Skateboarding: tough on feet and ankles

Salidan pro skateboarder Derek Scott flies high at the new Salida Skatepark. Dr. Ralph Wentz says that skateboarding can cause serious foot and ankle injuries.

 

The thrill of trying out Salida’s new skatepark is drawing skateboarders of all skill levels to Centennial Park. While learning a basic skill such as “catching air” or mastering more advanced tricks is fun, it can be also be physically demanding and cause serious foot and ankle injuries.

The skateboarding injuries I see in my practice range from minor bruises and open wounds or cuts to more serious foot and ankle sprains and fractures that may require surgery.

Skateboarding can be particularly hard on your feet and ankles because of the impact caused when performing jumps and tricks on a hard surface such as concrete. 

The strain from repetitive, forceful motions can also cause painful foot and heel conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bone spurs and Achilles tendonitis. These conditions may call for more intensive, longer-term therapies.

Even minor cuts or abrasions on your feet can cause serious problems. Foot and ankle wounds that are not cleaned and covered properly can lead to serious staph infections and may require extensive antibiotic therapy and surgery to heal. 

Some of the most common skateboarding injuries are foot and ankle sprains and fractures. It’s important to see a foot and ankle surgeon to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for these injuries. 

Until you can be seen by a doctor, it is best to take a break from activities and use rest, ice, compression and elevation – commonly known as RICE therapy – to help reduce pain and control swelling around the injury.  

A common misconception about foot and ankle fractures is that if you can walk on the foot, it’s not broken. That’s not always the case, and only a proper diagnosis can rule out a serious injury requiring an advanced treatment plan.

To reduce the chance of injury, skateboarders should use caution and wear protective gear, including properly supportive shoes, when skateboarding. 

To learn more about foot and ankle injuries, visit foothealthfacts.org

To schedule an appointment for a foot or ankle issue, contact Wentz Foot & Ankle Specialists at 719-539-6600.

Dr. Ralph Wentz is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon in Salida and a fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

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