Our Award-Winning Physicians Can Help You Get Back Into The Game Quickly!
Whether you’re a morning jogger or professional athlete, being able to participate in sports and physical activity is an important component of both physical and mental wellbeing. However, injuries and pain are always a big risk, and your feet and ankles are often the most vulnerable.
When your feet or ankles break down in response to a sudden impact, or just due to repetitive strain, getting a proper diagnosis and quick, effective treatment from our sports injury experts at Waco Foot & Ankle should be your top priority. Ignoring what your body is telling you will only lead to more pain, more conditions becoming severe or chronic, and ultimately more time off the field, away from what you love.
Breaking Down Sports Injuries
If somebody asks you to think about “sports injuries,” you’ll probably imagine an acute injury. These are your snaps, cracks, and pops. They occur suddenly on the field, usually after an awkward landing or bad collision, and frequently lead to instant and severe pain. Ankle sprains, ruptured tendons, and most types of bone fractures are all examples of this type of injury.
Not all injuries can be traced to a single incident. Sudden changes or increases in your activity levels, biomechanical issues with your feet or gait, or performing the same kinds of motions over and over without varying your activities or getting enough rest can all cause problems. Overuse injuries, such as stress fractures, tendinitis, and heel pain, can be just as serious as acute injuries, but athletes are more likely to “play through the pain” and ignore them. This greatly increases your risk of developing chronic pain.
The most common injuries for runners include heel pain (especially plantar fasciitis), stress fractures, tendinitis, and toenail injuries. That’s a very general list of highlights, of course—in no way is it intended to be comprehensive.
Shoes are extremely important to the health of a runner’s feet. Make sure your shoes are appropriate for running, and that they fit your foot shape, arch size, and running style properly. You should also replace them in a timely fashion once their cushioning has worn down.
Advanced treatment modalities we use to get runners back on the road include stem cell therapy, laser therapy, and custom-molded orthotics that help fix or accommodate flaws in foot structure or gait.
Unlike field sports, basketball has a smooth and continuous running surface—but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its own risks. Extensive running, cutting, jumping, and sudden stops can all place significant stress on feet and joints. Landing on another player’s foot after jumping, for example, puts the ankle in an extremely vulnerable position for sprains, strains, and fractures. Other common injuries include ruptured Achilles tendons, heel pain, toenail injuries, tendinitis, and foot fractures.
Soccer is very similar to football, though with fewer direct collisions. Because soccer cleats tend to be very rigid, poor-fitting footwear can lead to multiple injuries. Players are especially vulnerable to ankle sprains, foot fractures, toenail injuries, tendinitis, and tendon ruptures.
This high-impact and collision sport features multiple common injuries. In addition to the physical nature, the increasing prevalence of artificial turf on football fields also poses risks to feet. Typical problems include heel pain, ankle sprains, tendinitis, tendon ruptures, and bone fractures, as well as overuse injuries to ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
It is extremely important to resist the urge to “play through the pain.” Seek advice from a foot and ankle expert as soon as possible after an injury; failure to do so usually makes the original problem worse. We are here to reduce your recovery time, return you to participation, and keep you at the top of your game.
Injuries are especially common at the start of baseball season. Athletes who don’t work on their conditioning during the colder winter months are often physically unprepared to start playing again, and that can increase injury risk. Cleats and playing surfaces can also play a role.
Common baseball injuries include ankle sprains, fractures, tendinitis, tendon tears, and heel pain. Young, growing athletes are particularly susceptible to heel pain. As with all sports injuries, early treatment is important, and we’re here to get you back in the game.
Tennis requires a lot of starting, stopping, and side-to-side motion while playing. Finding appropriate footwear that fits properly is of paramount importance. Tennis players are highly susceptible to ankle sprains, stress fractures, toenail injuries, and tendon injuries (including ruptures).
Advanced Care for Sports Injuries
At Waco Foot & Ankle, our doctors understand how important the health of your feet and ankles are to you. Whether you’re a student athlete, “weekend warrior,” or just a recreational runner, our focus is always on keeping you active and getting you back in shape as quickly as possible. And with same-day appointments often available, you can often skip the expensive trip to the emergency room and see the foot and ankle experts right away.
We offer a variety of advanced treatment measures, including:
- Custom orthotics: Putting a little extra cushioning or support inside your shoes can help you run further and play harder without pain. But custom orthotics go further than cheap insoles you can buy at the store. They are personalized to fit the exact shape of your feet, and in addition to support can also help correct flaws in the way your feet move as you run and jump. This not only reduces your pain, but can improve your performance, too.
- Stem cell therapy: This is a great option for soft tissue overuse injuries like heel pain, tendinitis, and muscle strains. Our treatment uses a potent injection of voluntarily-donated amniotic membranes to draw out your body’s own stem cells and provide the growth factors, cytokines, and other replenishing components necessary to help your body fight off inflammation and repair itself.
- Laser therapy: It’s not science fiction – our MLS laser uses a pair of precisely configured beams of light that penetrate deep into tissues without any incisions, pain, or side effects. One laser helps reduce pain, while the other boosts circulation, cellular metabolism, and natural healing processes.
- Platelet-rich plasma: This treatment, which became well known in the 1990s due to a number of high-profile athletes who underwent the procedure, involves drawing a small sample of your blood and then re-injecting it at the injury site after increasing the concentration of platelets in the blood plasma. Although best known for their role in clotting wounds, platelets also contain proteins that help promote healing and tissue repair.
- Surgery: For serious fractures, severe ruptures, or other acute or overuse injuries that haven’t responded to conservative care, surgery may be your best choice. The doctors at Waco Foot & Ankle Surgery have performed thousands of complex surgical procedures in their careers, and have conducted extensive training and research into biomechanics, arthroscopy procedures, joint replacements, ligament and tendon repair, and much more. Our experience allows us to offer advanced procedures and personalize our treatment approach to fit the needs of each individual patient.
Of course, not all injuries will require an advanced treatment. For minor injuries, a few weeks of rest, a new pair of shoes, and regular stretching may be more than sufficient. When you visit our office, you can trust that our physicians won’t push you into an expensive procedure you don’t need—our focus is always on what’s best for you, and helping you work through a range of options so you can make an informed choice about your care.
Let our team help you get back on the field quickly and confidently! To schedule your appointment, please give our team a call today at (254) 776-6995.
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201 Colonnade Parkway, Suite #100
Woodway, TX 76712