If you have a son or daughter actively involved in the world of sports, there is a chance that at some point they might suffer from a foot or ankle injury. Fortunately, the majority of these injuries that affect children and teenagers tend to be relatively minor and kids bounce back from them rather quickly when they recover correctly. In this post, we will take a look at three common foot and ankle injuries that affect youth athletes so you can know what signs to look for if your young one is suffering from foot or ankle pain.
- A Stress Fracture: A stress fracture can actually affect anyone from the woman who spent too much time wearing uncomfortable heels to the person with weak, unhealthy bones who spends a lot of time on their feet. A stress fracture is a hairline fracture (a slight crack in the bone) that is caused by too much weight or pressure on the bone. This type of injury generally occurs in young athletes who do a lot of excessive running or jumping, whether that is from jump roping, basketball, or participating in track and field. Children and teens are more susceptible to hairline fractures when they overwork themselves and their bones are not yet used to that sort of intense conditioning. The best way to avoid a stress fracture is to ensure that your child is easing into their athletic training and wearing supportive footwear. If you suspect your child is suffering from a hairline fracture, one of the most common symptoms is recurring pain in the affected area. The best thing to do to allow a hairline fracture to heal is to temporarily halt the exercise that caused it in the first place. After sufficient rest, your child should be able to slowly get back into their sports.
- Metatarsalgia: While this might not be as common a term as “stress fracture” is just as common as the aforementioned injury and is triggered by overuse. If your child participates in high impact sports like soccer, football, tennis, or baseball, they are more susceptible to this painful condition. This is a forefoot injury that is caused when the ball of the foot suffers from pressure and in turn inflammation. When your child’s forefoot is subjected to repeated force (caused by landing on the ball of the foot or excessive jumping), they can end up with metatarsalgia. Like a stress fracture, the best thing to do for this condition is to refrain from sports and rest the food for a period of time. If after doing these things the pain persists, visit a podiatrist for more treatment options.
- Retrocalcaneal Bursitis: While physical fitness is not necessarily the culprit behind this condition, it is often something that affects young athletes on Long Island particularly those who are engaged in their sports while they are wearing the wrong kind of footwear. If your child already has retrocalcaneal bursitis, physical activity will only further aggravate the condition. This common foot injury is caused when a fluid-like sac becomes inflamed (this is found in the heel). This leads to increased pain, tenderness, and swelling. If your child runs up a lot of hills on a routine basis, this kind of pressure that they put on their foot can lead to the painful inflammation. And if they are wearing poorly fitted, tight shoes, this often leads to retrocalcaneal bursitis. The best thing to do is let your child rest until the foot heals and make sure they get the proper footwear for their athletic activities.
Looking for more information related to foot and ankle injuries or do you have questions related to other foot conditions? Don’t hesitate to contact us at our Great Neck Podiatrist Office today. You can also visit our official website or keep reading our other blog posts for more free resources.