Posts for category: Sports Injuries

By Dr. Shabana Chowdhury, DPM, AACFAS
June 21, 2018
Category: Sports Injuries

With the World Cup in full effect, fans of soccer fans are more encouraged to not just watch the sport but also play. But before you run to the nearest sporting goods store be aware that not all shoes are made equally. Cleats can be worn while playing baseball, football, lacrosse, and soccer. However, each of these sports requires a different type of cleat that is designed for the game surface and the types of movement required of the players.

Cleats have metal projections on the soles to allow traction on the playing field to allow the athlete to perform. If they are fitted properly they provide excellent support and control. However, many athletes develop foot pain from cleats due to ill-fitting shoes. Always make sure you know the sizing of the sport specific shoe prior to purchasing. For example, soccer cleats are sized like regular shoes but may be narrower at the top of the shoe. Leather cleats will stretch more after wear so they should be snug when tried on initially. Do not purchase and attempt to wear cleats that feel too small or cramp any part of the foot.

As mentioned before, cleats allow for better grip to the ground, thus enhancing the athlete’s performance.  However, this increased traction also causes a higher chance of getting an ankle sprain. A sprain occurs when the soft tissue structures around the ankle are abnormally stretched.  Torn ligaments may also occur from pivoting or having a foot caught while trying to move in another direction quickly. Shoes without padding or cleats that don’t fit properly may also cause plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation on the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can cause arch pain and also a burning sensation in the heel. A podiatrist will be able to help decrease this pain with a low profile custom orthotic that can be worn inside of cleats. Tight cleats may also cause blisters on the back of heels due to rubbing on the skin.

So before you start playing, be sure to have your cleats broken in prior to wearing in a competitive environment. If you have any pre-existing foot and ankle conditions, speak to a podiatrist before wearing cleats.

                                  

Many runners are familiar with the black toenail. The condition involves bruising, blistering or bleeding beneath the nail from repetitive trauma, either of the top of the shoe banging against the nail or the toe slamming into the end of the shoe. It’s most commonly experienced by marathoners and those training at especially high intensity. Some even see it as a badge of honor: the more black nails, the more badass.

But not all black toenails are from running. In certain cases, a dark nail tells a darker, more dangerous story. Here, two podiatrists explain the difference between the benign and malignant.

Repetitive Trauma

The most common culprit for black nails, repetitive trauma can result from running, or from wearing any type of ill-fitting footwear. If a black nail crops up shortly after a workout or a day spent in too-tight or too-loose shoes, this is likely the cause.

Repetitive trauma ranges from mild (i.e. a small, painless, black-and-blue discoloration beneath the nail), to severe (i.e. large, bloody blisters between your nail and nail plate), explains Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, D.P.M. and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association. In mild cases, no treatment is needed and the black nail will simply grow out.

In severe cases, beneath-the-nail blisters can cause the nail to detach—either partially or fully—from the nail plate. This process can be quite painful if the detachment is only partial, warns Dr. Lori Weisenfeld, NYC sports podiatrist, explaining that once the nail fully separates from nail plate, it is officially dead and will never reattach. The good new about this: it’s no longer painful. The bad news: it can take a long time for a new nail to grow in—about a year for big toenails and 3 to 6 months for smaller nails. In certain cases, a fresh nail can begin growing underneath an old, dead nail. If there’s additional repetitive trauma, the new nail can become bruised and detached as well. To prevent this, Weisenfeld recommends visiting your doctor who can trim down or entirely remove the dead nail, which will allow the new nail room to grow in properly.

Another time you should visit the doc: if the skin surrounding your blackened nail is red, inflamed and/or oozing. This may be a sign of an infection, says Sutera, and you should apply neosporin until you can get an appointment.

