FRACTURES, CARTILAGE INJURIES, LIGAMENT & TENDON RUPTURES
As South Africans we come from a culture of being outdoors and participating in sports as we live in a beautiful country amenable to this sort of lifestyle.
Most of us will at some point be out hiking in the mountains, running or biking on a trail or participating in our old boy’s or old girls weekend sporting event. It is inevitable to sustain an injury resulting in various levels of incapacitation and in some instances requiring hospitalisation and surgery.
I have a special interest in sports injuries and I have successfully treated professional athletes as well as weekend Warriors.
The injuries that I see range from simple sprains to overuse injuries with the most severe forms being that of fracture of the various bones in the foot and ankle as well as cartilage injuries within the ankle and ligament ruptures.
In addition to the physical examination, X-rays confirm the type of and extent of the injury and other tests such as a bone scan, computed tomography (CAT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to evaluate your condition.
Treatment is based upon the level of injury and physical demands required by the patient.
Treatment of sports injuries of the foot and ankle:
The requirements and expectations of every patient are taken into consideration, and a decision is made which would best suit your lifestyle and needs.
Conservative treatments may include oral medications such as glucosamine, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injection, platelet rich plasma (PRP), synthetic synovium injection into the joint (Synvisc), and orthotic supports such as pads in your shoes or custom-made braces.
Conservative treatment also includes a rehabilitation team which may consist of a physiotherapist, Biokineticist or chiropractor.
Some of these medications work well to alleviate symptoms, and others such as cortisone or PRP injection, have a short effect, but work very well to relieve pain for a few months. Unfortunately, the injections cannot be repeated indefinitely, since they eventually stop working.
At this point surgical options may be discussed once conservative treatment has been exhausted and has failed.
There are many types of surgery which can be performed. The decision as to which surgery is best for you is based on bone and joint factors such as the quality of the bone, the severity of the injury, the presence of any bone or joint deformity, if the rest of the foot and ankle has arthritis or is stiff, and what is the condition of the opposite foot and ankle.
Surgeries may include open or arthroscopic techniques is normal injuries are amenable to minimally invasive procedures.
Surgeries performed include:
There are also patient factors to take into consideration including your occupation (high level of mobility required), how much time you spend on your feet, how active your lifestyle is, your exercise interests (professional athlete), your weight, and if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes and poor lifestyle habits such as smoking which may affect the healing of the surgery.
During our consultation all of the above will be meticulously discussed and evaluated with a definite plan and solution to your injury to meet your expectations with return to sport and give you the best quality of life possible.