≡ Menu

Latest News

Tips for Preventing Kids’ Foot/Ankle Sports Injuries

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

You don’t have to be “old” to experience a sports injury! Though your children may be more nimble than you, they are still at risk for experiencing a sprain, strain, fracture, or some other sports-related foot/ankle injury. A new infographic from The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) takes a closer look at foot and ankle injuries in children, as well as what you can do, as a parent, to reduce their risk of injury.

Facts About Pediatric Foot & Cleat Injuries

Injuries in younger athletes typically fall into one of three categories: growth-related injury, overuse injury, or acute presentations.

  • 10% of all injuries seen in the ER are ankle sprains. {Tweet This}
  • 83% of ankle injuries are diagnosed as ligament sprains with incomplete tears.
  • 90% of ankle sprains are due to poor field conditions. {Tweet This}
  • Flat feet or a rigid arch and use of improper or won-out footwear may increase the risk of developing shin splints.
  • Overuse injuries include Achilles tendonitis and stress fractures.
  • Rubber cleats are not necessary for children under 10; use an all-purpose sports shoe.
  • Metal spikes should not be used until teenage years.
  • In football, the foot and ankle account for 16% of all injuries.
  • The ankle is the second most common site of injury in basketball players after the shoulder.
  • Pediatric heel pain is very different from adult heel pain; it does not get better with walking around. {Tweet This}
Pediatric Foot Injuries Infographic (PRNewsFoto/ACFAS)

Pediatric Foot Injuries Infographic (PRNewsFoto/ACFAS)

Preventing Foot & Ankle Injuries

As a Houston orthopedic physician, I see many foot and ankle injuries. Here are a few things the ACFAS recommends doing in order to reduce the risk of these injuries in your child:

  1. Always get a pre-season check-up/wellness exam.
  2. Ease into the new sports season slowly. The body needs time to adjust.
  3. Wear the right type of footwear for the activity. (See fact list above for info about when cleats and spikes are appropriate.)
  4. Pay attention to your child’s technique.
  5. Make sure your child knows they should tell you if they’re experiencing pain.
  6. In the event of an injury, use the R.I.C.E. method.

Discuss Injury Prevention With a Houston Orthopedic Physician

To learn more about what you can do to reduce the risk of foot/ankle injury for your kids, talk to your Houston orthopedic physician at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. Schedule online or call (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.