This certainly doesn’t apply to all children here in Berkeley (and the greater San Francisco Bay area), but sports and physical activities are a big part of childhood for many kids. Depending on personality, temperament, and other factors, some children love the thrill of competition. For others, sports are a social activity – one that enables them to spend time with friends. Active children can improve physical health, learn the value of hard work, and develop friendships.
Unfortunately, sometimes children (and adults) are hurt by common foot and ankle sports injuries. If your son or daughter has any of the possible child sports injuries that affect lower limbs, request an appointment so we can help. You will be relieved to know that most of these cases are successfully resolved without needing surgery.
There are a variety of different ways a child might hurt his or her foot or ankle while participating in sports. Injuries can be acute or chronic and happen to either bones or soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments).
Even with a wide array of potential sports injuries, there are several we tend to treat more often than others at our Berkeley, CA podiatrist office. Bone fractures, ankle sprains, shin splints, and Sever’s disease are all seen with a fair degree of frequency. You may be familiar with the first three, but Sever’s disease might not be as familiar.
In spite of the name, Sever’s is not actually a disease. Instead, this is the leading cause of heel pain for children and adolescents. The condition develops when the heel bone grows at a more rapid pace than the Achilles tendon. This situation results in a painful “tugging” on the bone from its connective tissue.
Naturally, specific treatment plans for our younger patients depend on factors like injury, severity, and medical history, but common components of treatment plans include:
- RICE – This refers to the practice of using “rest, ice, compression, and elevation,” and is typically a core component of first aid for sports injuries. When used in conjunction with each other, these techniques reduce pain and inflammation, and actually help promote natural healing processes.
- Medication – In addition to RICE treatment, oral medication is another nonsurgical option that can be used to relieve painful symptoms and lower inflammation. Always check with our office first for recommended dosage amounts before administering medication to your child!
- Custom orthotic devices – Depending on your child’s injury, we may recommend a pair of orthotics customized to his or her unique feet and gait pattern.
We hope your active child is able to avoid being injured while playing sports. In the event he or she does sustain an injury, keep in mind that we provide effective care so they can get back to their favorite activities as quickly as possible. Fortunately, many common foot and ankle injuries can be effectively treated with conservative care and do not require surgical intervention!
If your son or daughter has a foot or ankle injury from playing sports, or from any other root cause, simply contact our Berkeley podiatrist office and see what we can do to help. Either call us at (510) 647-3744 and speak with a staff member, or send us a message through our online form here.