Sprains and strains can affect the foot and ankle and can occur due to trauma, overuse, or overexertion. Many athletes who run or enjoy outdoor activities in Salt Lake City will develop strains or sprains, but anyone could hurt the soft tissues of the foot or ankle and experience problems. If your foot or ankle hurts and you think you may have a strain or sprain, contact Elizabeth E. Auger, DPM today to find out how a foot doctor can help you heal.
Sprains occur when ligaments stretch or tear. Ligaments are fibrous tissue connecting bones in joints. Strains occur when the muscles or tendons tear. Tendons connect muscle to bone.
Both ligaments and tendons are tough bands of tissue, but can still become damaged in an accident, due to repetitive motion, or due to pushing the body too hard. The ankle is the most common location for a sprain to occur, but you can also sprain or strain the ligaments or tendons anywhere in the leg or foot. Even the toes can become sprained and you can develop a condition called turf toe.
Sprains and strains can cause significant pain. You may be unable to walk and the sprained foot or ankle may be unable to bear weight. You may also experience localized bruising, discoloration of the skin, and swelling. Many people have a hard time telling the difference between a strain or sprain and broken bones.
Dr. Auger will take your medical history and perform an exam to determine if you have a sprain or strain. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may be needed to conclusively determine what part of the foot or ankle you injured.
Conservative treatment for stains and sprains is possible, and can include rest, ice, medication, and sometimes physical therapy. Compression and elevation may be recommended. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary in order to repair the tears in ligaments, muscles, or tendons.