Sport-Related Foot & Ankle Injuries, PA

Our feet and ankles are incredibly important, helping us to move and balance on an almost constant basis. Caring for them is very important to our health and mobility. But accidents and injuries can happen, particularly if you enjoy playing a sport. And sports injuries are not just for the professionals. Even a casual player can find themselves hurt on the field - and limping afterward. But we can help.

Established in 2004, Pittsburgh Foot and Hand Center is a local resource and care center for those affected by sports injuries. Since 1987, Dr. Bowman has been taking care of athletes - young and older alike - that play football and hockey, participate in track and field, enjoy running, and even take part in swimming and rowing. He has also always provided the latest in both nonsurgical and surgical orthopaedic treatments. From our cutting-edge electronic medical records to our use of the latest in imaging technology, our staff process and training puts the focus on providing consistent care to you that is 100% based on your symptoms and needs. So if you are struggling with sport-related pain, and this sounds like the care that you need, you're invited to contact us online or at (724) 933-3300. We look forward to working with you and helping you find relief!

FAQs on Sports Injury Foot & Ankle Care:

What are Examples of Common Sport-Related Foot & Ankle Injuries? 

There are a number of things that can happen to our ankles and feet while enjoying our favorite games. Here are some of the more common issues and symptoms that get reported to doctors on a regular basis:

  • Strains and Sprains - Strains and sprains are similar injuries that are caused by the overstretching or tearing of musculoskeletal tissues. The main difference is that with a sprain you may have bruising around the affected joint, whereas with a strain you may have spasms in the affected muscle. These injuries can present with pain, swelling and bruising around the area, and problems putting weight on the injured foot. They are also very common. Sprained ankles alone have been estimated to constitute up to 30% of injuries seen in sports medicine clinics and are the most frequently seen musculoskeletal injury seen by primary care providers.
  • Heel Pain - Some people experience pain on the bottom of the heel, in the arch of the foot, or on the back of the heel. Heel pain is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or fall, but from repetitive stress and pounding of the heel. Contact sports in particular can increase the risk of heel pain. Heel pain needs to be evaluated and treated to avoid becoming a chronic health issue.
  • Tendonitis of the Foot and Ankle - Tendons are tough, stretchy, fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bone. When our muscles contract, the tendons pull the bones and allow the joints to move. In cases of tendonitis, however, the tendons swell due to overuse and become painful and stiff.
  • Foot and Ankle Fractures - "Fracture" is the medical term for a broken bone, which can range in severity from partially to completely broken. Broken bones are usually marked by swelling, pain, bruising, or blisters around the area of the injury. People also tend to have difficulty walking and putting weight on their injured foot and/or ankle.
  • Ankle Instability - Ankle instability is a condition that can develop following a traumatic event to the ankle joint. In cases of ankle instability, one of the many parts of the ankle - in most cases, a ligament - did not heal from an injury correctly. The result is a loss of full function in the ankle, which can a) leave an individual feeling as if their ankle will "give out" any time, and b) leave the afflicted person at a higher risk of an additional ankle injury.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to report them to your doctor promptly and to schedule an evaluation to determine their cause.

How are Sport-Related Injuries of the Ankle and Foot Treated?

Treatment for a sport-related injury will vary from patient to patient. This is because no two patients are injured exactly the same way; and no two patients have the same physical structure and/or medical history.

Following an exam and an imaging scan to confirm a diagnosis, your doctor will likely prescribe nonsurgical management care steps to help you recover. These changes will likely involve lots of R&R, so patients must be prepared to give up sports for a period of time. 

In the event that lifestyle changes do not fully address the problem, or should the problem become repetitive in nature, surgical options may be discussed with you.

What Can I Expect at Pittsburgh Foot & Hand Center?

The Pittsburgh Foot and Hand Center will initially provide an exam, as well as prescribe a series of nonsurgical care guidelines to address injuries that are more minor in nature. Where necessary, we can also prepare patients for any surgical procedures that will best address their injury. 

Because every patient is different, specific questions about any diagnosis or surgery should always be discussed in-depth with your medical and/or surgical teams. That’s why we invite you to bring all of your questions to us during your visits, as well as by phone afterward if needed. We will gladly provide the information you need to make the right decision for your health needs.

In addition to Dr. Bowman’s expertise, our practice’s partnerships provide patients with the access they may need to additional care in the form of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and orthotists. Dr. Bowman - and, when needed, these partners - will constantly strive to provide a consistent and high level of nonoperative and postoperative care.