A foot sprain is a tear of ligaments, the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to one another inside a joint. Sprains range in severity from Grade I to Grade III. Have Dr. Crosby assess your foot sprain in Calgary at North Hill Foot & Ankle Clinic. Call today!
Because the foot bears the entire body's weight with each step and contains numerous bones and joints, you may expect the foot to be at high risk of sprains. However, sprains of the foot are fairly rare, except in people who participate in certain sports or occupations that subject the feet to abnormal twisting motions or bends.
When foot sprains occur, they usually involve one of two distinct areas:
Midfoot—the midfoot is the central area that includes the arch of the foot. In athletes, midfoot sprains usually occur because of a sports-related fall, a collision, or an isolated twist of the midfoot, particularly during snowboarding, windsurfing, horseback riding, or competitive diving. Among people who do not compete in high-risk activities, about one-third of midfoot sprains happen by accident, simply because of an odd twist of the foot during an ordinary stumble or fall. Less often, severe midfoot sprains are the result of high-impact trauma, especially trauma caused by a motor vehicle collision or a fall from a high place. This type of injury is likely to produce not only Grade III sprains, but also foot fractures and open wounds.
First Metatarsophalangeal Joint—this is the joint at the base of the big toe. A sprain of this joint is called turf toe, and it is usually caused by hyperextension (extreme backward bending) of the big toe. The typical scenario involves either a football player or a ballet dancer who falls forward while the big toe is planted flat against the ground. In football, turf toe is most common in players who wear lightweight soccer-style shoes while competing on artificial playing surfaces. The relatively flexible soles of their shoes probably don't offer enough protection for the first metatarsophalangeal joint, increasing the risk of a turf toe injury. The situation is probably similar for ballet dancers, particularly males.
In a mild or moderate midfoot sprain, your midfoot area will be swollen and tender, and there may be some local bruising (black and blue discoloration). In more severe sprains, you may not be able to bear weight on your injured foot. If you have turf toe, the base of your big toe will be painful and swollen.
Courtesy of Aetna InteliHealth