Tag Archives: Ankle Pain

Curt Schilling Shares Photo of His Stitched-Up Ankle from 2004 World Series

13 Nov

curt schilling pitchingDo you remember when Curt Schilling pitched for the Red Sox? When he led them to their first World Series win in over 100 years?

Now do you remember the bloody sock spectacle when his ankle appeared to be hemmoraging while he stood on the plate?

 
 

CHILLING BLOODY SOCK

 
 

Some naysayers said it was only ketchup, and that Schilling was putting on a show. But this week, Schilling put those rumors to rest when he tweeted this image of his stitched-up ankle from 2004.

 
 

curt schilling ankle injury 2004

 

Now we know what it looked like under that famous sock. And that it was for-real ankle injury. Wow.

We can’t even imagine the pain that Schilling endured during that spectacular game. Pitching requires an extraordinary amount of precision and control, not only from your ankles, but from your entire body. And to pitch such a legendary game with an ankle in that condition is just… SUPER HUMAN!

‘Nuff said. Back off, haters.

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Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera has surgery for bone spurs and stress fracture

27 Oct

cabrera hits a homer

Miguel Cabrera, legendary first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, surprised everyone – or no one at all, depending on who you ask – by announcing that he had right ankle surgery to remove the bone spurs which dogged him all season, and to repair a stress fracture of the navicular bone. The navicular bone lies on the top of the foot near the front of the ankle, and plays an important role in maintaining the arch of the foot.

If you’re a baseball fan, you no doubt heard that Cabrera struggled with these injuries the second half of the season this year, even though he hit .313 with 25 home runs, and 109 RBI’s (that’s a crap season for Cabrera, even though anyone else would be breaking out the Cristal and re-negotiating their contract with those numbers). By comparison, in 2013 Cabrera hit .348 with 44 home runs and 137 RBI’s, which won him his second consecutive American League Most Valuable Player award. By the end of this season however, Cabrera could barely run on the ankle due to the excruciating pain.

navicular bone fracture

Arrow points to the Navicular bone.

“It was a surprise, I’d say, for all of us,” team president Dave Dombrowski said. “We were not aware [the stress fracture] was there. I’m not sure how long it was there. He did have a couple of screws inserted. They cannot even believe once they went in there and looked at it that he could play with the ankle that he had. It’s worse than what we ever would have anticipated.”

Cabrera’s ankle will be reevaluated in 3 months, late in January, just a few weeks before the Tiger’s spring training is to begin.

What’s up with the spate of foot and ankle injuries in the NFL?

25 Sep

We’re only going into the 4th week of the regular football season and already we’ve seen a huge percentage of below the knee injuries. Why? Who knows, perhaps it’s just bad luck. But we do know that the NFL team trainers have a lot to deal with this season.

Here’s a list of foot and ankle injuries suffered by NFL players so far, and this may be the biggest list we’ve seen this early in the season.

DeAngelo-Hall

DeAngelo Hall of Washington is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

The most significant injuries, which will cause each player to miss playing time are:

DeAngelo Hall, Washington, ruptured Achilles tendon, out for the season

Robert Griffin, Washington, dislocated ankle

Kam Chancellor, Seattle, bone spurs in ankle

Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants, dislocated toe

Danny Woodhead, San Diego, high ankle sprain

Tramaine Brock, San Francisco, sprained toe

Vernon Davis, San Francisco (they’re just saying “ankle injury”)

Manti Te’o, San Diego, right foot fracture

Rod Streater, Oakland, foot fracture

Tyvon Branch, Oakland,  Jones Fracture

Jon Beason, New York Giants, foot fracture

Matt Cassel, Minnesota, fractured foot – multiple bones

Koa Misis, Miami, ankle injury

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, high ankle sprain

Arthur Jones, Kansas City, high ankle sprain

Jonathan Goodwin, New Orleans, high ankle sprain

Matt Tobin, Philadelphia, high ankle sprain

Khaled Holmes, Indianapolis, high ankle sprain

Joe Reitz, Indianapolis, high ankle sprain

 

And there have been less serious foot and ankle injuries to:

Brandon Bair and Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee; Dri Archer, Pittsburgh;  Miles Burris, Oakland; Chris Johnson, New York Jets; Tamba Hali, Kansas City; Damien Williams, Miami; Husain Abdullah, Cyrus Gray, and Eric Berry, Kansas City, Storm Johnson, Toby Gerhart, Mickey Shuler, Paul Posluszny, and Allen Hurns, Jacksonville; T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis; Johnathan Joseph, Garrett Graham, Andre Johnson, Houston; Calvin Johnson, Detroit; Brandon Marshall, Chicago; A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, Cincinnatti; Robert Woods, Da’Norris Searcy, and Lee Smith, Buffalo; Harry Douglas and Devin Hester, Atlanta; and Andre Ellington of Arizona.

