Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for tag: sports injuries

By Dr. Bruce Theall
April 30, 2015
Category: sports injury

The 2015 NBA Playoffs are well underway, and there are always some kind of injuries considering the high impact sport has on the feet and ankles.  Mike Conley, point guard of the Memphis Grizzlies knows this better than anyone else.  He recently sprained his right ankle in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans and has been playing through the pain since.  Warmer weather is just around the corner, and everyone is going to be heading outdoors to enjoy the nicer weather.  For our sports fans out there, basketball season is here, but before we lace up our high tops, let’s take a second to remember our safety and proper footwear to help avoid injury.

The most common injury involved with basketball, as well as many other sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball, is a lateral ankle (inversion) sprain.  More than 80% of all ankle injuries involve the lateral ankle resulting in the stretching or rupture of the ligaments that are around the ankle.   65% of chronic lateral ankle pain and instability is secondary to a previous ankle sprain.  Basketball is a high impact activity as well as fast paced, therefore, the athletes must be quick on their feet and be ready to change and shift positions faster than a blink of an eye.  Consequently, the number one risk factor for a lateral ankle sprain is a fast twisting motion to the ankle, which is true for those who have a history of a previous sprain.  Immediately following the ankle injury, aggressive rehabilitation featuring muscular strengthening and exercise is essential.  When conservative treatment fails, surgical repair of the ligaments is indicated.  Although ligamentous sprain and/or rupture is the most common with inversion injury, several other injuries are frequently encountered.  These include avulsion fracture of the fifth metatarsal base, Jones fracture, syndesmosis injury, calcaneal anterior process fracture, talar lateral process fracture, talar dome fracture, peroneal or flexor tendon injury and sural nerve damage.  

                Symptoms of an ankle sprain besides immediate pain and discomfort is also immediate swelling and bruising around the ankle in question of the injury.  Swelling should go down in a few days if there is a mild sprain, but for the more severe sprains, the swelling may persist for longer than normal.  Most ankle sprain injuries will be painful for the patient to walk on it and put weight on your foot, and your ankle may feel unstable.  Many athletes also recall hearing a ‘pop’ or ‘snap’ sound or actually feeling a tearing sensation at the time of the injury.  Other factors that can lead an ankle injury, are inappropriate shoe gear, excessive cushioning; shoe or surface, or even an irregular surface being your shoe.  You are recommended if the swelling does not go down and if the pain persists, to go to the podiatrist immediately, or closest emergency room.  Contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Footcare office at 973 – 673 – 3668, immediately if this occurs to you during your physical activity.

                Be sure to be safe when on the courts with lacing up your shoes correctly, hydrating with water on warmer days, and resting yourself at night while watching the 2015 NBA Playoffs after a good game. 

Walker Zimmerman is no stranger to the athletic world as several relatives have been successful in sports.  But despite the success of his family, his own success was not always a guarantee.  Growing almost four inches in two months as a 15-year-old helped lead to a diagnosis of Sever’s disease because the bones in his feet expanded at a quicker rate than the muscles and tendons could deal with.  This condition didn’t deter the now 19-year-old and his name now appears on lists of who Toronto FC should draft.

Sever’s disease is a condition that typically affects growing adolescents.  It can cause much pain and is dealt with through medical attention.  If you think that a young person you know is suffering from Sever’s disease, have them seek the care of a podiatrist such as Dr. Bruce Theall & Dr. Sammy of Gentle Touch Foot Care.  Dr. Theall can determine the cause of your pain as well as provide you with treatment options.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14. It occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth.


  • Acute pain – pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually in the heel when the child engages in physical activity
  • Highly active – very active children are among the most susceptible, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet
  • Improper pronation – the rolling of the foot during walking or running and obesity


  • Medication- over-the-counter meds will help with inflammation and reduce heel pain
  • One can also purchase shoe inserts which help support the heel and foot

If you have any questions, please visit our video library or contact our office located in East Orange, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.