Considering Foot Problems in Today’s Superstars of Tennis

No matter how proficient you are at a sport, foot and ankle injuries can still happen.

Look at what happened to German tennis star Alexander Zverev at the French Open in Paris earlier this month. He worked his way to a semifinal match with Rafael Nadal but had to withdraw from the match when he rolled his ankle and fell to the clay, unable to continue. Nadal went on to win the French Open despite an ongoing injury.

“Several torn ligaments”

Ankle rolls like Zverev’s are common in tennis. One of the reasons is simply the nature of the sport: players are constantly stopping and starting, shuffling up and back and side to side. It may look like they’re just hitting the ball any way they can get to it. But a good tennis player knows they’ve got to get their body into a good position before swinging their racket. Ankles take the brunt of all these quick movements and precise positionings. One false move is easy to make, as Zverev well knows from his injury. It resulted in several torn ligaments in his ankle – a very bad sprain.

“Müller-Weiss syndrome”

If Alexander Zverev’s type of ankle injury is common in tennis, the same cannot be said of Rafael Nadal’s foot problem. Nadal has an ongoing foot issue, a rare condition called Müller-Weiss syndrome. Doctors disagree about the causes of Müller-Weiss, in which the foot’s navicular bone breaks down, causing instability and pain in the midfoot. One theory says you inherit this condition. Another posits that it’s a reaction to a previous injury, such as a fracture. Finally, some believe that Müller-Weiss is an overuse injury.

Our experienced podiatric surgeons, Dr. Craig B. Frey, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, and Dr. Jim Swienconek, treat all ailments of the feet and ankles, whether common or uncommon. When you have foot pain or sustained a sports injury, call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio, at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We offer a modern office with the latest technology for podiatric patients in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties, proudly serving our patients from Solon, Aurora, Bedford, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, and Twinsburg.