Foot & Ankle Sports Injuries Specialist

Richmond Orthopedic Institute

Surgeons located in Richmond, VA

Accidents, overuse, and forgetting to warm up before a workout or game are all common causes of foot and ankle sports injuries. Foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Anson Chu, diagnoses and treats the full spectrum of foot and ankle injuries at Richmond Orthopedic Institute in Richmond, Virginia. If you’re looking for relief from your foot and ankle injury, call or book an appointment online today.

Foot & Ankle Sports Injuries

What are common foot and ankle injuries? 

Ankle sprains (ligament stretching or tearing) and ankle strains (muscle or tendon stretching or tearing) are the most common foot and ankle injuries, accounting for at least 60% of all injuries in these areas. 

Other foot and ankle injuries include:

  • Lisfranc fractures (fracture of the midfoot)
  • Jones fractures (fracture of the fifth metatarsal)
  • Calcaneus fractures (fracture of the heel bone)
  • Ankle fractures (fracture of one or more bones of the ankle)
  • Achilles tears or ruptures
  • Lacerations
  • Bruises
  • Blisters
  • Stress fractures
  • Shin splints

Sometimes, sports injuries occur suddenly, like after a bad fall or football tackle. Other times, they develop gradually due to repetitive motions like running.

How is a sports injury diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Chu carefully assesses your overall health and reviews your symptoms and medical history. He may also take tests to confirm your diagnosis, like an X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, or Computed Tomography (CT) scan.

Then, Dr. Chu recommends the best course of treatment for your specific type of sports injury. Depending on your needs, treatment may include:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE protocol)
  • Immobilization in a cast or splint
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections

Severe injuries and those that don’t get better with conservative treatment may need surgery. Dr. Chu uses minimally invasive arthroscopy whenever possible such as for Achilles tendon ruptures. 

For expert sports medicine care, call Richmond Orthopedic Institute or book an appointment online today.

When should I see a foot and ankle specialist for a sports injury?

If you experience intense pain, swelling, and other severe symptoms immediately after a traumatic injury, seek medical care right away. 

You should call Richmond Orthopedic Institute to schedule an appointment any time you have pain that lasts longer than a few days or grows worse despite attempts at self-care. Without treatment, sports injuries that develop slowly usually worsen over time, and may lead to a chronic (long-term) injury.

What happens if my foot and ankle injury is untreated and becomes long-term?

If acute initial foot and ankle injuries are treated incorrectly, patients may return to activity too soon. In such cases, certain injuries such as ankle sprains may lead to chronic (long-term) instability and pain. Patients with a history of ankle sprains may eventually require stabilization.

What are treatment options for chronic ankle instability?

If conservative options have failed, surgical intervention may be an option for you.

Instability in the ankle joint is caused by damage and laxity of the lateral ankle ligaments, most commonly the anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments. Surgery may consist of repairing and tightening the damaged or unstable ligaments. In certain instances and depending on the severity of the injury, augmentation of the damaged ligaments may be utilized.

Ankle arthroscopy is another surgical option that may  be used by itself or as an adjunct. Ankle Arthroscopy is a type of surgery which involves small, minimal incision sites and a camera as guidance inside the ankle joint. The camera allows for visualization of the joint in order to diagnose and repair injured or pathologic structures within the ankle joint. It can be used as alongside lateral ankle stabilization surgery. Ankle arthroscopy is a useful surgery to clean out synovitis following ankle sprain. Arthroscopy can also be used for early-stage arthritis, osteochondral lesions (cartilage damage) and ankle impingement.

Call Richmond Orthopedic Institute or book your appointment through online scheduling to get help from a leading foot and ankle specialist today.  

Notes: 

Specifically for achilles, tendons, ankle sprains