Foot & Ankle Injuries – No appointment necessary.

At AFC Urgent Care, we understand accidents can happen, and when you are having fun, you may not always want to stop to treat a minor injury. We’re open 7 days a week when you need medical attention for a foot or ankle injury.

Provider examining ankle injury

What Happens When You Sprain Your Ankle?

Ankle sprains are a common injury, making up 40% of all ankle injuries. They usually happen when the ligaments supporting your ankle are stretched beyond their limits, either due to a sudden twist, turn, or awkward landing. Imagine stepping off a curb the wrong way or making a quick pivot during a football game – these are common scenarios that can lead to an ankle sprain.

When this happens, the ligaments – those strong bands of tissue holding your bones together – get stretched or torn. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can range from mild to severe. In mild cases, you might experience some discomfort and swelling, but you can still put weight on the affected ankle. In more severe cases there will likely be significant swelling, and you may struggle to put any weight on it.

Common Foot & Ankle Injuries

Among the various foot and ankle injuries, traumatic incidents often stand out. These injuries can result from slips to falls to unfortunate sporting mishaps. Our orthopedic foot and ankle care at AFC is equipped to evaluate and treat a wide range of conditions.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are unique because they don’t happen suddenly like most fractures. Instead, they develop gradually, often due to repetitive stress and overuse. These tiny cracks in your bones can be quite painful and are commonly seen in athletes and those who engage in high-impact activities like running, dancing, or jumping.

Your bones can handle a lot, but they also have their limits. Over time, repetitive stress without enough time to heal can lead to these small cracks. Symptoms usually include localized pain and tenderness at the site of the fracture. The pain tends to worsen with activity but improve with rest.

Tendonitis or Tears

Tendonitis, or inflammation of the tendons in your foot and ankle, can be a real pain – quite literally. It’s often linked to repetitive movements or overuse, common in athletes or people with jobs that require repeated actions.

The tendons are like ropes connecting muscles to bones, and when they get inflamed, it can lead to discomfort, swelling, tenderness, and difficulty moving the affected area. Sometimes, if the stress on the tendon is too much, it can lead to tears. Tendon tears can happen due to severe trauma or long-term wear and tear. The symptoms are similar to tendonitis, but they can be more intense.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, and it can be a real nuisance. It occurs when the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, called the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. Imagine taking your first steps in the morning, and it feels like you’re stepping on a bed of nails. The pain is often sharp and stabbing, typically worse in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by various factors, including overuse, high-impact activities, or improper footwear. Treatment usually involves rest, stretching exercises, custom insoles, and sometimes anti-inflammatory medicines to alleviate the pain.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common occurrence among runners and athletes who engage in high-impact activities. They’re characterized by pain along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia). The pain can be dull and aching or sharp and shooting.

Shin splints are often caused by repetitive stress on the shinbone and the connective tissues surrounding it. This stress can lead to inflammation and pain. The good news is that most cases of shin splints can be managed with rest, ice, stretching, and proper footwear.

Turf Toe

Turf toe is a sports-related injury that affects the big toe. It occurs when the ligaments around the big toe joint are sprained due to excessive bending or hyperextension. Football players are the most likely group of people to develop turf toe, so as football season gears up, so does an increase in turf toe injuries. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty pushing off the foot. Treatment may involve rest, ice, taping, and sometimes a stiff-soled shoe or boot.

Bunions

Bunions are bulging bumps that form at the base of the big toe. Often called corns or calluses, these are often a result by prolonged pressure put on the feet that squeezes the toes together. Bunions can cause pain, swelling, redness, and difficulty wearing certain shoes. Conservative treatments include footwear changes, padding, and orthotics.

Achilles Tendon Tears

Achilles tendon tears typically occur due to sudden force or overuse. This strong tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. A tear can cause severe pain, swelling, and difficulty walking or standing on tiptoe. Treatment options range from conservative measures like rest, ice, and physical therapy for partial tears to surgery for complete tears.

If you can’t make it to AFC immediately after an incident, use the R.I.C.E. method.

AFC Orthopedic Bed

Rest – After an accident, get to a comfortable location as soon as possible, and rest to prevent additional strain on the injury.

AFC Orthopedic Ice Pack

Ice – Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to the injury for 15 to 20 minutes. Reapply the ice every 3 hours. If you don’t have an ice pack, a bag of frozen produce will get the job done.

AFC Orthopedic Knee Brace

Compress – Put pressure on the injured area by wrapping it with an elastic bandage. Make sure the bandage is tight but not too tight. You can tell if the bandage is too tight when the injured area turns blue or starts feeling numb.

AFC Orthopedic Pillows

Elevate – To properly elevate your injury, position the injured area to rest above your heart. The most common way to elevate the injury is to stack several pillows under your foot, arm, ankle or leg while resting in bed or on a sofa.