Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons offer advice for Foot Health Awareness Month
April is Foot Health Awareness Month, and also a month when activity levels tend to increase as summer approaches. Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons, who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, diseases, and other conditions of the foot and ankle, give tips to those looking to stay active while keeping their feet healthy and injury-free.
“I live in a cold-weather state, so at this time of year I see an increase in injuries from those moving from indoor training to outdoor training,” said Katherine Sage, DO, a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon from Metro Health Hospital in Michigan. “I tell patients to be extra aware of uneven surfaces, slopes in the terrain, curbs, and wet spots, all of which can lead to a foot or ankle injury.”
Natalie R. Danna, MD, a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon from the University of Maryland Medical System adds, “The most common injuries I see when patients increase their activity are ankle fractures and sprains and Achilles tendinitis and tears.”
Drs. Sage and Danna offer these three tips to stay active and keep your feet and ankles injury-free this spring:
1. Start Slow
An active lifestyle does not happen overnight! Go slow, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. Overuse injuries, such as stress fractures, can happen if you push your joints, muscles, and ligaments without proper rest or rehab. It is better to start with smaller activity sessions rather than jumping right into an intense workout.
2. Vary Your Routine
When starting a new exercise plan, don’t do too much of one activity. Consider cross-training that will work the muscles around the ankle and make the ankle more stable.
3. Listen to Your Body
Make sure you warm up before exercising and cool down afterwards, perhaps with some stretches. If you do notice a persistent pain or injury, try treatment at home in the form of rest, ice, changing your activity, evaluating your shoes, and possibly a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
If you hear or feel a significant pop or crack, have intense pain, or cannot put weight on your foot or ankle, make an appointment with a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon for an examination and treatment.
For more ways to keep your feet healthy, visit FootCareMD.
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.
Marketing and Communications Specialist