Soccer season: Prime time for foot, ankle injuries

Soccer season: Prime time for foot, ankle injuries

Clinton Township, MI -- Soccer season is in full swing and the doctors at Hosey and Murphy Foot and Ankle Centers strongly urges parents and coaches to think twice before coaxing young, injury-prone soccer players to “play through” foot and ankle pain.

Skeletally immature kids, starting and stopping and moving side to side on cleats that are little more than moccasins with spikes – that’s a recipe for foot and ankle sprains and worse.

“On some occasions kids will play with lingering, nagging heel pain that, upon testing, turns out to be a stress fracture that neither they, their parents nor their coaches were aware of. By playing with pain, they can’t give their team 100 percent and make their injuries worse, which prolongs their time out of soccer.

Our doctors have actually had to show parents x-rays of fractures before they’ll take their kids out of the playing. Also keep in mind stress fractures can be subtle – they don’t always show up on initial x-rays.

Symptoms of stress fractures include pain during normal activity and when touching the area, and swelling without bruising. Treatment usually involves rest and sometimes casting. Some stress fractures heal poorly and often require surgery, such as a break in the long bone behind the little toe, known as a Jones fracture.

Soccer is a very popular sport in our community, but the constant running associated with it places excessive stress on a developing foot. Pain from overuse usually stems from inflammation, such as around the growth plate of the heel bone, more so than a stress fracture. Growth plates for children are still open and bones are still growing and maturing – until they’re about 13 to 16. Rest and, in some cases, immobilization of the foot should relieve that inflammation.

Other types of overuse injuries are Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis (heel pain caused by inflammation of the tissue extending from the heel to the toes).

Quick, out-of-nowhere ankle sprains are also common to soccer. Ankle sprains should be evaluated by a physician to assess the extent of the injury. If the ankle stays swollen for days and is painful to walk or even stand on, it could be a fracture. Also untreated sprains can lead to increased laxity in the ligaments and also possibly speed the development of arthritis of injured joints.

Collisions between soccer players take their toll on toes. When two feet are coming at the ball simultaneously, that ball turns into cement block and goes nowhere. The weakest point in that transaction is usually a foot, with broken toes the outcome. If you notice swelling in your athlete's foot, they should probably be evauated by one of the doctors at Hosey and Murphy Foot and Ankle Centers quickly.

For further information about various foot conditions, contact Dr. Murphy, Dr. Hosey, Dr. Patterson, or Dr. Jacob. You can also visit our website at where you can find more information about foot and ankle conditions. Feel free to call us at 586-263-4411.

Ryan Murphy, DPM, FACFAS Ryan Murphy, DPM, FACFAS Dr. Murphy graduated from the Scholl College of podiatric medicine in 2009 and is now board certified by the college of Foot and Ankle Surgeons in diagnosis and treatment of any condition involving the foot and ankle. He is the owner of Hosey and Murphy Foot and Ankle Centers. Dr. Murphy specializes in sports medicine, fracture repair, forefoot surgery, and the treatment and surgical correction of ankle pain. He’s a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and has published numerous articles in respected podiatric medical journals.

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