Foot & Ankle Injuries

Learn more about Fractures, Strains & Sprains

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Foot & Ankle Injuries

Breaks, fractures, and cracks are all different ways of describing a broken bone.

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The first few days with braces can be accompanied with tenderness and soreness. This is perfectly normal, but the good news is that it gets better. Usually within 2 to 3 days the general soreness will subside. You can follow the analgesic recommendations that were given to you. Hang in there, and know that it will all be worth it!


It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated as they become used to the braces. Warm salt water rinses (1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water) are a great, old fashioned remedy. It is also important to have great brushing and flossing to keep the bacteria at bay, and don’t forget to use wax, which we will provide for you.

Types of Injuries

Shin Splints

Shin splints is a term to describe pain and swelling in the front of the lower legs. The pain usually appears after and is aggravated by repetitive activities, such as running or walking. Contributing causes are flat feet, calf tightness, improper training techniques, worn-out or improper shoes/sneakers as well as running or walking on uneven surfaces. The inflammation in the shin results from the repeated pull of a muscle in the leg from the shin bone (tibia).


This condition usually occurs bilaterally (both legs) and can be alleviated by rest, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, icing, a change in training habits, stretching exercises and properly fitted shoes. A foot and ankle surgeon can treat the condition, recommend proper shoe gear and evaluate whether orthotics are needed. If not treated, shin splints may eventually result in a stress fracture of the shin bone.

Strains & Sprains

Sprains involve injury to ligaments, whereas strains involve injury to muscles. Ankle sprains and strains usually occur when the foot turns inward, causing swelling and pain on the outside of the ankle.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny hairline breaks that can occur in the bones of the foot. They can be caused by overtraining or overuse, improper training habits or surfaces, improper shoes, flatfoot or other foot deformities and osteoporosis. These tiny breaks in the bones of the feet can lead to a complete break if left untreated.


Pain, swelling, redness and bruising can be signs of a stress fracture. The fracture can occur almost anywhere in the foot. X-rays and other studies are used to diagnose the stress fracture. A foot and ankle surgeon should be seen as early as possible to start treatment and possibly shorten the recovery time. Possible treatments include rest and possible immobilization of the foot. In some cases, surgery may be required to stabilize the stress fracture or to repair a stress fracture that has progressed to a fracture.

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