See our point? That’s a long list, and we’re especially curious about the number of high ankle sprains. We don’t recall having ever seen that many at one time – especially in week 4.

Jamaal Charles and Arthur Jones Out With High Ankle Sprains

19 Sep

Your fantasy league is under great duress this week.

jamaal charles high ankle sprain

Jamaal Charles doing what he does best.

High ankle sprains have become an epidemic in the NFL lately. Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs, and Arthur Jones, Khaled Holmes, and Joe Reitz of the Indianapolis Colts are all on the bench with high ankle sprains. Charles and Jones sustained their injuries in games this week, and Holmes and Reitz have been sitting out since pre-season games in August.

How does a high ankle sprain differ from a normal ankle sprain?

In the more common lateral ankle sprain, the ligaments that surround the ankle joint are injured through an inward twisting, causing pain and swelling around the ankle. A high ankle sprain, also known as a syndesmotic sprainis an injury to the syndesmotic ligaments above the ankle which join the two bones of the lower leg together. A high ankle sprain is caused when the lower leg and foot twists out (externally rotates). See a diagram of a high ankle sprain here.

arthur jones high ankle sprain

The Colts’ Arthur Jones gets carted off the field during their game against the Eagles.

The tibia (shin bone) and fibula run from the knee down to the ankle.  If the injury is a stable high ankle sprain, the tibia and fibula stay in their normal orientation, and the athlete may be out for as little as five or six days.

If the injury is an unstable high ankle sprain, two or all three ligaments above the ankle are torn and the tibia and fibula are free to move. A podiatric surgeon may need to place a screw between the tibia and fibula to hold the bones in proper position while the ligaments heal, and may require the athlete to be sidelined for as long as 6 months(!). High ankle sprains pose a bigger challenge to healing than common ankle sprains, which is why athletic trainers are very cautious about returning an athlete to the lineup too quickly.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS) Surgery – Patient Testimonial

18 Sep

Charlene Ninni of Center Valley, PA suffered with excruciating and debilitating pain which would travel from the inside of her ankle, throughout her foot, and sometimes all the way to her hip. For almost 2 years, she sought the advice of a number of orthopedic surgeons, none of whom were successful in relieving her foot and leg pain, or her swollen ankle.

tarsal tunnel syndrome surgery

The tarsal tunnel is found along the inner leg behind the bump on the inside of the ankle.

The simple things most of us take for granted, like walking up the stairs or food shopping, had become difficult to impossible for Charlene. She had learned to wait as long as possible before doing anything that required walking, and she asked frequently for assistance from friends and family. With one of her ankles all but useless, and in almost constant pain, life had become challenging.

One night at a Lehigh Valley IronPigs game, while paging through that night’s program, she saw an ad for a seminar that Dr. Adam Teichman of PA Foot and Ankle Associates was conducting on foot health. When Charlene showed up at the seminar in the walking boot her most recent orthopedic physician had given her, Dr. Teichman couldn’t help but start a conversation with her. They discussed her symptoms, he ballparked a few possible reasons for her condition, and he recommended she see him for an exam and diagnosis.

After Charlene’s exam in the PA Foot and Ankle Associates office, Dr. Teichman’s diagnosis was tarsal tunnel syndrome. He recommended surgery as the best treatment option to relieve Charlene’s pain. Charlene agreed to the surgery, and today she couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Watch Charlene’s video testimonial below in which she discusses her symptoms and tells us how great she’s feeling now compared with 2 years ago.

About Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS), also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, is a compression neuropathy and painful foot condition.

The tarsal tunnel is found along the inner leg behind the bump on the inside of the ankle. Through this tunnel passes a collection of arteries, nerves, tendons, and muscles. Inside the tarsal tunnel, the tibial nerve splits into three segments – one segment continues to the heel, and the other two continue to the bottom of the foot.

When the tibial nerve becomes entrapped or “pinched” in the tarsal tunnel due to inflammation or swelling, numbness may be felt in the foot radiating all the way to the big toe and the first 3 toes. Additionally, pain, burning, tingling, and electrical sensations may be felt in the base of the foot, ankle, or heel.

