Volleyball Injuries to the Foot and Ankle

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.

The repetitive jumping and side to side movements required in volleyball increase the risk of injuries to the foot and ankle. Volleyball players should be aware of the following:

  • Inversion ankle sprains are a common injury in this sport. Ankle sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to determine the extent of injury, including possible peroneal tendon injuries or fractures. The foot and ankle surgeon will develop a treatment plan: failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains. 
  • 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.

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