Sport-related foot injuries

Blisters occur on the feet by pressure or rubbing of socks and shoes or through great strain on the feet, for example, prolonged standing or walking. Do not open the blister yourself by using a needle. Germs and bacteria on the skin can reach beneath the blister and cause infections. Do not remove the blister, protect it with a special plaster and wait until it has dried out. However should the blister still get infected, please go and see a specialist doctor.

Fatigue fracture is an often unrecognised serious injury that is very common in the foot. This type of bone fracture is very common in runners and jumpers, caused by frequent repetitions of maximum weight-bearing in competition and training. The unstable foot is extremely painful and starts to swell up, each step becoming torture. With symptoms like this the specialist will quickly find the correct diagnosis and will confirm this with an x-ray. With a functional splinting of the metatarsal area the acute pain can be mastered quickly. Only in rare cases of non-healing fractures would a bone-plating operation need to be performed.

Heel spur (Calcaneus spur) is a thorn-like sensation from the toes upward on the facing side of the calcaneus. This change goes hand in hand with great pain when standing and can be particularly troublesome for the person concerned, since often the quality of life is significantly restricted. The main cause of the heel spur is a significantly over weight bearing of the foot. In particular the large tendon plate under the sole of the foot due to a flat foot. With this disease prevention is better than cure but there are four different therapy methods:

  • 1. Custom-made insoles
  • 2. Anti-inflammatory medication
  • 3. Shock wave therapy
  • 4. An operation

Nail bed injuries can lead to bloodshot nails requiring puncturing with a sterile needle by the doctor, so that the jammed blood can drain, the pressure will ease and the nail will gradually restore itself. Ingrown toenails are painful and should not be underestimated. They usually arise from incorrect cutting. Wearing too narrow shoes can cause the nail not to grow in the nail bed, but to leave this and start ingrowing lower down. Please do not try to play surgeon yourself with this. A small inflammation can quickly become an infection or abscess if not treated properly. An ingrown toenail should be treated by either a pedicurist or doctor.

Tendons act as bands for the tight connective tissue. Tendons transmit the force from the muscle to the bone and act as both damping force and reinforcing power. Tendon lesions arise from the limited function of the muscles causing swelling and pain.

The Achilles tendon is the most powerful tendon in the human body. Football players in particular fear tearing the Achilles tendon after a kick by an opponent in the heel. This would result in an operation with recovery time of three months.

Infections can occur in the tendon when over weight-bearing, such as long distance runners who train on hard terrain or untrained people who suddenly take up unusual training habits. Complaints may also occur during long up hill running and running on sand. For swelling in the tendon sheaths, anti-inflammatory agents and an intense early onset of physical therapy will help and should be prescribed by a specialist.

Sprains always mean exceeding the normal weight bearing frame of a joint or a bone. The foot is compressed when treading heavily on uneven ground and often twisted at the same time. Sprains are among the most frequent sports injuries of the foot. This often leads to a strain of capsule-ligament apparatus with tears in the tissue. The consequence of this are swelling up to the long-lasting bone oedema (very much at risk here is the ankle bone), blood and joint effusions. As a first aid measure we recommend cooling with either cold packs or cold sprays as well as nursing the area.