Tag Archives: stress fractures

NBA’s Kevin Durant Out With Jones Fracture

13 Oct

kevin durant jones fracture
The NBA’s MVP and four time scoring champ Kevin Durant has a Jones fracture in his right foot and will be sitting on the bench for 6-8 weeks, Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced over the weekend. The fracture is most likely the result of stress and occurred over time, and wasn’t due to a specific event. “From what I’ve been told, a Jones fracture is the most common surgical procedure performed on NBA players as of late,” Presti said.

A Jones fracture is a potentially serious injury for an athlete. It is a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of the foot, the outermost bone, which begins at the base of the small toe. The Jones fracture occurs in the midportion of the bone, causing swelling and pain. Many don’t realize they have it, try to play through the at-first mild pain, and this stress on the fracture makes it much worse. Non weight-bearing is essential for proper healing.

The Jones fracture is also particularly difficult to heal well, and frequently requires surgery to successfully repair, along with 4-6 weeks of physical rehab. The good news is, Durant informed his team trainers during practice Saturday about the aching and discomfort in his foot. They performed imaging scans on the sore area, which revealed the jones fracture. Had Durant played another game or two on the injured foot, the fracture may have become much worse and kept him out all season. At this point, it appears he’ll be back on the court sometime in December to finish out the season. Durant, entering his eighth season, has only thus far missed a total of 16 games.

Treating a Jones fracture

For those who aren’t professional athletes, the normal course of treatment for a Jones fracture is to immobilize the foot in a cast, splint, or walking boot for 6-8 weeks. This is usually sufficient treatment in 75% of cases. However, if you’re an athlete and your career depends on the health of your feet, surgery is usually performed to secure the bones in place with screws, plates, wires, or pins, so the metatarsal heals as close to perfect as possible. The 5th metatarsal has a limited blood supply due to its size, and surgery insures that the bone will set correctly and hold up under the pounding of playing on a hard court every day.

jones fracture

Jones fracture symptoms

  • Pain, swelling, and/or bruising in the region of the 5th metatarsal bone – below your small toe
  • Severe pain when walking

Jones fracture treatment

  • In most cases, immobilization of the fractured foot in a walking boot or cast
  • Non weight-bearing
  • Over the counter ant-inflammatory pain relievers such as advil (ibuprofen) or aleve (naproxen)
  • Foot surgery if necessary
  • 2-3 weeks of physical rehabilitation after immobilization to insure proper healing of the bone

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Which physician is best to treat foot and ankle pain?

25 Jun

We sure take our feet and ankles for granted, don’t we?

best doctor for foot pain ankle pain toe pain

That is, until the Millenium Falcon breaks our ankle, or a foul ball clips our right foot. Ouch.

When your feet are painful, you’re miserable. Your lifestyle is instantly affected – pain forces you to dial back or give up walking, running, dancing, standing, or your favorite sports. Prolonged pain might even cause you to go from star athlete to couch potato.

It’s appropriate to visit the ER if you have an unusual amount of pain in your feet or ankles, especially if the pain is sudden and intense, is accompanied by bleeding or swelling, or if your foot and ankle have been involved in a trauma like a fall down the stairs. Or if you tried to break a cement block in half with absolutely no martial arts training.

For less painful events, like a suspected fracture, or wounds that won’t heal, many people choose to see their primary physician, which may or may not be a good choice, depending on that  physician’s field of expertise.

And for even less worrisome injuries, like a minor sprain, or minor heel pain, some seek no medical attention at all – which is never a good idea, as both injuries can develop into more complicated conditions, especially for athletes.

Which doctor is expert in treating foot and ankle problems?

When you have trouble with your ears, you should see an ENT. Trouble with your knees, an orthopedist. When you have pain or discomfort in your feet, toes, or ankles, you should see a podiatrist.

Podiatrists and podiatric surgeons are trained exclusively in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders – they do nothing but study the foot and ankle, it’s diseases and deformities. After all, 1/4 of all of the bones in your body are in your feet, and there are many conditions unique to this area of the body. That’s a lot of ground to cover in med school. If they choose to be a podiatric surgeon, they complete further schooling to study surgical techniques to correct these problems.

In 99% of cases, a podiatrist can resolve your ankle, toe, or foot problem much faster than a general physician. Podiatrists are also expert at spotting the early signs of diseases you can easily overlook, like diabetic foot disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

Without your feet in good working order, your life can be…. well, challenging. Don’t take them for granted.

