Are Foot and Ankle Injuries Sidelining Your Youth Soccer Player?

foot on soccer ballSoccer is an incredibly popular sport among youth in Seattle. Unfortunately it's also more dangerous than it used to be. Between 1990 and 2014 the the incidence of youth soccer players that wound up in the ER increased from 100 out of 10,000 to 225 out of 10,000. 

Girls are even prone to injuries than boys since boys gain muscle as they enter puberty but girls do not. According to the New York Times, girls run in a stiffer and straighter posture which may put them at greater risk when completing plays with twists and jumps.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we've seen our fair share of foot and ankle injuries in kids and teens that play soccer. Our goal is to get your children back to playing the sport they love as soon as possible.  

Here are some of the more common injuries and conditions we see in youth soccer players.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in youth soccer. In fact, researchers have estimated that ankle injuries account for 10 to 30% of all sports related injuries in young athletes and from 16 to 29% of all soccer specific injuries. It's almost impossible to tell if your soccer player has broken a bone or sprained an ankle without imaging--these include X-rays for identifying broken bones and ultrasound to find out the degree of soft tissue damage. Sometimes an MRI will be necessary.

While minor injuries can be treated with rest, protection of the site, and time away from the field, more severe ankle sprains will require immobilization and also rehabilitation through physical therapy. Sometimes surgery will be required.

Overuse Injuries

Heel pain and Achilles tendonitis are common overuse injuries in many sports including youth soccer. Both require reducing inflammation, correcting foot mechanics through orthotics, stretching and physical therapy.

Contusions and Bruises

Every time your youth soccer player gets kicked or wears shoes that don't quite fit right they place themselves at risk for contusions and bruises. For immediate treatment we recommend RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). It's also important for them to get further evaluation at our office to ensure the damage is not beyond superficial.

Ingrown Toenails and Other Front Foot Problems

Although some soccer players want a really tight fitting shoe, foot problems such as ingrown toenails, turf toe, and neuromas can occur. Purchasing a shoe that fits properly is essential to preventing these foot issues.

If your kids has sustained an injury while playing soccer, all us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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