Being a college athlete is a full-time job, and many risks come with being in the game. Between practices, games, and strenuous training regimens, it's no wonder that so many college athletes in Texas suffer foot injuries. Most of these injuries are minor and easily treated, but our Grapevine sports medicine podiatrist can help you determine the best way to proceed.
College Athletes, Foot Injuries, and Their Causes
There are approximately 500,000 college athletes who compete each year as part of the National College Athletic Association (NCAA), and it’s estimated that over 200,000 of those athletes suffer minor to severe injuries each year. The most common are foot injuries, including:
- Achilles tendinitis. This is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which runs from the heel to the calf muscle. Achilles tendinitis is often caused by overuse.
- Ankle sprains. These occur when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn. Ankle sprains are often caused by sudden changes in direction or by landing awkwardly after a jump.
- Lisfranc injuries. These are injuries to the bones and ligaments in the middle of the foot. Lisfranc injuries are often very painful and can be caused by overuse or trauma.
- Plantar fascia tear or rupture. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. A tear or rupture of the plantar fascia can be caused by overuse or trauma.
- Plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that connects the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition often caused by overuse.
- Stress fractures. This is a small crack in one of the bones in the foot or ankle. Stress fractures are often caused by overuse or repetitive motion.
- Turf toe. This is a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint. Turf toe is often caused by repetitive motion or contact with artificial turf.
Potential Causes of Foot Injuries in College Athletes
- The amount of training and practice that college athletes undergo is often intense and can lead to overuse injuries.
- The playing surfaces can sometimes be hard on the feet and lead to injuries such as turf toe or stress fractures.
- The type of footwear that college athletes wear can sometimes be ill-fitting or provide inadequate support, which can also lead to injury.
The type of sport you play also affects your risk of injury. For example, common foot injuries for college football players include turf toe and Achilles tendinitis. In comparison, common foot injuries for college gymnasts include stress fractures and plantar fasciitis.
Treat Your Foot Injury Right Away
If you have a foot injury, it's important to seek prompt medical attention. Failure to do so can result in serious complications such as back pain, arthritis, and permanent disability. Not only can an untreated injury affect your ability to continue playing the sport you love, but untreated foot injuries can make it difficult to complete simple daily tasks for years to come.
If you think you have a foot injury, see our Grapevine sports medicine podiatrist right away for proper diagnosis and treatment. Our podiatrist can diagnose your foot injury by taking a medical history, performing a physical examination, and ordering X-rays or other imaging tests.
Once your foot injury is diagnosed, our Grapevine sports medicine podiatrist will develop a treatment plan to help you recover quickly and prevent further injury. Treatment for foot injuries typically involves rest, ice, elevation, and over-the-counter medication. In some cases, physical therapy or surgery may be necessary.
Our Grapevine Sports Medicine Podiatrist Helps College Athletes Get Back on Their Feet
At Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists, we understand the pressures college athletes face. Our experienced Grapevine sports medicine podiatrist can diagnose your injury and provide a treatment plan that gets you back in the game as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form, or call our office at 817-481-4000.