It’s fall soccer season! National zeal for the sport – which has always been high – has skyrocketed since the USA performed so well in the 2014 World Cup championship. Kids love it, and as we speak they’re trying out for school and town teams of all levels.
The more kids there are playing soccer in the Cleveland area, the more lower-limb injuries we see here at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. If your child chooses to play soccer, be aware of these common soccer injuries, how to treat them, and how to avoid them.
Ankle sprain – the ankle is the body part most likely to get injured in soccer players. Lots of stopping and starting, changing directions, and playing on uneven surfaces leave a player vulnerable to twisting an ankle. If your child twists an ankle and experiences pain and swelling anywhere around the ankle or top of the foot, have it checked out as soon as possible by our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann. You want to make sure it’s just a sprain and not a fracture, and treat it accordingly.
Fractures – these are breaks in the bone that can be complete breaks, partial breaks, or just a crack in the bone’s surface (called a stress fracture). Fractures are common in the ankle bones and the metatarsals bones, the long bones that connect the toes to the ankle.
Nail damage – it’s not unusual for a soccer player’s toenails to turn black and eventually fall off! That’s because your child’s toes are continually hitting the ends of his or her cleats. The repeated stress can cause blood to build up under the toenail. If the condition is painful, Dr. Frey or Dr. Oltmann can relieve the stress by draining the blood from under the nail bed.
To prevent soccer injuries to the foot, consider seeing a podiatrist before the season begins to have your child’s foot mechanics assessed and to stop the progress of any existing conditions. Make sure your child is wearing shoes that fit properly. Replace shoes that are worn out and don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us at the first sign of foot distress. Please call our office in the beautiful Cleveland suburb of Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041.