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Common lower extremity injuries

Common lower extremity injuries

It could happen while running or even when you are simply walking…an injury to the lower part of your leg. Unfortunately, these injuries are not uncommon and they can end up being so painful that they disrupt your daily life.

Some of these lower leg injuries impact your foot and heel, which can worsen over time if proper treatment isn’t used. 

Achilles Tendon Rupture

The tendon behind the ankle is known as the Achilles tendon. When this tears, it ruptures, causing extreme pain. This usually happens from trauma or injury, like when jumping and then landing poorly on your heel. 

Common lower extremity injuries

Normal movement of the foot and ankle is impossible and this injury causes the inability to raise your foot. This can take weeks to recover.

To heal properly and to restore natural movement, surgery is needed. For optimal visibility, the surgery will be performed with the back of your ankle facing up. An incision will be made and the area examined. To bridge pieces of the destroyed tendon together, special instruments will be used by your surgeon. Then, the ends of the tendons will be stitched together.

Your foot and ankle will be carefully bandaged and placed in a cast for 4 to 8 weeks. You will need to keep weight off of the injury and possibly attend physical therapy. The total recovery time for surgery to repair an Achilles tendon rupture is an expected 4 to 6 months. 

Achilles Tendinopathy

This is when the Achilles tendon sustains overuse. The injury is common among runners and athletes and is known to last months or even years. It usually starts with intense workouts.

This condition can also be caused by repeated tiny injuries that were not fully healed. Those with arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes are more prone to Achilles tendinopathy as well.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness of the Achilles tendon. These symptoms usually worsen as the day goes on. 

Luckily, surgery isn’t always needed if caught early on. With plenty of rest, ice pack applications, stretches, and exercises, you could heal within 3 to 6 months. Your doctor may also suggest special orthotics or physical therapy. 

Tibia or Fibula Stress Fracture

This injury is when the bone tissue breaks faster than the bone can repair itself. It is common in the lower leg, like the tibia and fibula. The lower leg pain can go away from time to time with rest, but it could possibly linger for months. 

Tiny breaks in the bone can lead to a complete break if not treated. Stress fractures are caused by overuse, improper training, improper shoes, or even flat feet. 

You should always see your foot doctor right away. Surgery is usually needed to stabilize the stress fracture. 

During surgery, a stable internal fixation is screwed onto the tiny breaks. This will help keep the fractured bone aligned properly so it can heal. You will need to avoid placing weight on your foot following surgery for 3 to 10 weeks. A cast or boot is also needed along with possible physical therapy.

Treatment Options at The Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona

There are always options when it comes to the proper treatment approach to your lower leg injury. At The Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, we offer non-surgical procedures that are less of a risk than traditional surgery. Plus, they are more affordable and require less recovery time. 

Stem cell therapy can help relieve pain and discomfort while producing cartilage. Shockwave therapy has virtually no risks or side effects and results are seen immediately. Sessions only take about 5 to 10 minutes and over 80 percent of patients have reported being pain-free after just 4 weeks.

These options promote natural healing of the tissue and are a much easier process than surgery, delivering remarkable results. If you are suffering from a foot or ankle injury, meet with the team at The Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona to learn about ankle pain treatments and heel pain treatments in Scottsdale. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, every patient receives specialized care while being provided with only the most excellent customer service. We will provide you with the right treatment option, using only the finest medical equipment.


Dr. Kris Dinucci