Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: sprained ankle

Wikimedia Commons Nicole Kidman is a trouper. While husband Keith Urban was doing a surprise benefit concert in support of frontline workers in Tennessee she showed up all smiles while donning a walking boot. Turns out she was running around her neighborhood and didn't see a pothole.  She rolled her ankle and ended up breaking it. 

You might think foot and ankle injuries occur most often in the young and the restless or athletes. But just as often, hanging out at home can be just as hazardous. One of the most common dangers is slamming your toe into a dresser or other hard object in the middle of the night.

But there are many other hazards in the home and backyard which can lead to a broken ankle an other foot injuries. Now that you're home more, scanning your house and yard for tripping dangers will help prevent a broken ankle or worse.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Don't go barefoot - as much as you might want to kick off your shoes while cleaning up your yard or gardening, don't do it. Lack of foot support can lead to trip, fall, and twisted ankle.  It's best to wear tennis shoes or a clog like Oofos (which can also be helpful for people with heel pain) when in the garden.    
  • Check your shoes to wear - turn your tennis shoes over. Do you see any uneven wear? If so, it's time to buy a new pair.  Worn out shoes do not provide good support.
  • Always wear closed toed shoes when mowing your lawn.
  • Check your yard for stray hoses, fallen tree limbs, and divots. 
  • Remove clutter from your home - now is a great time to clean up the areas of your home that are potential fall hazards.  In particular, remove any objects on the floor.
  • Check area rugs to ensure edges can't come up and that there's non-slip backing.
  • Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall. If needed, have an electrician install another outlet.
  • Install a night light so you can see where you're going in the middle of the night.

What To Do If You Think Your Ankle Is Broken

So you've fallen and your ankle is killing you. Should you go see your podiatrist or doctor? The short answer is yes, if you want to make sure it's not broken. It's almost impossible to tell without an X-ray if your ankle is broken or sprained. The truth is that a sprain can take much longer to heal than a fracture or break.

Whatever you decide to do, it's important to take action right away to keep down the inflammation, swelling and pain you'll experience with either situation. We recommend using the RICE protocol to accomplish this. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

  • Rest - stop all physical activity and don't put any weight on the affected ankle.
  • Ice - apply an ice pack to the affected area (with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice), 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
  • Compression - use an elastic or Ace bandage to provide compression to the area.
  • Elevate - keep the ankle elevated as much as possible.

If the affected ankle isn't healing after a week or so, please make an appointment with our office. In addition to an X-ray, an MRI may be required to assess damage to the underlying soft tissue.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

We are now offering telemedicine in addition to in person appointments.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

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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Photo credit: Wikimedia, Georges Biard

By Dr. Rion Berg
September 13, 2016
Category: sports injuries
Tags: sprained ankle  

Russell Wilson pulled off another last minute game saving win as he threw a touchdown for the Seahawks, beating out the Miami Dolphins on Sunday with a 12-10 win. What's more amazing is that he did it after his ankle was sprained as a result of being accidentally stepped on by a defensive tackle much larger than him. Of course he's tough but he's also paid to make sure the Seahawks win no matter what.

Don't make that same mistake if you're playing your favorite sport and you feel a twinge of pain from a twist or jump. While Russell Wilson has the advantage of top notch athletic trainers and Sports Medicine physicians waiting on the sideline, most of us won't have the same service.

Playing through any injury is risky since you won't have the benefit of an onsite examination and evaluation. It's impossible to know if you've broken a bone or how badly you've torn a ligament.

If you do get injured it's best use the following protocol to keep down pain and inflammation:

  • Rest

  • Apply ice

  • Apply compression to the ankle

  • Elevate the injured ankle

Russell has been given the go ahead to practice on Wednesday and play this coming Sunday. However, it's very likely if he tore a ligament, he'll have problems later on because once a ligament is stretched out if doesn't go back to its original shape. Because of this, ankles with torn ligaments are usually more stiff and unstable.

So now that you have the skinny on playing through pain, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, if you get injured. For injuries we can usually see you same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+


Two time professional champion of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” Julianna Hough is hitting her stride after tearing a ligament in her foot several months ago. She’s now back to her regular exercise regime. For someone who is on their feet a lot and puts them through rigorous workouts, it’s important to be fully healed before more stress and strain on their most valuable asset.

Most likely Ms. Hough had a severe ankle sprain along with her torn ligament. There are three ligaments in your ankle; they act like rubber bands connecting one bone to another and binding the joints together. In the ankle joint they provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement. Ligaments are usually torn as a result of a severe injury such as a sudden twist or a blow to the foot and ankle that puts in out of alignment.

Regardless, as your Seattle podiatrist need to let you know that if you’ve sustained an ankle sprain it’s essential to have it checked out and treated as soon as possible. I recommend applying the RICE protocol, to reduce swelling. Once I examine the sprain and you’ve had an X-ray, I’ll make further recommendations so that you can begin the healing process. Usually treatment can be accomplished using more conservative methods. However serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments.

Call us at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City right away at 206-368-7000 if you’ve sustained an ankle injury and we’ll try to get you in same day.

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 27, 2014
Category: Heel pain
Tags: heel pain   bunions   Madonna   Macklemore   sprained ankle  

Madonna strutted her stuff with Seattle’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the Grammy’s last night even though she’s still healing from an injury caused by wearing high heels. She instagrammed her friends before her performance telling them “"It's official! I'm off my crutches and I'm looking for the perfect pair of heels to wear to the Grammys”.Apparently she bruised the bone of her foot a little over a week ago and was seen not long after working out at the gym with her crutches. Now that’s crazy dedication to looking good.

It seems like our celebrity blog log of foot injuries just keeps rolling along. And most of these injuries are the result of wearing high heels. Of course last week we heard about a diving injury sustained by Uma Foden of Splash! fame but that’s more unusual. Swimming is one of the safest things you can do to stay active throughout your life. Diving--not so much.

I know no matter how much I tell my patients to lay off the high heels, it’s just not going to happen. Some of my patients work at jobs where they have to be on their feet all day and they wear heels as a standard of fashion.

Unfortunately the results of high heel wear are foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and an increased likelihood of falling and twisting an ankle.

Even for my heel loving patients I can offer some preventive advice:

  • If you wear high heels regularly, be sure to alternate the height of your heels which can help prevent tightening of your Achilles tendon. If this tendon gets too tight you place yourself at greater risk of heel pain.
  • Stretching your achilles/calf muscle daily particularly before exercise will also prevent tightening of this muscle.
  • When wearing heels, protect the ball of your foot with a pad in the shoe or gel pad applied to your foot.

If you do start to experience pain as a result of high heel wear, don’t ignor it. It will only make things worse over time. Call us 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online and we’ll do whatever we can to get you back to the dance floor.