Foot and Ankle Injuries in Football

Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons highlight common injuries to watch for on the field

Rosemont, Illinois, UNITED STATES

Rosemont, IL, Feb. 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whether you’re a professional football player gearing up to win the championship title this Sunday, or just a fan planning a pick-up game during halftime, you should be aware of common foot and ankle injuries seen in football.

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries among football players, explains Thomas O. Clanton, MD, Director of Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. An ankle sprain refers to stretched or torn ankle ligaments, the most common type being a lateral (outside) ankle sprain when the ankle rolls under.

If an athlete sprains their ankle, it’s important they get treatment in a timely manner and take time off to heal. Studies show that athletes who sustain severe ankle sprains and try to return to play before they are fully rehabilitated often sustain a second injury that is more severe.

“Fortunately, most ankle sprains are not particularly serious,” Dr. Clanton adds, “but another frequent football injury that can be serious is the ankle fracture.” An ankle fracture is a partial or complete break in one of the three bones that make up the ankle. Often, the surgeon will advise the patient to avoid putting weight on the ankle and to wear a cast or boot to limit mobility until the ankle is healed. Healing typically takes about two to three months. In some cases, surgery may be required.

“Following an injury to the foot or ankle, it is imperative that the athlete receive an accurate diagnosis and follow the treatment plan, including physical therapy, in order to return to their normal pre-injury condition,” says Dr. Clanton.

Other foot and ankle injuries commonly seen in football players include Achilles tendon ruptures, turf toe injuries, Lisfranc or midfoot sprains, fifth metatarsal fractures, and stress fractures. Any of these injuries may require the athlete to undergo surgical treatment and potentially miss a portion of their season. For example, recovery from Achilles tendon surgery can take, on average, 9-12 months before an athlete can return to the playing field, explains Clanton.

So, wherever you’re playing football this Sunday, it is important to keep an eye on your feet and ankles. If you do get hurt, make sure to see a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon to determine the severity of your injury and the best treatment options. To learn more about foot and ankle conditions and find a surgeon in your area, visit

About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons
Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.

 About the AOFAS
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at

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