Foot and Ankle Injuries

In this article, we’ll be talking about the various types of foot and ankle injuries. We will examine their causes, symptoms, and treatments. From bone fractures to ligament strains and tendon tears, we’ll explore the diverse range of injuries that can affect these areas of the body.

Feel free to get in contact with Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine to learn more about the treatment options for foot and ankle injuries. Our foot and ankle specialists can provide tailored treatments to help you recover from foot and ankle injuries effectively. Book your visit now at Granville or Coshocton, Ohio.

Types of Foot and Ankle Injuries

Injuries can occur in any part of the foot or ankle. The foot and ankle are comprised of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Some of the common foot and ankle injuries are listed below.

Foot and Ankle Bone Injuries

Bone fractures can happen in the bones of the foot and ankle. Possible fractures include the following:

  • Heel fractures
  • Ankle Fractures
  • Toe Fractures
  • Tarsal Navicular Stress Fractures

Foot and Ankle Ligament Injuries

Ligaments are strong elastic bands of connective tissue that hold your bones in place surrounding a joint. A sprained ankle is when these ligaments are stretched beyond their normal range. An ankle sprain can occur on either side of your ankle.

Foot and Ankle Tendon Injuries

Tendons connect muscles to bones. They help with movements and keep the foot and ankle stable. The tendons that are often injured include the Achilles tendon and the peroneal tendons. Foot and ankle tendon injuries can include the following:

  • Tendon strains: This refers to damage caused by over-stretching the tendon. Peroneal tendon injuries are an example of tendon strains.
  • Acute tears: These often occur with sudden excessive force. An Achilles tear is a common example of a tendon tear.
  • Tendinosis: This is a degenerative condition where tears occur over time because of age or overuse
  • Tendinitis: This refers to inflammation of the tendon. Achilles tendonitis is a common example of this condition.
  • Tendinopathy: The tendon will have both a tear and tendinitis at the same time.
An athlete with a foot and ankle injury in Newark, Ohio.

What Causes Ankle and Foot Injuries?

Ankle and foot injuries often occur when the ankle joint is forced into an unnatural position. This can result in fractures, sprains, and strains. In the case of tendinosis, the tendons get damaged over time through repetitive overuse.

How to Identify Foot and Ankle Injuries

The symptoms of foot and ankle injuries depend on the injury. Below are some of the common symptoms for the different types of injury.


The symptoms of an ankle fracture are as follows:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to bear your weight on the injury
  • Deformity

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains have similar symptoms to fractures. The symptoms of an ankle sprain include the following:

  • Ankle pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to bear weight on the injured joint
  • Stiffness in the ankle joint

The degree of pain and swelling will depend on the severity of the injury.

Tendon Injuries

Foot and ankle tendon injuries, such as acute tears and tendinitis, can cause pain and swelling. Tendinitis will also cause your ankle to feel warm. An acute tear may cause weakness or instability.

Tendinosis usually develops over a long time. The symptoms include the following:

  • Intermittent pain on the outside of the ankle
  • Instability or weakness in the ankle
  • An increase in the height of the foot’s arch

First Aid for Foot and Ankle Injuries

If you have suffered a foot or ankle injury, you can immediately apply R.I.C.E., which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest: Keeping your weight off your foot and ankle will prevent further damage.
  • Ice: An ice pack can reduce swelling and ease pain. Apply the ice for 15-20 minutes every hour. Ensure that you put a towel between the ice pack and your skin.
  • Compression: By compressing your ankle joint, you support and immobilize the joint, which helps prevent further injury. You can use an elastic bandage or compression wrap to compress the ankle joint.
  • Elevation: Keeping your injured foot and ankle above the level of your heart will help reduce swelling and pain.

You should get to a doctor as soon as possible to evaluate your injury. Fractures and sprains that are not treated properly can lead to chronic problems such as ankle weakness, repeated injury, or even arthritis.

Foot and Ankle Treatments That We Offer

At Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine, our foot and ankle surgeons in Newark, OH, and the surrounding area offer several surgical and non-surgical treatments for foot and ankle injuries. They include the following:

Fracture Treatment

Fractures can be treated surgically or non-surgically. Non-surgical treatment involves immobilizing the ankle with a brace or cast if the bones are not displaced and the ankle is stable.

Surgical treatment is necessary for unstable fractures. Treatment involves fixing the bones in place using metal plates and screws. Following surgery, the bones are protected with a cast or splint.

Fractures usually take 6 weeks to heal. During this time, you will need to keep your weight off the injury to allow proper healing. Once the bones are healed, you may begin physical therapy.

Ankle Sprain Treatment

The severity of the injury will determine treatment for sprains.

  • Mild sprains (grade 1): Mild sprains can be treated with R.I.C.E. — Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (see above). You should be able to weight bear after 1-3 days and begin some light exercises to strengthen and stretch your ankle.
  • Moderate sprains (grade 2): You will also need to apply R.I.C.E treatment. However, you will need to keep your weight off your ankle or foot for longer. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to immobilize the ankle or foot with a special boot or splint. You may need physical therapy to strengthen your ankle and restore range of motion in the ankle joint.
  • Severe sprains (grade 3): A severe sprain will need to be immobilized. The time your ankle is immobilized will be longer, and you will need extensive physical therapy once the ligament has healed. Surgery may be necessary in some cases.

Tendon Injury Treatment

Tendon injuries are treated in a similar way to ligament sprains. Treatment may include:

  • Immobilizing the ankle or foot using a splint or cast
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Supportive brace to use during activity
  • Surgical repair

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Don’t let foot and ankle injuries hold you back from living life to the fullest. Take the first step towards recovery by scheduling an appointment with our experienced team at Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine.

Whether you’re dealing with a fracture, sprain, or tendon injury, our specialists are here to provide you with personalized care and effective treatment options. Contact us now to book your appointment at our convenient locations in Granville or Coshocton, OH, and let us help you get back on your feet. Your journey to recovery starts here!

Medically reviewed by Brad L. Bernacki, MD