Sports Medicine for Foot and Ankle Injuries
“We are all athletes. Some just train more than others.”
We know how important it is for our patients to be able to live active, healthy lives. It’s as true for us as it is for you. In fact, Dr. Leibovitz is an avid mountain biker (once upon a time, he even competed — or tried to — in road and track racing) and loves flying power kites.
Unfortunately, physical activity can lead to foot pain, and that in turn can keep you from staying active and reaching your personal goals — no matter if that’s preparing for a race, weight loss, yoga, or just being able to enjoy a game of tennis or a romp through the yard with kids or grandkids.
Dr. Leibovitz and his team are dedicated to providing the highest quality sports medicine for your feet and ankles. Whether you’re struggling with an overuse issue or a traumatic injury, we can help.
If you’re ready to schedule your appointment, you can reach us at (317) 545-0505 or use this online form. To learn more about foot and ankle sports injuries, keep scrolling!
What are common foot and ankle sports injuries?
The vast majority of sports injuries or sports-related conditions of the feet and ankles — perhaps 90 percent — can be attributed to overuse.
Repetitive, high-impact exercise involving running, jumping, cutting, and other activities gradually overstrain joints, ligaments, tendons, and even bones.
Some of the most common foot and ankle conditions from sports and other physical activities include:
- Adult and adolescent heel pain – the pain itself is a symptom of an underlying issue
- Achilles tendinitis – painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon
- Chronic ankle pain – which can be caused by a variety of ankle injuries
- Stress fractures – hairline cracks in bone tissue (that can be quite painful)
- Capsulitis – pain under the metatarsal (long foot bone) head
- Turf toe – a sprained big toe with restricted motion
- Shin splints – pain in the front of the lower leg
- Blisters and calluses – these problems can develop due to poor biomechanics
Overuse injuries start off small and slow and usually provide plenty of warning (like a small crack in your windshield before it shatters).
A stress fracture, for example, takes weeks or months before the pain escalates to an “I can’t run anymore” level. If you wait that long you’ll be off your foot for 4-6 weeks, but if caught in the initial stage (before there are bone changes), you may only need 1-2 weeks of modified activity or possibly no change in training.
How are traumatic injuries different than overuse ones?
A foot or ankle sports injury can also be the result of a single traumatic episode. This would include things like ankle sprains, broken bones/fractures, turf toe, dislocations, and other sudden accidents or injuries.
Time is of the essence with traumas such as these. Early treatment may return you to activity 50% faster.
Even an ankle sprain — which many people underestimate due to how relatively common they are — can lead to chronic pain and instability and a greater chance of re-injury if it isn’t treated and heals improperly.
It’s imperative that you contact our office as soon as possible for emergency care.
How can you get the best care for your foot or ankle?
Dr. Leibovitz has more than 30 years of experience in sports medicine and frequently cares for athletes (as well as teaching a sports injury course at a local university). He’ll put his training and experience to good use to help get you back on your feet – and back to your athletic endeavors – as quickly as possible.
Your recommended treatment plan, naturally, will depend on the type and nature of your exact injury, as well as a thorough discussion with you about your goals and lifestyle.
Unlike many other podiatrists, we try to keep you as active as possible during the treatment and recovery period of your injury.
We consider “stopping activity” a dirty word (well, two words anyway), but an injury like a stress fracture will require “rest” to heal. This will require a break from weight-bearing activity for a while, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck on the couch! Alternative activities such as swimming or cycling may allow you to keep up your cardiovascular fitness while protecting a healing injury from further damage.
We’ll work with you to develop a safe, healthy exercise routine.
Are there ways to prevent foot and ankle injuries?
The greatest preventative measure for overuse injuries is a flexibility program.
Stretching might not the most exciting part of being active and tends to be the first thing that is eliminated when time is tight. However, injuries result from a tug of war between muscle groups, and the winner is the biggest and strongest.
A proper stretching regimen has to be specific for the injury, and tendons like the Achilles (the largest in the body) may take 3-4 weeks to experience relief due to its strength and size.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leibovitz to address your sports-related foot or ankle pain, please give our office a call at (317) 545-0505.