When most people imagine serious injuries, they don’t always consider foot injuries as the worst injuries they might experience. However, they can be incredibly debilitating when foot injuries happen, preventing the victim from moving comfortably, working, or even resting due to consistent pain and difficult treatment. We often take our feet for granted, not realizing the various foot injuries that can leave us unable to walk or work. So, what are the most common types of foot injuries? Podiatrists across the United States report various foot injuries from accidents, workplace injuries, and many other causes.
The following most common foot injuries can cause months or even years of pain, involve complex surgical procedures to correct them, and entail a host of other recovery issues for victims.
Achilles’ Tendon Injuries
The Achilles tendon is the largest in the body, extending from the rear calf muscles of the legs down into the back of the foot and around the heel bone. The Achilles tendon allows comfortable walking and running, and due to the typical overuse of the Achilles tendon that most people experience, it is highly vulnerable to injuries. Achilles tendonitis is extremely painful and can make it difficult to walk unassisted. An individual with Achilles tendonitis is also more susceptible to having their Achilles tendon tear or rupture. This medical emergency will require a complex surgical procedure to correct, and recovery from a torn Achilles tendon can take a long time.
Achilles tendon injuries are possible from many acute injuries, such as sudden trauma, but they can also build up gradually over time. Overuse can eventually deteriorate the Achilles tendon and leave it more vulnerable to rupturing or tearing. Achilles tendonitis is treatable the same way as other forms of tendonitis, but a ruptured or torn Achilles tendon is harder to treat, and the victim faces a more challenging and painful recovery.
Rolling the ankle joint the wrong way or too roughly can easily result in a rupture or sprain. Ligaments in the ankle prevent the joint from moving too far to either side. However, a sprain occurs when these ligaments are stretched beyond their normal limits. Sprains typically cause pain and swelling but are treatable without invasive procedures with rest and ice. However, severe sprains can make it difficult for the victim to move around, and they should avoid heavy lifting and other activities that place pressure on the ankle.
While sprains are generally mild injuries, they can be incredibly painful and interfere with everyday activities until they heal completely. Additionally, the victim will be more susceptible to further injuries even after the initial pain subsides.
Stress Fractures of the Foot
The bones of the foot experience some of the most stress of any of the body’s bones. Over time, repeated wear-and-tear on the feet can cause micro-fractures throughout the bones of the foot. Traumatic impacts can also cause these micro-fractures, and over time multiple micro-fractures can converge and create stress fractures. The metatarsals, navicular, and sesamoids in each big toe are the most common places to see stress fractures in the bones of the feet.
Stress fractures in these bones are possible from repeated everyday wear and tear, but they can also happen when the individual suddenly changes their usual activity level. Some stress fractures will heal on their own, while others may require rest and other treatments before the victim regains full functionality. When stress fractures go untreated for too long, the victim can experience a wide range of adverse effects that interfere with their daily activities and ability to work.
Unlike stress fractures in the bones of the feet, ankle fractures more commonly happen because of traumatic accidents. Slip and fall injuries, workplace accidents, and various other traumatic injuries can result in ankle fractures. Unfortunately, these injuries are often confused with ankle sprains, causing some victims to neglect seeking appropriate care and assuming they can treat them at home with rest and ice. Ankle fractures are more severe than ankle sprains and more challenging to treat. If an individual sustains a compound ankle fracture that breaks the skin, they must receive immediate medical treatment to prevent infection.
This is one of the most commonly reported foot injuries in the United States, afflicting more than 2 million individuals each year. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia, the band of tissue that extends through the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed, resulting in very sharp pain in the heel. This condition most commonly manifests painful symptoms as soon as the individual wakes up and takes their first steps out of bed or when they start walking again after an extended period of bed rest. While plantar fasciitis is often treatable with rest, ice, and stretching, more severe conditions may require treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, heel pads, and even surgery in extreme cases.
Legal Options After Foot Injuries
If another party caused a foot injury, or if you sustained any foot injury while working, you may have legal options available to you. For example, if another party is responsible for causing your foot or ankle injury, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. These injuries are painful, and the victim is likely to experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms until they reach the maximum possible level of medical improvement after recovery. When a workplace injury involving the foot or ankle occurs, the victim may be unable to work for an extended time.
If you believe that your recent foot or ankle injury resulted from working, or if another party directly caused your foot or ankle injury due to negligence or intentional misconduct, you likely have grounds for legal action. Foot and Ankle Injury Attorney M. Reid Acree, Jr., can provide the support and guidance you need to recover from your injury as quickly and thoroughly as possible. If you need to discuss your legal options after suffering a foot or ankle injury, contact us today and schedule a consultation to learn more about how our firm can assist you.