Subungual Hematoma

Dropping a heavy object (say, a dumbbell) onto your foot can burst the blood vessels under your nail bed and cause blood to pool underneath, explains Wiesenfeld. This type of blackened nail—clinically called subungual hematoma—is especially easy to ID, as it will appear almost immediately after an incident. The build up of blood typically causes a painful throbbing sensation that can be addressed by pricking a tiny needle through the nail to drain out the blood. This procedure will alleviate both the pressure and dark color under the nail—and should always be done by your doctor, says Sutera, as at-home attempts are often unsanitary, ineffective, and more excruciating than in-office care.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections—like athlete’s foot—can spread to your toenails and turn them shades of yellow, blue, green, brown, purple and black, explains Sutera. This range in color is unique to fungus, as is the presence of subungual debris—a chalky white substance that lines the nail bed and often carries a funky odor.

If you think you may have a fungal infection, head to your doc. He or she can clip and biopsy a portion of your nail to confirm a diagnosis. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the infection—mild cases are often addressed with topical medications while more aggressive funguses require oral medication or even laser treatment.

Skin Cancer

Here’s another reason to use sunscreen: Melanoma—the most serious form of skin cancer—can grow underneath your nail bed on the nail plate and cause hyperpigmentation of the skin, explains Sutera. It’s often a slow and painless growth, which makes it especially tricky to catch.

One ominous sign: discoloration that extends beyond the nail and onto the cuticle, says Weisenfeld. “If you’ve had no incidence of trauma and your nail is slowly starting to change color—especially if that color goes beyond your nail—you should get it checked out by your doctor,” she advises, adding that regularly pedicured patients should do a quick scan of their toes in between polish changes to catch any new developments. While melanoma can be deadly, it’s extremely rare and treatable if detected early. 

Skin Tone

Occasionally, dark discoloration of the nail bed is merely a matter of skin tone. Sutera sees this most often in patients of color. “There’s skin underneath your toenails, and just like skin anywhere else on your body, the pigmentation can change over time,” she explains.

Oftentimes this type of discoloration is symmetrical and seen on multiple toes—for example, both of your pinky toes may develop discoloration of a similar size and shape. Another telltale sign: similar coloring underneath your fingernails. These factors can help distinguish this type of benign black nail from more malignant ones, which are usually contained to just one nail. Even so, Sutera recommends getting any new and usual color changes checked by your podiatrist, just to be safe.

By Dr. Alison D. Croughan
February 25, 2017
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: Foot Care   tips   ankle  

Among all types of injuries related to our feet, ankle injuries are the most common and bothersome. However, contrary to popular opinion, foot injuries or more specifically ankle injuries don’t usually happen only to active, athletic people. They can happen to anyone and everyone, even encountering minor pressure over time can add up to major ankle injuries. To put this in perspective, a person can suffer an ankle injury even by walking on a rough, uneven road or surface. Yes, it is that common.

So, what defines an ankle injury? An ankle injury is most commonly defined as the twisting and stretching of the ankle in an incorrect position resulting in the twisting, stretching and tearing of the ligaments present in the ankle.

Severe ankle injuries can happen if the ligaments stretch to an extreme, which leads to their tear, which results in the breaking of the bone that is joined together by the ligaments... causing fracture.

Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankles tear due to sports activities or during regular walking/running regime. It is also commonly known as twisted ankles. Based on the severity, nature and type of injury, an ankle sprain is categorized into mainly three grades. Grade 1 being the lowest and grade 3 denoting the highest intensity of sprain based on severity.

Symptoms of ankle sprain usually includes severe pain on the site of injury and in some cases, the entire ankle along with swelling. The rule of thumb is, the more swelling and pain in the ankles, the more severe the nature of the sprain. And, it is needless to say that, the more severe the sprain, the longer the recovery time. An ankle sprain is usually diagnosed through an X-ray and the typical ankle sprain treatment plan includes:

  • Adequate rest (Complete leg rest and bed rest in severe cases)

  • Medication (Usually painkillers, like Ibuprofen.)

  • Icing and compression therapy

  • Pain management.

  • Crutches / other support.

Complete recovery may take anywhere between a week to 3 months depending on the nature and severity of the sprain. If you are dealing with an ankle sprain, please contact us today.

