football.jpegThe pain associated with ankle and foot injuries, such as stress fractures or a sprained ankle, can significantly impact your athletic performance and quality of life. If you're encountering persistent issues, it might be time to consult a specialist. 

At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, Dr. Lynette Mahoney, Dr. Raymond O'Hara, and Dr. Narendra Patel are here to provide expert care tailored to athletes and active individuals. These board-certified, fellowship-trained foot and ankle specialists have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat a wide range of sports medicine-related foot and ankle conditions.

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Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get back on your feet with confidence.
Here are six signs that it's time to see a sports medicine podiatrist and get treatment for your foot and ankle injuries.

1. Persistent Pain After Activity

Engaging in athletic activities should primarily enhance your well-being, not cause lingering discomfort. Persistent pain following physical exertion is a clear signal that something may be amiss. 

Conditions such as high ankle sprains or other common foot injuries may not always resolve on their own and could worsen without appropriate medical intervention. Ignoring continued pain can lead to more severe complications, affecting your overall mobility and performance. 

Seeking the expertise of a sports medicine podiatrist ensures that any underlying issues are accurately diagnosed and treated, allowing you to recover effectively and maintain your active lifestyle.

2. Swelling That Doesn’t Subside

Swelling is a natural response to injury, but when it persists for an extended period, it can be indicative of a more serious injury or chronic condition. Prolonged swelling in the ankle or foot, particularly after an ankle sprain, suggests that your body is struggling to heal properly. This could be due to damage to the ankle muscles, ligaments, or other tissues that require specialized care to repair.

Consistently swollen ankles or feet may signal underlying issues such as ligament tears or chronic instability, which can severely limit your mobility and athletic performance if left untreated. 

A sports medicine podiatrist is equipped to assess the root cause of the swelling, providing targeted treatment plans that address the specific injury and promote optimum recovery. Prompt attention from a specialist ensures you can return to your activities with confidence, preventing long-term damage and recurring problems.

3. Inability to Bear Weight

Struggling to bear weight on your foot or ankle is a significant red flag, indicating that there may be a severe issue at play. This inability can stem from fractures, ligament damage, or other debilitating injuries that compromise foot and ankle health. Such conditions can range from stress fractures to severe tendon injuries, including the Achilles tendon, one of the strongest tendons in the body.

When you find it challenging to stand or walk without pain, it hampers more than just your athletic performance—it affects your daily life. Ignoring this symptom can exacerbate the injury, leading to more serious complications and prolonged recovery times. 

Immediate consultation with a sports medicine podiatrist can help diagnose the issue accurately and begin a specialized treatment plan aimed at restoring function and alleviating pain. 

Prioritizing foot and ankle health ensures you can maintain an active lifestyle without risking further injury.

4. Visible Deformities

Noticing any visible deformities in your foot or ankle is a compelling reason to seek a professional evaluation without delay. Deformities can arise from various serious conditions, including ankle fractures or complex ligament injuries, which may not heal correctly without proper intervention. Ankle fractures, in particular, can lead to misalignment and chronic instability if not treated promptly and correctly.

Visible deformities often indicate significant structural damage that could impair your ability to walk, run, or engage in regular physical activities. Ignoring these signs can result in improper healing and may necessitate more invasive treatments in the future, such as surgery. 

A thorough examination by a sports medicine podiatrist will help determine the exact nature and extent of the injury. Specialists can then devise a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, potentially involving imaging studies, physical therapy, or even surgical correction. Addressing deformities promptly ensures you regain proper function and reduces the risk of long-term disability, allowing you to return to your active lifestyle with confidence.

5. Reduced Range of Motion

Experiencing a reduced range of motion in your foot or ankle can significantly impair both athletic performance and daily activities. Whether it stems from joint stiffness, inflammation, or previous injuries, this limitation can prevent you from achieving full efficiency in your movements. Athletes with restricted mobility may find it challenging to execute the necessary motions for their sport, such as pivoting, jumping, or sprinting, often resulting in subpar performance and an increased risk of further injury.

In everyday life, a reduced range of motion can affect tasks as basic as walking, climbing stairs, or even standing for extended periods. Such limitations can lead to compensatory movements, causing additional strain on other parts of the body and further complicating an already compromised situation.

A sports medicine podiatrist can provide an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of reduced mobility by utilizing advanced diagnostic techniques and comprehensive physical evaluations. 

Once the issue is identified, a tailored treatment plan can be developed that may include physical therapy, targeted exercises, or other interventions designed to restore mobility. 

Accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial in preventing long-term damage, ensuring that you can return to your athletic pursuits and daily routines with improved function and reduced discomfort.

6. Symptoms Persist Despite Rest and Treatment

If you find that typical remedies such as rest, ice, and over-the-counter medications fail to alleviate your symptoms, it’s crucial to seek a more in-depth medical evaluation. Persistent pain and discomfort, despite following standard self-care protocols, often indicate that a more serious underlying issue may be present. Conditions such as chronic sprains, tendonitis, or even undiagnosed fractures require comprehensive care beyond basic home treatments.

A sports medicine podiatrist can conduct a thorough examination to identify the root cause of your symptoms. Utilizing advanced diagnostic tools and techniques, they can pinpoint the specific nature of your injury or condition and develop an effective treatment plan. Physical therapy is often a key component of these plans, providing targeted exercises and interventions designed to restore function, improve mobility, and accelerate recovery.

Ignoring persistent symptoms can lead to chronic pain and decreased mobility, significantly impacting your athletic performance and daily life. Early intervention from a specialist ensures you receive the appropriate care needed to manage and resolve your symptoms, allowing you to return to your activities with confidence and reduced risk of further injury.

Visit Your BOS Sports Medicine Podiatrist

Don't let foot and ankle problems keep you on the sidelines. Our experienced podiatrists -- Dr. Lynette Mahoney, Dr. Raymond O'Hara, and Dr. Narendra Patel -- are dedicated to providing the highest level of care for athletes and active individuals. 

Schedule your consultation with Barrington Orthopedic Specialists today and step back into your routine pain-free and stronger than ever.

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