With 33 joints, 26 bones, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments, no wonder the foot is susceptible to any number of injuries and many more medical conditions. And while anyone on legs relies on their feet to get them where they need to be, athletes rely on their feet for their livelihood and passion. Whether you’re the running back for the Ravens, training for the Terps or planning to run your first 5k, it’s the fleet, healthy foot that wins the race. If you are suffering from any one of the following conditions, then you understand all too well the importance of seeking treatment quickly to ensure you don’t miss one minute of the game.
Located at the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that attaches the heel bone to the toes. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it’s referred to as plantar fasciitis and it is one of the most common causes of foot pain. Characteristics of plantar fasciitis include a stabbing pain that is located close to the heel which is most acute after long periods of inactivity, like after a night’s sleep. While the sensation often subsides as the foot becomes more active, the pain can increase by walking or running on hard surfaces, walking barefoot, or wearing unsupportive shoes. If you have plantar fasciitis, be prepared to be off your feet until the fascia is heeled.
An overuse-type wear and tear injury, Achilles tendonitis is common in athletes who run and jump frequently. Achilles tendonitis occurs when the fibers that connect the calf muscles that insert into the rear of the calcaneus start to wear away. There’s a reason why the mighty Achilles was brought down by a heel injury. When struck with this injury, expect to find it difficult to walk, let alone run.
Also known as intermetatarsal neuroma, Morton’s neuroma is a painful foot condition that is the result of thickening of the nerve tissue in the ball of the foot into a painful knot. Its symptoms are consistent and include numbness, tingling and sharp pain between the third and fourth toes and the ball of the foot. Morton’s neuroma is quite common in those who engage in high-impact sports such as basketball or tennis. Because it is nerves that are affected, quick medical intervention is essential; left untreated, the neuroma will become more severe.
Metatarsal Stress Fractures
Located in the mid foot section, the metatarsal bones are shaped like long tubes and can easily become cracked or fractured by trauma, overuse or stress, sidelining an athlete for anywhere from three weeks to four months. If you do fracture your metatarsal, you may require crutches to enhance recovery by relieving pressure on the foot.
All Sports Require Feet to Work
These are but a few injuries that can affect the foot, which serves as the shock absorbers for the rest of the body. Damage to the foot can cause imprecise weight-transfer and cause shock to travel up the leg, through the hip and into the back. An injured foot It is also responsible for propulsion and ambulation. When a person walks or runs, the foot assists by transferring the weight of the body thousands of times per day. A chronic injury ignored for years can do permanent damage to the foot and bench an athlete, and their dreams.
Maryland’s Orthopaedic and Foot Specialists
If you rely on your feet, you should also rely on a great orthopaedist to keep you running strong for years. That’s why elite and professional athletes alike rely on Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland for all their orthopaedic needs, and you should too. Whether you play for the NFL or find yourself running errands, you deserve the best care possible. Contact the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or request an appointment online and get yourself back in the game!