SPRAINS OF THE FOOT
Tendon Irritations (Tendonitis) in the Foot:
Tendons connect the bone to the muscle. They are extensions of muscles and act as a pulling force on the bone. There are numerous tendons within your foot and they serve many different purposes. These tendons function to pick the foot up, point the foot down, and move the foot side to side. Tendons also function to provide overall structural integrity to the shape of your foot (ex. holding up the arch of the foot). Tendon injuries typically occur due to sudden movements, trauma, or excessive use/overuse. Other times, it may occur as a result of some type of underlying foot deformity (ex. excessive pronation with flat feet). Symptoms generally include pain or discomfort during stance and/or activity. There may also be an overall feeling of tightness. If left untreated, the overall pain will generally worsen and tendon rupture may ultimately occur.
Sprains of the Foot:
A sprain is generally a traumatic injury, and is caused by a sudden motion in a direction the foot is not intended to move or bend. Overuse (typically from athletic activities) can also be a cause of a sprain. Sprains can happen to either a ligament or a tendon. Ligaments connect bones with other bones, while tendons connect bones with muscles. Symptoms are similar to tendon injuries, with pain or discomfort upon standing or with activities. However, sprains tend to be more intensive in pain (compared with tendonitis) and often times an added feeling of instability is noted as well. If left untreated, symptoms often worsen and tearing of the injured ligament or tendon may occur (which limits treatment options).
Treatment generally begins conservatively, with X-rays taken as a first step. Sometimes, especially in high energy injuries, there may be a fracture or some type of bony pathology associated with the tendonitis or sprain. Immobilization is typically a first line treatment, with possible injections or laser therapy to follow up if appropriate. However, in cases where patients do not improve with conservative therapy/high trauma cases, surgery may be required to repair the issue.
If you suspect you may have any of these issues, please get in touch with us today. Like almost everything in medicine, the sooner the treatment begins, the better the outcome will tend to be.