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Lower Extremity Injuries in a “Weekend Warrior”


atching athleticism and grace of our favorite athletes inspires millions of “weekend warriors” to get off the couch and exercise. Unfortunately, that is often when the trouble starts. Sports are very beneficial to the body and

mind, but intermittent activities can lead to injuries. There are numerous injuries that can affect the lower extremities.

Ankle Sprain Ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries affecting the lower extremities. It happens when the foot turns inward. The lateral collateral ligaments (located on the outside of the ankle) are affected. The ligaments may be stretched (sprained), partially or completely torn. Such injuries may cause swelling, bruising, pain with ambulation or inability to put any weight on the foot. Treatments include rest, ice, elevation, and anti-inflammatory medications. Immobilization in a brace, cast or a cast boot may be needed in a case of a significant injury. If there is difficulty weight bearing on the injured extremity, it is recommended to see a foot and ankle specialist. Frequently, ankle injuries, if not treated properly, may lead to chronic pain and instability.

Shin Splints Shin splints are commonly seen in “weekend worriers”. The condition is characterized by inflammation or small tears of muscles inserting to the shin bone. Symptoms include pain along the tibia (shin bone), which is more pronounced at

the beginning of activity. Treatments include modification

of activities, ice, calf stretches, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, custom orthotics and leg sleeves. Shin splints can present themselves similar to a stress fracture of the tibia, so an evaluation by a doctor is important.

Plantar fasciitis Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of a band of tissue (plantar fascia), which runs on the bottom of the foot. It is caused by activity level. Tight calf muscles, flat or high arches, improper shoe gear are predisposing factors. Treatments include stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, orthotics,

injections and occasional immobilization. Most of the time

plantar fasciitis is treatable with conservative methods. In rare cases a minor surgical procedure may be indicated.

Achilles tendonitis Achilles tendonitis is another common condition affecting the lower extremity. It is caused by activity level, tight calf muscles and improper shoe gear, just like plantar fasciitis. Treatments are very similar to those of plantar fasciitis.

Achilles Tendon Tear Achilles tendon rupture usually affects males in the 5th and 6th decades of life. It is caused by a forceful motion of the foot towards the leg. Initially, a patient develops sudden snapping pain along the tendon, followed by weakness. Complete or almost complete tears are treated surgically most of the time. Contraindications to surgical intervention include advanced age and significant health issues. In those cases cast immobilization is utilized.

Stress Fractures Stress fractures are caused by overuse. Any bone of the foot or leg may be affected. Symptoms include sudden onset of pain and swelling. Initial X-rays may be negative, however, as the fracture starts healing, radiographic signs become obvious. Treatment includes immobilization in a cast or a cast boot for about 6 weeks.

Iliya Beylin, DPM, is the owner of Foot and Ankle Associates of South Florida, LLC, located at 7501 Wiles Road, Suite 104 in Coral Springs. Dr. Beylin is Board Certified in podiatry and foot and ankle reconstruc- tive surgery. To schedule an appointment, please call the office at 954-755-4994.

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Board Certified in Podiatry and Foot and Ankle Reconstrutive Surgery

Specializing in

Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery and Trauma of Lower Extremity

7501 Wiles Road, Suite 104, Coral Springs, Florida 33067

Please Call (954) 755-4994 for an appointment. Open Monday - Friday

Accepting New Patients • Most Insurance Plans Accepted To Advertise in Coral Springs and Parkland City News, Please call 954-255-5226 March 2011 31

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