How to Choose a Foot Sports Injury Specialist to Treat You
Did you know that 25% of the bones in the entire body can be found in the foot? When you combine that with the frenetic pace and physical impacts involved in many sports, it’s a recipe for disaster. NSC points out that 3.2 million people ended up going to the emergency room in 2021 alone for injuries related to sports. For those injured through sports-related activities, it’s important to find the right foot sports injury specialist for treatment. However, there’s more here than just finding a board-certified medical professional covered by your insurance. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive to help you make informed decisions.
The single most common foot injury in sports is the inversion ankle sprain. It’s caused by twisting the foot inward, which stretches the outer ligaments and causes damage. Of course, this is just one of the many types of foot injuries that can befall athletes at all levels of play. Some of the other common foot injuries include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Overuse injuries, such as damage to the Achilles tendon
- Rupture-related injuries to the tendons
- Muscle-related injuries, including contusions and tears caused by direct trauma, as well as those caused by overuse
How Long Do Foot Injuries Take to Heal?
All injuries take time to heal. However, the duration of healing varies significantly by the type of injury, as well as the care provided and whether the patient sees a foot sports injury specialist, a general practitioner, or treats their injury on their own.
In general, minor to moderate foot injuries will take between two and four weeks to heal with proper care. Severe injuries, such as broken bones, can take six to eight weeks to heal. The most severe foot injuries, such as those that require surgical treatment, may take up to eight months to heal.
Is Your Foot Injury Serious?
Should you seek out a foot sports injury specialist? Does your injury require medical intervention, or can you treat it at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)? For many people, this is the most difficult question to answer.
The best advice might be to try conventional, at-home treatments first, such as icing and elevating the injured foot. If symptoms improve with a little time and care, the injury is likely not serious. However, there are signs that you should schedule an office visit, including:
- Persistent swelling that doesn’t improve after a few days of treatment at home
- Persistent pain that doesn’t improve within a week or two
- A sense of burning pain, tingling, or numbness, especially if it involves the bottom of the foot
If you notice these symptoms, schedule an office visit with a foot sports injury specialist to diagnose the problem and decide on a course of treatment.
It’s also important to note that there are signs that an injury is severe enough that you should seek immediate medical treatment rather than trying at-home treatments first. These include:
- Severe pain and/or swelling
- An open wound on the foot
- A wound that is infected/discharging pus
- Red, feverish skin in the affected area
- You have a fever over 100 degrees F
How Do You Know If Your Foot Is Sprained or Fractured?
Ankle sprains are among the most common foot injuries, but foot fractures are also relatively common in sports. How do you tell if your foot is sprained or fractured? It all comes down to the severity of the symptoms.
Sprains and fractures often present with similar symptoms, so patients need to determine how significant the pain, swelling, and bruising are. Another way to tell is the sound the body made when the injury occurred. A popping sound usually accompanies a sprain, while a cracking sound accompanies a fracture.
Of course, it can be difficult to determine which sound was present, particularly in sports like football, where protective gear can make similar sounds during an impact. Perhaps the single best way to tell if your foot is sprained or fractured is to visit a foot sports injury specialist and have a visual examination, followed by an X-ray (if the doctor deems it necessary).
Get on the Road to Healing
Injured while playing your favorite sport? Unsure if your foot is sprained or fractured? Give us a call today – we can help! Get in touch with us at 561-995-0229 to schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist! We can help you resume physical activity, including sports, as quickly as possible with the right treatment.