Posts for category: Foot and Ankle Injury
Find out if a lateral ankle injury could be to blame for your constant ankle pain.
Q. What is a lateral ankle injury?
A. A lateral ankle injury is a sprain or tear of the lateral ligaments, or the ligaments found on the outer portion of the ankle.
Q. What are the symptoms of a lateral ankle injury?
A. The most common symptoms are: chronic pain in the ankle, reduced mobility and function in the foot, swelling and inflammation, a weakened ankle, and poor rangeofmotion. Some athletes with a lateral ankle injury may not be able to bear any weight on the foot, or they may feel as if the ankle is unstable and gives out when walking.
Q. What are the causes of a lateral ankle injury?
A. One of the primary causes is playing sports, especially spots that involve inversion movements or changing directions quickly, like basketball or tennis. Lateral ankle injuries occur when the athlete rolls the ankle inward, causing tears or strain on the lateral ligaments. Chronic lateral ankle pain can also be the result of an ankle sprain that never properly healed.
Q. How are lateral ankle injuries diagnosed?
A. We will discuss your medical history and then delve into the symptoms you are experiencing. We will ask if you’ve ever had any previous ankle injuries and what the treatment process was for your past injuries. Besides running a thorough physical examination to check for tender or swollen areas of the ankle, we may also run a series of Xrays to look at the health of your ankle joint.
Q. What kinds of treatments are available for lateral ankle injuries?
A. The initial treatment requires that patients stay off their injured foot and rest as much as possible to reduce pain and swelling. Icing the injury can also be helpful for the first couple days to reduce inflammation. It’s best to follow the RICE method when it comes to caring for your injury at home: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
You will also want to see your podiatrist for physical therapy, where we will perform a series of strengthening and stretching exercises that are meant to restrengthen damaged ligaments and improve rangeofmotion. Because those with lateral ankle injuries are also prone to future injuries, following routine strengthening exercises will help reduce your chances of reinjury. Expect to be in physical therapy for about six to 10 weeks.
There are some patients that don’t experience any relief from their symptoms even with these treatments. When this happens, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to repair the damaged ligaments and promote better healing.
The condition called “trench foot” was first officially diagnosed in 1812 by a doctor who treated French soldiers who spent a lot of time in cold, wet trenches. Though it is relatively rare in patients, trench foot is a very concerning foot problem that you should be aware of. If you have any potential symptoms, schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist to have it properly diagnosed and treated.
What Is Trench Foot?
Trench foot is a foot condition that develops because the feet have been exposed to very cold water or dampness for a very long time. Proper circulation to the feet stops as blood vessels constrict due to the cold. The feet are vulnerable to bacteria and the elements, causing a number of undesirable symptoms. Common symptoms of trench foot include:
- Discolored feet (turning red, blue or black)
- Tingling, itching or burning
- Numbness in the feet
- Red blisters
In severe cases, parts of the feet, like toes, can begin to fall off. If the foot already has some type of infection or wound, the progression of trench foot can be more aggressive. In untreated cases, gangrene can develop and amputation may be necessary.
Who Is at Risk for Trench Foot?
Trench foot was first noticed in soldiers who were forced to spend days, weeks or months in wet trenches. Wearing poorly designed shoes or boots allows the feet to become damp and cold. Any patient who lives in an outdoor environment that is very cold and gets long periods of rain could be at risk for trench foot—especially if proper boots aren’t worn at all times.
Getting Help with Trench Foot Symptoms
It’s important to have any symptom of trench foot looked at by a podiatrist as soon as possible. There are a few common ways that doctors treat trench foot:
- Warming the feet with heated pads or warm water.
- Physical therapy to bring circulation back to the feet.
- Cleaning and disinfecting the feet with antifungal agents.
- Removing bad tissue so that good tissue has a chance to regenerate on the feet.
Schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist if your feet have been exposed to cold, damp or dirty conditions for an extended period of time and you’re experiencing symptoms of trench foot. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance of returning the feet to a normal and healthy condition.