Common Sports-Related Foot Injuries

Our group of surgeons offer the most advanced foot and ankle care in the Portland area and are dedicated to using the latest techniques for a variety of procedures and conditions, including common sports-related foot injuries.

According to research from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 25 percent of athletic injuries are foot and ankle-related. Athletes involved in sports that require jumping and running are typically at higher risk. Sports like running, basketball, soccer, football and dancing place considerable performance demands on the feet, and are often associated with more foot and ankle injuries.

Common Sports-Related Foot Injuries:

Achilles Tendinitis

A common foot and ankle condition we see and treat at Rebound is Achilles tendinitis, a condition that affects the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body. Like with many musculoskeletal injuries, Achilles tendinitis typically occurs because of overuse (often sports related) and degeneration, or wearing down with age and time.

Learn more about Achilles tendinitis here.

Plantar Fasciitis

This condition happens when the band of tissues, the plantar fascia, supporting the arch of your foot absorbs too much stress. When the tissues are strained from activities like running, they become inflamed, causing pain at the bottom of the heel.

Plantar fasciitis is so increasingly common, that nearly two million people are treated for it each year,” says Michael Baer, a Rebound physical therapist with more than 17 years of experience. “Most patients can recover without surgery. As with most overuse injuries, rest, ice and physical therapy are beneficial and effective.”

Calf stretches, or other exercises that stretch your feet and calves, are recommended to relieve pain. Read more here.

Stress Fractures

Athletes who participate in sports such as running, basketball, tennis, gymnastics and dance are usually at a higher risk for foot and ankle stress fractures because of repetitive stress placed on their feet and ankles. A lack of conditioning, proper equipment or technique can also disrupt the mechanics of the foot and ankle and result in a stress fracture. Unlike a fracture, which is a broken bone, a stress fracture is a small crack in the bone.

“Stress fractures happen when repeated impact is placed on a bone and our muscles are unable to absorb the stress,” says Dr. Crary. “This can happen anywhere in the foot or ankle, but the second and third metatarsals are usually hit with stress fractures more frequently.”

More from Dr. Crary on stress fractures here.

Ankle Sprain

Like most injuries, a sprained ankle can be very moderate, causing minimal pain or severe and make walking and standing difficult or painful. All ankle sprains involve twisting of the foot, causing damage to the ligaments of the ankle. Inversion ankle sprains are the most common type and are caused by twisting the foot inward, resulting in damage to the outer ligaments as they are stretched. Eversion sprains, caused by twisting the foot outward, usually cause more severe damage to the inside ankle ligaments.

Learn how to care for a sprained ankle here.


Experiencing pain in the ball of your foot? Tingling and numbness? These are symptoms often associated with a neuroma, a condition involving a pinched nerve in the foot. The main symptom people experience with a neuroma is pain between the toes while walking. While there is not an exact cause, many different things may play a role in the development of a neuroma, such as flat feet or feet with high arches, overuse or stress, shoe size and style, and trauma. These factors may cause inflammation, instability, and stress, which may lead to a neuroma.

For many, non-surgical treatment is common. Recommended treatment may include finding more appropriate/supportive footwear, using orthotic inserts, or corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.

Heel Spur

A heel spur is a calcium deposit that results in a bony protrusion on the heel bone. When the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissues that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to forefoot, stretches away from the heel. Athletes with either very flat feet or high arches may be more prone to this condition. Other contributing factors include running on hard surfaces, improper footwear, age or weight, walking gait that places stress on the heel, and even diabetes. Heel spurs can cause extreme pain in the rearfoot, especially while standing or walking.

The majority of people with heel spurs are treated non-surgically by either one of the following or a combination: physical therapy, heel stretching exercises, orthotics, muscle and tendon tapping, and anti-inflammatory medication.

About Rebound Sports Medicine

Our team has cared for professional, collegiate and amateur athletes alike for over 50 years, and we’re proud to be the team physicians for the Portland Trail Blazers, Portland WinterHawks, and Portland State University’s Athletic Department.

About Rebound Foot & Ankle

The integrated team at Rebound offers the most advanced foot and ankle care in the Portland metropolitan area. We are dedicated to using the latest techniques in foot surgery to improve your recovery. Our foot doctors have expertise in complex foot reconstructive surgeries, hammer toe and bunion correction, ankle replacement, and common foot problems.