By Sciencedaily.com
September 15, 2016
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: Foot Care   soccer   players injuries  

Soccer is an increasingly popular sport in the United States, both professionally and recreationally, with over 3 million registered soccer players under 19 years of age playing in leagues every year. A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that with the increase in the number of players there has been a rise in the number and rate of injuries.

The study, published online today in Pediatrics, found that from 1990 through 2014, the number of soccer-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in the U.S. each year increased by 78 percent and the yearly rate of injuries increased by 111 percent among youth 7-17 years of age. By calculating the rate using participation data, researchers were able to show that the rising number of injuries comes not just from the increase in the number of young players participating in the sport but also because players are now being treated more frequently for injuries.

"The sport of soccer has changed dramatically in the last 25 years," said Huiyun Xiang MD, MPH, PhD, senior author and Director of Research Core at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "We're seeing athletes play year-round now thanks to club, travel and rec leagues, and the intensity of play is higher than it ever has been. These factors combine to lead to more risk of injury."

The majority of the injuries were sprains or strains (35 percent), fractures (23 percent) or soft tissue injuries (22 percent). While concussions and other closed-head injuries (CHIs) only accounted for just over 7 percent of the injuries overall, the rate of concussions/CHIs increased 1596 percent over the 25-year study period. Athletes with concussions/CHI were twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital as patients with other diagnoses.

"While we can't tell from our data why the rate of concussions among soccer players is increasing, it is important for athletes and families to be aware of this issue and what they can do to reduce the risks," said Tracy Mehan, MA, manager of translational research at the Center for Injury Research and Policy. "Young athletes take longer to recover from concussions than older athletes and they can put themselves at risk for second-impact syndrome and repeat concussions if they return to play too soon -- both of which can lead to serious, life-altering injuries."

The study also found that most of the injuries occurred when a player was struck by either another player or the ball (39 percent) or when they fell (29 percent). Older children and adolescents ages 12-17 years accounted for the majority of the injuries (73 percent) and girls were more likely than boys to sustain a knee or an ankle injury.

Read More - Sciencedaily.com

By Dr. Alison D. Croughan
March 08, 2016
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: foot   Tinea   Pedis   Athlete  

Walking around in bare feet, especially in a public place, may not be so safe after all. That's because a family of fungi called trichophyton flourishes in humid environments like gym and bathroom floors and around swimming pools. This well-known fungus is linked with a common condition called athlete's foot, so-named because of how common it is in athletes and people who hang out in gyms.    

How do you know if you have this common condition?

People with athlete's foot develop red, irritated, peeling skin on their feet and between their toes and experience itching and burning. Unfortunately, athlete's foot is contagious, meaning you can spread it to someone else by sharing a towel with them or if they walk on a surface where you walked. If you scratch at the infected areas, the fungi can collect beneath your nails and you can transmit the fungi to surface that you touch or to other skin surfaces. Scratching can also lead to a secondary bacterial infection.    

Anti-fungal medications are available to treat the symptoms of athlete's foot. Topical medications available without a prescription work well for mild cases. If you don't respond, a podiatrist may recommend prescription-strength topical antifungal medications or, in more severe cases, an anti-fungal medication you take by mouth. Always follow the directions and take the medication as prescribed. If you don't eradicate all the fungi, athlete's foot can easily return. Any perspiration makes your sock permeable, therefore we recommend also treating your shoe gear to kill any bacteria or fungus.    

How can you prevent athlete's foot?

Wear cotton socks that "breathe" and avoid wearing tight shoes that allow moisture to build up. The fungi that cause athlete's foot thrive in a moist environment. If you use a public shower or the dressing room at a health club, slip on a pair of sandals so your feet don't directly touch the floor. Always dry your feet and between your toes thoroughly and apply talcum powder to keep your feet dry. What about footwear? Make sure the shoes and socks you put on are clean and dry. Avoid walking around public areas without shoes and socks.    

If you have health issues that reduce your body's ability to fight off infection or diabetes, you're more susceptible to athlete's foot and are more likely to have an aggressive case. If that's the case, talk to your podiatrist as soon as symptoms develop.



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