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Foot & Ankle at Saint Vincent Hospital

Most of the time, our body movements do not cause problems, but it’s not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear. Toe, foot or ankle injuries most commonly occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks or projects around the home.

Sudden (acute) injury

An acute injury may occur from a direct blow, a fall, a penetrating injury, or from twisting, jerking or bending a limb abnormally. Pain will be sudden and severe. Bruising and swelling may develop soon after your injury.

  • Bruise
  • Ligament tear
  • Ruptured tendon
  • Sprain
  • Strain
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Compartment syndrome

Overuse injury

Overuse injuries occur when too much stress is placed on your joint, often by overdoing an activity or repeating the same activity over and over.

  • Retrocalcaneal bursitis - inflammation causing swelling and tenderness of the heel
  • Achilles tendonitis - breakdown of soft tissues in and around the Achilles tendon
  • Stress fracture - hairline crack in the bone
  • Plantar fasciitis - inflammation of the flat ligament on the bottom of the foot that expands from the front of the heel to the base of the toes
  • Metatarsalgia - pain in the front of the foot

Tips on preventing foot and ankle injuries

  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Do not walk barefoot in places where you have an increased chance of stepping on something.
  • Use a rubber mat to stand on if your job requires you to stand on hard surfaces.
  • Buy new running shoes often. If you run more than 25 miles per week, buy new shoes every three months. If you run less than 25 miles per week, buy new shoes every four to six months.
  • Reduce your risk of re-injury by wrapping or taping your foot or ankle, or wearing a supportive brace during activities or exercises.
  • Do heel cord stretching exercises.