Visit the PA Foot and Ankle Associates website for more information on Tarsal tunnel syndrome.

I Have Pain In My Heel – How Can I Treat It?

9 Sep

At one time or another during your life, you’re probably going to experience some degree of heel pain – just about everyone does. It might develop from playing basketball, not allowing enough time to rest in between runs, or even from doing nothing at all out of the ordinary. And you can develop heel pain at any age, including adolescence.

my heel hurts

The most common cause of heel pain in adults is Plantar Fasciitis.

The most common cause of heel pain is irritation or damage to the plantar fascia, the tendon that connects your heel to your arch. But heel pain can also be the result of damage or strain to the achilles tendon, which connects your heel to your calf muscle.

In children, heel pain is frequently associated with Sever’s Disease, a bone disorder caused by inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. Heel pain can also be the result of arthritis, bursitis, gout, a pinched nerve, a heel spur, a stress fracture to the heel bone (calcaneus) or other conditions. Because the possibilities are so numerous, it’s essential that you have your heel pain diagnosed by a podiatrist so that a proper course of action can be prescribed to heal your foot as quickly as possible.

The most common causes of heel pain

Plantar Fasciitis is by far the most common reason for heel pain. The classic sign of PF arrives first thing in the morning when you step out of bed – a sharp pain in your heel, which gradually fades as the tendon warms up with movement. But the pain may return if you exercise or stand for long periods. Read more about Plantar Fasciitis.

The Achilles Tendon is responsible for every step you take, and you couldn’t make a jump shot without it. When we demand too much of the achilles tendon, it becomes irritated or ruptured, causing pain that can be felt anywhere along the rear of the ankle, including the heel. Read more about injuries to the achilles tendon.

In children, Sever’s disease, known as calcaneal apophysitis, is the most common cause of heel pain. The inflammation of the heel’s growth plate is quite painful, and should never be ignored. Sever’s Disease is very common in obese children and those who play lots of sports, and most commonly occurs during growth spurts in adolescence.  Read more about heel pain in children.

How you can treat heel pain at home

Like the old saying goes, your best defense is a strong offense, and this is especially true when it comes to protecting your feet from heel pain. Always perform simple exercises to warm up your legs and feet before exercising. When tissues and bones are gently stretched before your game or workout, they’re better able to handle the load you’ll be demanding of them, and the less likely they are to become irritated or ruptured. See simple stretching exercises here. It’s also a good idea to slowly work up to your maximum, and not start out at full speed. And you should always wear a sturdy, supportive pair of athletic shoes to support your feet when exercising.

If you already have a mild case of heel pain, try:

  • Resting. Avoid doing the activity which caused the heel pain.
  • Stretch. Simple, gentle stretching exercises performed in the morning or evening can relax and strengthen the tissues which surround the heel bone.
  • Ice packs applied to your heel for 20 minutes at a time can reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine like advil (ibuprofen) or aleve (naproxen) can be used to manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Do your shoes fit properly? In some cases, switching to a new pair of athletic shoes with excellent support of the arch and heel reduces symptoms considerably.
  • Download our free guide on treating your heel pain at home.

If you have heel pain that won’t resolve with in-home treatment, make an appointment with your podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment plan. He or she may choose to treat your heel pain with steroid injections, immobilization, physical therapy, custom in-shoe orthotics, or other non-invasive procedures. If your heel pain is serious and chronic, surgery may be recommended.

Lump On Your Foot or Ankle? It Might Be A Ganglion Cyst

12 Aug

A soft, painful lump has appeared on the top of your foot. Or maybe the side of your foot. Or maybe somewhere around your ankle. The lump changes size with activity. It might be sore, or it might just… be there.

ganglion cyst foot, lump on foot

This ganglion cyst has appeared along the path of the tendons on the side of the foot.

If these symptoms match a lump on your foot or ankle, chances are you have a ganglion cyst, a noncancerous, round or oval lump that develops along a tendon or joint. Most are less than an inch in diameter, although some are so small they can hardly be felt. The size of the cyst can vary however, especially as the joint is used.

Normally, a ganglion cyst is painless and requires no treatment. But if it happens to be pressing on a nerve, it can cause pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, or interfere with joint movement.

What causes a ganglion cyst?

Repeated irritation can weaken the lining of a joint or tendon, causing the tissue to bulge, which is then referred to as a ganglion cyst. Inside the cyst is a thick fluid similar to the lubricating fluid found in joints or around tendons.

