketball or football are common causes of ankle sprains. We often see patients try to “walk it off” instead of seeking medical attention and that is not ideal. Ankle sprains must be treated carefully because up to 40% of cases suffer from chronic symptoms and repeated sprains. Therefore, we highly recommend a structured rehabilitation program to prevent future sprains or chronic ankle instability.

Ankle sprain is a common foot injury. Straits Podiatry Singapore
An ankle sprain with extensive bruises should be checked by a medical professional.

2. Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is usually an overuse foot and ankle injury caused by inflammation in the Achilles tendon, which connects our calf muscles to the heel bone. Runners and athletes of jumping sports are at risk because of the repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis causes pain, redness, and swelling at the back of the heel or ankle, and you will also find difficulty standing on the toes. We typically recommend a combination of solutions and strengthening exercises to manage Achilles tendonitis.

3. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common foot injury that causes heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed. The typical causes of plantar fasciitis that we see include flat feet, incorrect choice of footwear, and poor training form. We normally manage plantar fasciitis by managing both the inflammation and the root cause of the condition.

4. Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Posterior tibial tendonitis is a common foot and ankle injury caused by inflammation and weakening of the posterior tibial tendon. The posterior tibial tendon helps support our arch and stabilise our foot during propulsion. Posterior tibial tendonitis typically occurs in runners or jumping sports and especially in people with flat feet. We normally manage posterior tibial tendonitis with customized foot orthoses or ankle-foot orthoses depending on the severity.

5. Stress fractures

Stress fractures are small hairline cracks in the bone that are caused by overuse or repeated stress. They usually happen in the foot or ankle, especially the forefoot. Stress fractures usually occur in athletes who take part in high-impact sports. Other common causes include a poor choice of shoes when doing sports and inadequate recovery. Stress fractures often take between 4 to 6 weeks to recover but management such as shockwave therapy may help to speed up recovery.

Prevention is better than cure

It is important to understand that our feet and ankle normally get injured when the stress is too much to bear. We can prevent injuries with the right choice of footwear and proper training techniques (read how you can prevent injuries while running). If you are experiencing any pain in your foot or ankle, consult with our Podiatrists at Straits Podiatry and get relief early today.

Podiatrists Singapore, Straits Podiatry
Jackie Tey, Chief Podiatrist, Straits Podiatry Singapore
Authored and edited by Straits Podiatry.
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