There’s a significant amount of pressure and expectation placed on the feet and ankles of athletes. Lower extremity injuries, especially those relating to the ankle or foot, are among the most common sports injury causes. Most of these injuries are sprains, but some involve fractures. Research indicates that the likelihood of re-injury once an ankle sprain has occurred is as high as 80% depending on the sport.
No one likes being sidelined by injury, athletes perhaps least of all. At Newport Foot & Ankle Center, we understand. Having treated hundreds of athletes who play a wide range of sports, our approach to caring for our most active patients is heavy on getting you back in the game – with timely intervention and diagnosis, expert treatment and compassionate care.
Sports-Related Fractures and Sprains
Sprains: Though not a broken bone, a sprain of the foot or ankle is still severe as it refers to the tearing of ligaments that connect bones inside a joint. Sprains are usually “graded” on a severity scale that ranges from 1-3. Grade 1 sprains are typically mild, resulting in tiny tears in the ligament affected or just overstretching of it. Grade 2 strains are considered moderate, and the ligament involved may be partially torn, with more severe stretching. Grade 3 sprains are severe and characterized by a completely torn ligament, rendering the foot unstable and unable to bear weight.
Fractures: Ankle fractures are usually classified into three types, and the type an athlete sustain often dictates the course of treatment taken by the doctor. Type A ankle fractures are generally stable and respond well to treatment with casting or bracing if they aren’t accompanied by any other fractured area. Type B fractures of the ankle may be stable or unstable, depending on whether ligaments were also involved in the injury. Type C ankle fractures are unstable and usually require open reduction and internal fixation to repair the damage.
Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine Treatments
Depending on the type of sports injury sustained and its severity, Dr. Haupt and his expert team at Newport Foot & Ankle Center are dedicated to helping you heal so that you can get back into the game as though you never left. Some of the treatment options we recommend to our most athletic patients include:
Orthotics: Orthotics that are specifically designed for athletes can help provide proper cushioning and shock absorption to the feet and ankle, while simultaneously helping to improve the biomechanics of the foot. Orthotics can be worn in a variety of athletic shoes, including cleats and can aid in protecting an injured foot from further damage.
Custom Bracing: When the fracture is non-displaced or minimally displaced custom bracing, or a cast can be an effective treatment option for foot or ankle fractures. Ultimately, the goal of this treatment is to promote the natural healing of the fracture while protecting the area from further damage or injury.
Arthroscopy: This surgical procedure involves a viewing camera with a fiber-optic tip that allows a surgeon to see inside the ankle to perform evaluation and treatment. In cases where debris from a chipped bone, torn cartilage or ligament damage has occurred, arthroscopy allows the surgeon to evaluate the extent of the damage and in some cases, to repair it at the same time. For some, this can mean a quicker recovery, less trauma to the area involved, and fewer complications than an open or otherwise more involved surgical procedure.