DMFA Blog

Posts for category: ankle sprains

After the long winter the Chicagoland area went through this year, we know many of you want to spend the summer being active. Whether that means taking your bike on the Metra into city to speed along the paths beside Lake Michigan to taking advantage of soccer, baseball or basketball facilities offered by the Lemont Park District, this is the best time of year to be active and on your feet.

From 5-and-10K races to a Warrior Dash to boot camps, there are plenty of ways to stay fit during the warm weather.

But for 2 million folks, the first steps in the morning can mean shooting pain in the heel or arch.

This results from problems with the plantar fascia – the band on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. My colleague, Dr. Diana Emini, and I see lots of patients of all ages in our Lemont office with heel pain. It's a common problem and when this band gets irritated, pain under the heel can result. It has several causes, including:

  • Too much physical activity can stress the heel bone and surrounding tissue, especially with prolonged activity on hard surfaces.

  • Footwear with thick soles that doesn't properly absorb shock. Force goes into the foot as a result.

  • Sports with quick turns: Cutting movements in tennis and basketball can place increased stress on the heel and surrounding tissue.

  • Pregnancy: Hormones released during pregnancy relax the ligaments, which reduces support in the heel.

  • Age: The plantar fascia loses elasticity as people age and can't always bounce back.

  • Being overweight. Extra pounds cause breakdown of the heel padding and flattening of the arch.

Just as there are many causes of heel pain, there are also many treatments. At DM Foot & Ankle, we offer several remedies:

  • Medication to reduce inflammation

  • Custom arch supports and supportive shoes

  • Night splints that hold the band in a fixed position

  • Cortisone injections

  • Physical therapy

We've had a lot of success in helping patients get back on their feet WITHOUT surgery. Early treatment can help you get back to warm-weather activities sooner. Summer is too short to be sidelined — call our Lemont office and seek help if you are suffering from heel pain.


 

By Michelle Kim


 

It's officially fall!  That means leaves will start changing,and Halloween and Thanksgiving are just down the road.  On weekends, there's plenty to keep sports fans entertained, whether it's watching the Lemont High School Indians play football on Friday nights, seeing the Chicago Bears meet their opponents at Soldier Field,or anticipating the first games of the new seasons for the Chicago Bulls and the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks.

As cool-weather sports get underway, one thing that can keep any player benched are issues such as ankle sprains. One risk factor that can lead to sprains is high-impact sports such as basketball, tennis, soccer or running on uneven surfaces.

A sprain happens when the ankle is forced out of its normal position, beyond the control of surrounding ligaments. This can lead to one or more ligaments overstretching and possibly tearing.

Sprains are a common injury that Dr. Michelle Kim and Dr.Diana Emini see at DM Foot and Ankle Associates. Situations that can lead to ankle sprains include:

* A fall that causes the ankle to twist. Injuries where the foot rolls away from the body are most common.

* Awkwardly planting the foot after jumping, pivoting, getting out of bed, or stepping off a curb.

* Sports where a player steps on another player, such as in basketball.

* Walking or stepping on uneven surfaces, such as stepping into a hole.

Those who suffer from sprains feel pain when they get injured, and may have a hard time walking and putting weight on that foot during the healing process.

In severe cases, surgery might be needed, butfortunately the majority will heal with the following treatments:

* Medications to reduce pain and inflammation

Soft casts to compress and immobilize the ankle

* Doctor-prescribed ankle braces to decrease rotation of the foot and ankle

* Custom arch supports and proper shoe gearto control foot motion and prevent future injuries

* Physical therapy for rehabilitation, full healing,and to reduce the chances of another ankle sprain

* Cortisone injections for stubborn pain and swelling

Those suffering from a sprained ankle should get X-rays to rule-out a broken bone. Although no bone may have been broken, soft tissue injuries will take just as long as bone to heal – usually around six to eight weeks. Sprains left untreated can leave the ligaments permanently stretched out, which can then lead to repeated sprains. Avoid re-injury by following the proper treatment given to you by your doctor. 

At DM Foot and Ankle, we have on-site digital X-rays and same day appointments – so skip the emergency room and hop on over to our clinic for immediate foot and ankle care.

 

By Michelle Kim