Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
Tennis involves a great deal of foot work. Foot and ankle injuries can occur from the continuous side to side and quick stopping and starting motions required in this sport. The playing surface also plays a role, as hard courts are less forgiving compared to clay courts. Tennis players should be aware of the following risks:
- Inversion ankle sprains can damage the ankle ligaments, and can also be associated with peroneal tendon injuries and fractures.
- Overuse and excessive training can lead to heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis (or PTTD), and calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents.