Few things are more devastating for an athlete than a foot or ankle injury. It doesn’t matter if you play for money or play for fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re in middle school or you’re 50 years old. Nobody wants to spend time off the field.
At Northwest Extremity Specialists, we get it. That’s why our experts dedicate themselves to providing our patients with comprehensive, advanced treatment options for their sports-related foot and ankle injuries. We always take time to listen to your questions and concerns, examine your feet carefully, and provide effective treatment recommendations tailored to your specific needs.
Common Foot and Ankle Sports Injuries
Not all sports injuries are sudden, traumatic, and dramatic—although they certainly can be. Often, pain builds slowly due to the accumulation of many small impacts and injuries over time. Whether acute or chronic, a sports injury can keep you from achieving your full potential, or keep you off the field entirely. Common injuries include:
- Ankle sprains
- Muscle strains
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon ruptures
- Inflammation or tearing in other connective tissues (tendons and ligaments)
- Broken bones in ankles, feet, and toes
- Stress fractures
- Shin splints
- Heel pain
- Turf toe
A Smarter Approach to Sports Medicine
When it comes to sports injury care, our physicians pride themselves on staying ahead of the game. By investing in state-of-the-art technologies and keeping up with the latest and greatest in evidence-based research and protocols, we are able to help our patients achieve their goals as quickly as possible, while remaining positive throughout their treatment.
Sports can put a lot of pressure on your feet, and sometimes they just aren’t properly equipped to handle the load. This is especially the case for those who have biomechanical issues with their feet and ankles—flat feet, for example, or overpronation.
For minor aches and pains, an over-the-counter arch support may be appropriate. However, custom orthotics provide the best results for serious pain. We measure your feet precisely to craft personalized inserts just for you. The right pair of custom orthotics provide your feet and ankles with exactly the support, cushioning, and stability they need. With proper care, they can last for years.
Physical therapy is an important component of sports medicine throughout the entire process—both as a primary treatment and also during the recovery and rehabilitation phase. Carefully selected stretches and exercises can help greatly reduce painful symptoms and restore full function and range of motion to injured muscles and joints.
Our goal is always to keep you moving as much as possible throughout your recovery—this not only helps recovery go more quickly, but also can encourage a positive and optimistic mindset throughout the process.
Shockwave Therapy - Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment
Shockwave therapy, known more formally as extracorporeal pulse activation treatment (EPAT), uses a small hand-held wand to deliver guided pulses of energy (or “shockwaves”) deep into muscles, tendons, and other injured soft tissues.
These pulses create “microtrauma” in the fabric of your tissues. Although this shouldn’t cause you any significant pain or discomfort, it does send a signal to your healthy cells to step up their metabolism, create new blood vessels, and activate natural healing mechanisms. By energizing this response, pain is reduced and injuries heal more quickly.
This therapy, which gained prominence during the 1990s, uses a sample of your own blood to create a regenerative solution to pain and inflammation. Blood contains small particles called platelets, which are rich in growth factors and other proteins critical for the formation of new tissue.
After we draw your blood, we spin it in a device called a centrifuge to separate the liquid plasma and all the individual components. This allows us to remove the red blood cells (nearly half of your blood volume) and recombine the plasma with the platelets to create a super-concentrated mixture. This is injected back into the injured tissue to promote rapid healing and pain relief.
Amniotic Tissue Injection Therapy
Amniotic and placental tissue contains an extremely potent mix of regenerative proteins, including collagen, HC-HA, growth factors, and more. When broken down into an injectable form, this type of tissue is extremely effective at reducing inflammation and accelerating the healing process.
All amniotic material is from elective donations after a live, healthy birth. No embryonic or fetal tissue is used. Rigorous screening and storage ensures that the material is completely safe an effective.
Surgery is usually not required for most sports injuries. However, it may become a consideration in some cases. Unstable fractures typically require surgery, and it’s often recommended for certain severe soft tissue tears—for example, Achilles tendon ruptures. Rarely, chronic pain may need to be addressed surgically if the injury is not responding to conservative treatment.
Although we see surgery as a last resort, we are ready to step in and provide high quality surgical care when necessary. Our doctors specialize in a wide variety of techniques—simple to complex—and can put together an appropriate surgical plan for your specific needs.