Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons advise easing into activities to prevent injuries
If you live in an area that keeps you indoors during the winter months, you may be eager to play sports and other activities outside this summer. However, taking on too much physical activity at once can put you at risk for injuring your feet or ankles. Follow these guidelines from foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to play sports safely all summer.
When athletes suddenly increase their miles or repetitions, the added pressure on the foot and ankles can lead to overuse injuries, explains foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon, David N. Garras, MD, from Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants in Orland Park, Illinois.
"An overuse injury occurs over time from repetitive stress, causing increased pain and discomfort," says Dr. Garras.
Common foot and ankle overuse injuries in summer sports include metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of your foot), ankle sprains and instability, and stress fractures. If you are experiencing foot and ankle pain or suspect you have any of these conditions, see a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon for an evaluation.
To stay ahead of the game and enjoy an injury-free summer, Dr. Garras offers these tips:
- Stretch before and after a workout; this is one of the best ways to prevent injuries.
- Wear proper-fitting, supportive athletic shoes and replace them every 300 to 500 miles.
- Always start and progress slowly. Avoid high-impact exercise and activity if you start feeling discomfort.
- If you wear orthotics that are one to two years old, schedule a visit with a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon for a fitting.
- If you have a stress fracture, visit your surgeon to rule out vitamin deficiencies or osteoporosis.
To learn more about foot and ankle conditions and find a surgeon in your area, visit FootCareMD.org
About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons
Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.
About the AOFAS
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at aofas.org.
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