Basketball is a very fast-paced sport that requires agility, strength, and endurance. It also carries with it different risks of injury to the feet and ankles. Sports medicine foot and ankle orthopaedics are specialized areas of practice dedicated to treating these types of injuries. Common basketball-related foot and ankle injuries include:
Sprains: Sprains occur when the ligaments (connecting two bones) are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. This causes pain, swelling, and instability around the affected joint. Common areas are the ankle, midfoot, or toe joints.
Fractures: Fractures can happen from a single traumatic incident or from repeated stress on the bone. They cause severe pain and swelling in the area and can limit range of motion. Common fractures include those of the ankle or the Jones fracture of the 5th metatarsal (on the outer side of your foot).
Achilles Tendinitis: Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It can cause pain and stiffness in the back of the leg, along with localized swelling. Rarely is surgery needed for this.
Achilles Tear: The Achilles tendon is the longest and strongest tendon of the human body. But still, it is susceptible to tear, especially when the Achilles tendon is lengthening while it is trying to contract.
Ankle Instability: Ankle instability occurs due to a bad ankle sprain or chronic sprains or tears of the ligaments in the ankle joint, which can lead to chronic ankle pain. They instability causes difficulty with walking, running, and pivoting on the foot. The ankle feels like it is going to give away.
Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. This can cause sharp pain in the heel, arch and sole of your foot. This can be very painful and can sometimes include a stress fracture or reaction in the heel bone.
If you are experiencing any of these injuries it is important to seek medical attention from a Sports Medicine Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Specialist. Early treatment can prevent further damage or the need for surgery, allowing you to return to the game quicker.
If you are looking to prevent these injuries in the first place, there are certain steps you can take. For example, always warm up and stretch before playing and stretch after a long game. Additionally, make sure to wear properly fitting shoes and play on surfaces that have proper cushioning to absorb impact from jumps and landings.
Basketball is a fantastic sport, but it comes with the risk of certain foot and ankle injuries. Sports Medicine Foot and Ankle Orthopaedics Specialists are ready to help you if you experience any of these common basketball-related injuries. In addition, taking preventative steps such as warming up and wearing proper shoes goes a long way in keeping your feet and ankles safe.