Flat feet (pes planus) refer to a change in foot shape in which the foot does not have a normal arch when standing. Flat feet occur because the tissues holding the joints in the foot together (called tendons) are loose.
A broken foot is an injury to the bone. You may experience a broken foot during a car crash or from a simple misstep or fall. The seriousness of a broken foot varies. Fractures can range from tiny cracks in your bones to breaks that pierce your skin. Treatment for a broken foot depends on the exact site and severity of the fracture. A severely broken foot may require surgery to implant plates, rods or screws into the broken bone to maintain proper position during healing.
The term “shin splints” refers to pain along the shin bone (tibia) — the large bone in the front of your lower leg. Shin splints are common in runners, dancers, and military recruits. Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints often occur in athletes who have recently intensified or changed their training routines. The increased activity overworks the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue. Most cases of shin splints can be treated with rest, ice, and other self-care measures. Wearing proper footwear and modifying your exercise routine can help prevent shin splints from recurring.
Low Ankle Sprains
A low ankle injury is what most people think of when they picture the classic ankle sprain. The most common low ankle injury is called an inversion ankle sprain. This occurs when the ankle rolls inwards, stretching the connecting tissue within the ankle joint. Eighty percent of all low ankle injuries are inversion sprains, with the remainder being eversion sprains. An eversion ankle sprain occurs when the ankle rolls outward.
High Ankle Sprains
Known medically as a syndesmotic ankle injury, high ankle injuries occur when the foot and ankle rotate together, stretching the tissues that hold the tibia and fibula together. High ankle injuries get their name from occurring above the ankle joint itself and generally require a longer rehabilitation period to fully recover compared to a low ankle injury.
Achilles Tendon Injuries
The Achilles tendon is a fibrous band of tissue that links the muscles in your calf to your heel. The strength and flexibility of this tendon are important for jumping, running, and walking. Your Achilles tendon withstands a lot of stress and pressure during everyday activities, as well as during athletic and recreational play. If it becomes inflamed, swollen, and irritated, it is called tendonitis.
Tendonitis might be due to overuse or damage to the area. It can cause pain down the back of your leg and around your heel. You might notice that parts of your tendon are getting thicker, and hardening, because of tendonitis. This will get worse if you don’t treat it.
The tears in your tendon fibers can cause a complete or partial break (or tear) in your tendon. You might hear a “pop” that seems to come from the back of your heel or calf. This may be a tendon rupture, which needs immediate medical attention.
Lisfranc (midfoot) injuries result if bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn. The severity of the injury can vary from simple to complex, involving many joints and bones in the midfoot.
A Lisfranc injury is often mistaken for a simple sprain, especially if the injury is a result of a straightforward twist and fall. However, injury to the Lisfranc joint is not a simple sprain that should be simply “walked off.” It is a severe injury that may take many months to heal and may require surgery to treat.