People who wear boots, especially women between 20 and 30, are more likely to develop ganglion cysts, as this type of footwear puts stress on the foot and ankle. Bone spurs may also cause ganglion cysts by irritating the joints and tendons, and joints or tendons that have been injured, even long ago, are more likely to develop ganglion cysts.

Treatment for ganglion cysts:

**Because ganglion cysts may be mistaken for tumors, it’s essential to have a complete exam performed by a podiatrist, and if necessary, tests to confirm the diagnosis.

If your ganglion cyst is causing you no pain, your podiatrist may recommend a wait and see approach, as the cyst may go away on its own. If it’s causing you discomfort, she may suggest one of the following treatments:

Aspiration: In an exam room, your podiatrist will use a needle to drain the fluid from the cyst.

Immobilization: If it’s clear that activity is causing the cyst to enlarge, your doctor may recommend an air boot or similar device to immobilize your foot or ankle. As the cyst shrinks, pain and other symptoms may be relieved.

Padding: Soft pads placed around the ganglion cyst to ease pressure and friction.

Medication: If swelling and pain are severe, your podiatrist may recommend prescription medication.

Surgery: In some instances, surgery may be recommended to remove the cysts and its surrounding tissue, which is attached to a joint or tendon.

If you had a choice, would you request an amputation? This guy did.

18 Jul

Joseph Phleban of Fredericksburg, Virginia is a guy who likes adventure. Soccer, competitive swimming, football, wakeboarding, snowboarding, rugby, he did it all in his 23 years.

ankle amputation

Joe Phleban’s “Please Cut Here” tattoo.

In 2008, the day after he graduated from college, Phleban injured his ankle for the umpteenth time while wakeboarding. He wasn’t too concerned about it, was quite used to it in fact, as he’d been plagued with painful ankle problems for 6 years –  a side effect of being a daredevil.

He expected the surgery to repair his ankle to be routine, but surgeons discovered that Phleban had developed a rare disease called Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis. PVS usually affects the knee, but in about 2 percent of cases it appears in the ankle, causing inflammation and tumors in the joint lining. Phleban’s PVS was far advanced, with tumors, dangerous inflammation, and extensive bone and tissue damage.

Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis produces malignant non-cancerous tumors which damage cartilage, causing painful, degenerative arthritis.

ankle amputation

Phleban uses mirror therapy to adjust to his amputation

Doctors performed a second operation to remove the tumors in Joe’s ankle, but they reappeared inside of six months. In 2010, Phleban underwent surgery yet again to remove more tumors, followed by radiation therapy. At that point, Joe’s doctors informed him that because his ankle had been so badly damaged, playing sports would be impossible. Phleban was crushed.

In March of this year, doctors ordered an MRI, which revealed that tumors had once again returned. His doctors recommended that they fuse the bones of the ankle, which would have meant periodic lifelong surgery and limited activity. Phleban didn’t care for that prospect, so he asked his doctors to amputate his lower leg. He figured he’d wear a prosthetic device and be able to do some sports afterward, and not be resigned to a life of surgeries, recoveries, walking boots, and canes.

ankle amputation

Phleban goes skydiving, checking one more thing off his bucket list.

In an interview with the U.K.’s Daily Mail Online, Pleban said, “Over six years I had to give up all of the sports I loved. Although taking my ankle away was a big sacrifice, the chance to regain the ability to play those sports again meant it was a no-brainer. It came down to either going through surgeries for a good portion of my life or have one surgery to end them all and be as active as I want on a prosthetic.”

And then he made a bucket list. A one-last-time run at unfulfilled adventures. All of it chronicled, from the point of view of his soon-to-not-be-there appendage, on a Facebook page called The Last Adventures of Joe’s Left Foot. Paintballing, go-karting, watersliding, a Caribbean vacation with his girlfriend, skydiving, and concerts. He even got a tattoo – a dotted line that wrapped around his intended amputation, with the words, Please Cut Here. Which he emailed to his surgeon.

In June, Phleban’s foot was amputated at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. “Right before the surgery, I was definitely freaking out a bit,” he said. “It was such a ‘no turning back’ decision. But as soon as I woke up from the surgery and looked down, I knew I had done the right thing.”

exercising after ankle amputation

Phleban exercising with his girlfirend after his amputation

Phleban shared at least one plan for the future. This Halloween, he’s planning to dress up “as a surfer, my girlfriend as a shark.”

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