Our Cup Runneth Over With Injuries

There are some real thrills and chills happening these days on the world sport stage.  Baseball may be moderately exciting, and football and basketball are in the off season (right?), but the World Cup contest continues, and it seems that at least a full 10% of the USA population is watching the competition, although that number may have dropped since our team was eliminated (I think).  Of course this NYC podiatrist is more interested in the injuries that are plaguing the games.  Who knew soccer was so dangerous?  Anyway, let’s talk about some of the more common injuries, most of which have previously been discussed in the hallowed halls of this most sacred blog.

Metatarsal fractures: Let’s do the twist!  The metatarsals are the long bones in the foot, and the fifth metatarsal is particularly susceptible to injury due to its location and function as an attachment point for some biomechanically important tendons.  In a twisting injury, such as tripping in the house, falling off a bus, or a dramatic wipeout in a soccer game, the tendons remain firmly attached to the bone, and the base of the bone is pulled off the bone, or the shaft of the bone fractures in a spiral pattern.  Although it sounds devastating, these heal very well with partial immobilization in a fracture boot.

Ankle sprain/fracture: Just like the metatarsal fracture, an ankle sprain is a twisting injury.  As we age the bones become weaker and the ligaments and tendon remain relatively strong.  Therefore, a similar twisting injury pattern in a young patient will produce a force on a strong bone, which remains intact, causing a pull or tear of the ligaments or tendon.  In an older patient, the ligaments and tendons remain strong, and as they remain intact and pull on the bone, the bones fracture.  This is relatively common in soccer, apparently.  While there are many different types of injury with varying degrees of severity, most heal very well with immobilization in a brace or boot, physical therapy, and on rare occasion, surgery.  Keep in mind that ankle fractures are very slow to heal, and the injury tends to linger for a while even in the best case scenario.

Well there you go.  For the mildly interested American audience, at least we got a little gore.  Don’t worry if you haven’t gotten into the game yet, only 30% of the world’s population watched the last final match, so we can commiserate with the other 70%.  I’m going to go see if there’s a Gilligan’s Island rerun somewhere on cable.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson