OC Feet News

Posts for tag: sprains

January 09, 2015
Category: foot care
Tags: running   sprains   marathon   foot fractures  

The countdown to the LA Marathon is on, and with 3 months to go, the time to start training is now. With first time runners especially, the first step is to make sure your feet are ready for the challenge before establishing a training plan. Same day appointments with Orange County Foot & Ankle Group are available to get you started right away!

Running a marathon

If your goal is to become more fit, good alternatives to the marathon are shorter distance running events like the 5k, or the more challenging half marathon. They have all the fanfare of running a marathon, but with much less stress on the body.

 

Orange County Foot & Ankle Group’s Dr. Bennett, DPM F.A.C.F.A.S, discusses how repetitive impact on feet can increase risk of damage, and how stress fractures of the foot are becoming more common in runners, especially first-time marathoners.

The growing popularity of marathons among beginning runners has contributed to the increase in repetitive stress injuries, including stress fractures of the foot, seen by Dr. Bennett, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Often, first-time marathoners enter a race with little or improper long-distance training. The lack of experience coupled with the repetitive impact placed on the feet during the run can produce enough stress to cause hairline breaks in the bones of the foot.

“Runners who increase their mileage too quickly or change to a more intense phase of training may be more susceptible to a stress fracture due to the increased force placed on the bones,” says Dr. Bennett. “A general rule of thumb for runners is to increase the mileage by no more than 10 percent each week. Runners who are training also need to have adequate rest time in between runs to help decrease the risk of a fracture.”

Runners at all levels of experience are also at higher risk for stress fractures if they wear improper shoes while running or training, suffer from flatfoot or other foot deformities, or have osteoporosis. Signs of a stress fracture can include pain, swelling, redness and possibly bruising of the area.

Stress Fractures and Runners

“Stress fractures can occur anywhere in the foot and can eventually lead to a complete break of the bone if left untreated,” Dr. Bennett explained.  “Early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure proper healing.”

If a break is suspected, Dr. Bennett advises runners to immediately follow the RICE protocol

Rest

Ice

Compression and

Elevation.

If pain and swelling last longer than a few days, an appointment for an x-ray and diagnosis is in order.

In most cases, treatment includes rest and immobilization with casting of the foot. Surgery may be required in certain instances to repair and stabilize a stress fracture that has progressed into a full fracture.

Runners can take action to prevent repetitive stress injuries in their feet by wearing supportive athletic shoes and slowly building up their activity levels according to their abilities. “If a runner suffers from abnormal mechanics in the foot, such as over pronation or hypermobility, custom orthotics can also be helpful to prevent these injuries,” Dr. Bennett, adds. 

Get started today and call Dr. Bennett’s office at 714-888-6860 for an evaluation, or make an appointment online.

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Spring is ankle sprain season in Orange County

Ankle SprainSpring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors in the Orange County area. It's also ankle sprain season for one area foot and ankle surgeon.

Jonathan Bennett, DPM, at Orange County Foot & Ankle Group, says ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries he treats this time of year.

"As people emerge from their winter hibernation and start to get active again, they can injure their ankles playing sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer," he says.

Anyone who injures an ankle requires prompt medical treatment, whether it's their first sprain or their fifth. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can reduce swelling and pain until the ankle can be evaluated and treated by a foot and ankle surgeon. A sprain may not always be a sprain; the ankle could be fractured.

Bennett notes that many athletes develop chronic ankle instability from repeated ankle sprains, causing their ankle to frequently "give way." In some cases these players may require surgery. Proper rehabilitation of an ankle sprain reduces the likelihood of developing chronic ankle instability.

Bennett shares three spring ankle sprain prevention tips from FootHealthFacts.org:

  1. Perform warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports.

  2. Wear the right shoes for the sport. For example, don't wear running shoes for sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, such as tennis and basketball.

  3. Wear an ankle brace if you're recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle.

FootHealthFacts.org is the consumer Web site of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Bennett is a member of the ACFAS and board certified in foot surgery and earned his podiatric medical degree University of Chicago's School of Podiatric Medicine.

Make an Appointment Request on our website today!

The LA Marathon is this weekend, and it's the perfect reminder to think about your foot and ankle health - especially to prevent sprains and fractures.

 

Injury Prevention - The most important step! 

Injuries are the leading causes of foot and ankle sprains and fractures. Runners may develop stress fractures of the ankle or foot. Warming up prior to physical activity can prevent ankle sprains and fractures. So can wearing proper shoes. If you're an athlete, talk to your podiatrist to determine which shoes are best for your sport. Athletic shoes should be replaced yearly; running shoes should be replaced every 300–400 miles or so.

Avoid running or walking on uneven surfaces. Tripping or stumbling on uneven ground is another common cause of foot and ankle sprains and fractures.

 

What is a Foot or Ankle Sprain or Fracture? 

The feet and ankles work together to provide support and mobility to the body. A foot or ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. Most often, a sprain occurs when an injury pulls, stretches, or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone. A fracture is actually a break in the bone.

Know the Symptoms

Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking on the affected foot or ankle are the most common symptoms of a sprained or fractured foot or ankle.

Home Care  

If you've hurt your foot or ankle, it's best to err on the side of caution. The acronym RICE can help you remember what to do:

Rest—Rest the affected area. Stay off the injured foot or ankle until it can be fully evaluated. Walking, running, or playing sports on an injured foot or ankle may make the injury worse.

Ice—Apply ice to the affected area as soon as possible, and reapply it for 15–20 minutes every three or four hours for the first 48 hours after injury. Ice can decrease inflammation.

Compression—Wrap an elastic bandage (such as an Ace® wrap) around the affected foot or ankle. The wrapping should be snug, but not so tight as to cut off circulation.

Elevation—Elevate the affected extremity on a couple of pillows; ideally, your foot or ankle should be higher than your heart. Keeping your foot or ankle elevated also decreases swelling.

When to Visit a Podiatrist 

If you've injured your foot or ankle, see a podiatrist. He or she can determine the extent of the injury and develop a plan of care to get you back to your favorite activites (or back to your everyday life) as soon as possible.

Increased pain, swelling, bruising, redness, or difficulty walking after an injury are definite signs that it's time to see a podiatrist.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Orange County Foot & Ankle Group takes care to understand your needs, and works with you to find the best solution for your feet. We listen to your concerns and carefully examine your feet and ankles, as well as factor in any additional necessary medical information. We can order tests, including an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, to determine the extent of your injury. If you have a fracture that's clearly visible on X-ray, you may not need additional testing. Ultrasounds and MRIs are useful for finding soft issue injuries (including torn ligaments) and stress fractures.

Many treatments, such as stress fractures and sprains require rest. Oral anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, can be used to decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation.  Our practice also perfroms surgies if necessary. As always, treatment will depend on your injury, and we're here to help you every step of the way.