Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Surgeons Warn: Skateboarding Tough On Feet, Ankles

(NAPSI)-Skateboarders should use their heads when it comes to protecting their feet.

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), skateboarding tricks such as "riding the rail" and "catching air" can be physically demanding and cause serious foot and ankle injuries.

Foot and ankle surgeons around the country see serious lower-extremity skateboard injuries that range from minor bruises to open wounds or cuts to more serious foot and ankle sprains and fractures, which may require surgical repair.

Foot and ankle surgeon Jennifer Purvis, DPM, AACFAS, advises skateboarders to use caution and wear protective gear, including properly supportive shoes, when skateboarding. "Skateboarding can be particularly hard on your feet and ankles because of the impact caused when performing jumps and tricks," Dr. Purvis explained. "Skateboarders should be aware that the strain from repetitive, forceful motions can also cause painful foot and heel conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bone spurs and Achilles tendonitis, which may require more intensive, longer-term therapies."

Even minor cuts or abrasions on your feet can cause serious problems including MRSA-a very serious and sometimes deadly staph infection.

Foot and ankle sprains and fractures are common skateboarding injuries. Karl Collins, DPM, FACFAS, stresses the importance of seeing a foot and ankle surgeon to ensure proper diagnosis and course of treatment for these injuries. Until you can be seen by a doctor, it's best to take a break from activities and use R.I.C.E. therapy-Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation-which helps reduce pain and control swelling around the injury.

"A common misconception about foot and ankle fractures is that if you can walk on the foot, there isn't a fracture," Dr. Collins said. "That's not always the case, and only a proper diagnosis can rule out a serious injury requiring an advanced treatment plan."

For information on foot and ankle injuries or to find a foot and ankle surgeon nearby, visit FootPhysicians.com.

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