Red Sox’ Mike Carp on DL with Broken Foot

5 Jun

We’re always happy to see an athlete and clubhouse taking their foot and ankle injuries seriously and giving them time to heal.

red sox mike carp

The world champion Boston Red Sox announced that 1st baseman and outfielder Mike Carp is on the 15 day DL with a fractured right foot. Last week, Carp was struck by a pitch during a game against Atlanta when he fouled it off his foot. He continued to play (risky!) and post-game x-rays were negative. So he also started Friday’s and Saturday’s games.

But after Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, Carp’s foot was still hurting, so he had further tests done. No surprise to us that a CT scan revealed a fracture. After all, the pitch from the Braves’ David Hale was flying at 83 mph BEFORE Carp fouled it off his right foot. After the scan, doctors immediately ordered Carp into a walking boot and he’ll be on the bench for 2-3 weeks, according to Red Sox manager John Farell.

It’s necessary to rest a fractured bone in the foot for at least a week. After that, a strict regimen of physical therapy is required for an athlete to get the bone back in shape. If Carp resumes playing before the bone is properly healed, the fracture can become much worse. Or due to weakness in the bone, the foot may be injured in another way, such as an ankle sprain, tendon rupture, or fracture elsewhere in the foot.

The Red Sox and every baseball club – or for that matter any sport organization – should move cautiously when allowing a team member to resume playing. What’s best for the team isn’t always what’s best for the player (see: concussion lawsuit/NFL).

If you’re an athlete and experience any tenderness or pain in your feet, ankles, or lower legs, it’s always best to have it checked by a podiatrist at PA Foot and Ankle Associates, even if your trainer has given you the green light. Podiatrists and podiatric surgeons are the only physicians trained exclusively to treat the diseases and conditions of the foot and ankle and are expert in diagnosing and treating minor injuries before they become big problems.

A stress fracture in your foot can derail your season – how to prevent it

27 Mar
Baseball, football, basketball, Lacrosse, gymnastics, running, tennis – no matter what sport you play, you may experience a stress fracture in your foot or lower leg at some point. And you may not even be aware of it.
rudy owens foot stress fracture

Astros Pitcher Rudy Owens

Even Houston Astros pitcher Rudy Owens didn’t notice the stress fracture in his foot.  “When I first started feeling it, it never hurt when I pitched — only when I’d run,” Owens said. His pain worsened, and eventually he needed surgery to correct the fracture.

But stress fractures can also occur simply by switching playing surfaces from soft to hard, or when a basketball player has a big increase in playing time. Whenever an athlete is engaged in a sport where the foot strikes the ground repeatedly and repetitively, the risk of a stress fracture increases, especially when that athlete doesn’t get proper rest between games or workouts.

Stress fractures occur when muscles in the foot become fatigued. When the fatigued muscle can longer absorb additional shock, it transfers the overload of stress to the bone, which causes a tiny crack. This is the very reason that stress fractures can go undetected and untreated for long periods. You’re not aware of any physical injury – you didn’t drop an anvil on your foot – so you walk it off and keep playing.

Yet the pain worsens, because as you continue to stress the cracked bone, the crack becomes larger, often resulting in a full blown fracture. Then you’re on the sidelines for the season.

How to protect your feet from stress fractures
  • Most stress fractures appear in the weight-bearing bones of the lower legs and feet. Those most susceptible are athletes who subject their feet to repetitive actions on hard surfaces, like basketball players, tennis players, and gymnasts.
  • Proper conditioning is the best defense against stress fractures. If the muscles in your feet and ankles remain strong and flexible, they’re better able to absorb stress. Stretching the muscles in your legs, feet, and ankles pre and post-game or workout is key.
  • Set incremental goals – don’t try to do too much too soon – build up to your goal.
  • Cross training is very effective at working different muscle groups. For instance, if you’re a basketball player, when you’re not on the court, biking or strength training should be your workout, so your feet have time to recover.
  • WEAR PROPER SHOES. We can’t stress this one enough. Many athletic foot injuries can be avoided simply by wearing shoes that offer proper protection and support for your particular activity.
Symptoms of stress fractures

Constant or periodic pain or soreness with activity, which will subside when you rest. There may also be some tenderness or swelling.

Treatment of stress fractures

Rest is essential for healing. If you continue to do the same activity which caused the stress fracture, it will definitely worsen. A stress fracture will take 6-8 weeks to fully heal, which may seem like a long time in-season. However, if you injure the foot further, your healing time will increase, and chronic problems may result.

See a podiatrist as soon as you experience pain in your foot. A stress fracture treated early can have you back in the game quickly.

When resting, elevate and ice the sore foot, and use over the counter anti inflammatory medicine like aleve or advil to manage the pain.

Custom orthotics from a podiatrist’s office, which are worn in your shoes, may be very helpful in shifting weight off of the area of the fracture. This may allow you to resume playing somewhat earlier.

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