Turf toe is a common athletic injury usually
caused by jamming your big toe into a hard surface or from
excessive pushing off such as from repeated track starts.
Symptoms include pain around the base of the big toe as well as
swelling and/or redness.
Although true turf toe only involves the soft tissue that
surrounds the toe joint, it can be very painful and significantly
limit a person's ability to walk or run.
Treatment may include ice and rest, supporting the toe with tape
or brace during activity and increasing the rigidity or stiffness
of the athlete's shoes.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the
supportive soft tissue structures of the arch that line the
bottom of the foot from the heel to the base of the toes.
These structures become irritated from overuse or prolonged
weight bearing and cause symptoms that include localized pain
around the heel and bottom of the foot and pain with weight
Symptoms are often more severe in the morning when first weight
bearing and may decrease once the tissues have been sufficiently
stretched. It often returns after 10-15 minutes of inactivity or
with prolonged activity, however.
Plantar fasciitis is usually seen in middle-aged men and women,
but is not uncommon in an athletic population or among runners.
Treatment may include:
- Wearing proper supportive footwear, possibly with orthotics
- Wearing a night splint to hold the foot in a stretched
- Using ice to help control inflammation
One of the most common orthopaedic injuries in athletics, an
ankle sprain is the tearing or stretching of the
tissues connecting the foot to the lower leg.
The majority of ankle sprains occur on the outside part of the
foot, however sprains to the inside part of the foot are not
Most ankle sprains occur when an athlete steps on an uneven
surface or obstacle which forces his/her foot to one side or the
other, usually inward for a lateral ankle sprain.
Symptoms include pain, swelling and discoloration around one or
both sides of the ankle.
The athlete may have localized pain at the time of injury, but
the pain may be more general within a few hours. He or she may
feel ankle stiffness within a few minutes and have significant
pain with weight bearing.
Severe sprains usually involve more than one structure and may
need X-rays to check for possible fractures in the surrounding
Treatment usually includes:
- Ice, compression and elevation to reduce swelling
- Gradually increasing range of motion as tolerated
- A progressive return to activity
Although an ankle sprain is a common injury that usually resolves
without complications, improper treatment or incomplete
rehabilitation can result in an increased risk of re-injury.
Frequent ankle sprains can result in more permanent conditions
such as chronic ankle instability or arthritic changes to the
Often called a "fracture dislocation," a Lisfranc
injury involves multiple bones that make up a joint in
This area is just above the arch where the long bones from the
big and second toes meet with several smaller bones in the
Lisfranc injuries may be caused by direct trauma or an axial load
through the joint such as when a person is on their toes with a
heavy weight or force applied through their shoulders.
Symptoms of a Lisfranc injury include pain, swelling and
tenderness in the midfoot. Pain often increases with weight
bearing especially in a heel raise position.
Some deformity may be seen in the top of the foot, but is not
always obvious depending on the severity of the injury and amount
An overuse injury, Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
(PTTD) symptoms include:
- Pain on the inside part of the ankle joint extending from
just behind the ankle bone down into the arch of the foot
- Associated weakness of the posterior tibialis (a muscle that
pulls the foot down and inward)
Pain often increases with activity, especially during mid-stance
and push off, and the person may not be able to fully perform a
single leg heel raise.
Treatment for PTTD usually includes:
- Wearing shoes that support the arch of the foot
- Stretching activities for the calf
- Strengthening of the muscles that support the ankle
- Eccentric strengthening of the calf and posterior tibialis
- Applying ice to control inflammation
Because of the posterior tibial tendon's role in helping support
the arch of the foot, untreated PTTD can result in the permanent
condition of Adult Acquired Flat Foot.