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Ask the Docs | Foot Sprain

Ask the Docs
Posted December 19, 2007

  • AthletiCo Bulls' Injury Report

    Patient Question:
    I twisted my right foot last week in a pickup basketball game. When I walk on it for an extended period of time, it swells to about twice its normal size (on the top of my foot) and begins to hurt to the point that I can barely put weight on it.

    When I lie down at night the swelling dissipates and by the next morning is almost completely gone. What could this be and should I make an appointment to see a physician?

    Dr. Johnny Lin:
    It sounds like you had either a bad ankle sprain or foot sprain. After either injury, the majority of people are able to return to normal activities within a couple weeks. Persistent swelling for three to six months that improves after staying off your feet is common as the body undergoes the healing process. However, persistent pain after several months is definitely not normal.

    Some ankle sprains may fail to heal or may be associated with cartilage injuries in the ankle. Severe foot sprains may lead to flattening of the arch, which could lead to arthritis and long-term problems with the foot. A final possibility is a fracture of one of the small bones in your foot.

    Dr. Johnny Lin
    Dr. Lin
    Treatment Options:
    If you are having significant discomfort, you should have a comprehensive evaluation by an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist as well as X-rays to identify the reason for your persistent discomfort. A short course of physical therapy may be all you need. If there are cartilage injuries or flattening of the arch, then unfortunately surgery may be your best option.

    For more information about Dr. Lin and the Sports Medicine physicians of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, call 877.MD BONES or visit them online at www.rushortho.com.

    The information contained on this page is intended only for general public education, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for direct medical advice. This information should not replace necessary medical consultations with a qualified orthopaedic physician.



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