Treatment for Sports-Related Foot & Ankle Injuries

Patients often turn to the experts at East Village Foot & Ankle Surgeons when they experience a sports injury. We offer a wide range of treatment options for your sports-related foot or ankle injury, and with clinics in Des Moines, Mason City, and Pella, we provide convenient, expert care for Iowans in the surrounding communities. It is our goal to get athletes and recreational sports participants of all ages back on their feet as quickly and safely as possible.

About Our Sports Medicine Expertise

At EVFAS, we place an emphasis in sports medicine and supporting athletes on the road to recovery, with our podiatrists having extensive training and expertise in the field. Dr. Justin J. Raatz, DPM, FACFAS has completed advanced training in sports-related ankle injuries, including ankle ligament and tendon reconstruction along with many other procedures. Our sports medicine trained podiatrists are proud to serve Iowans across the state and are dedicated to providing patients with the most effective and up-to-date foot and ankle care.

Learn more about the most common foot and ankle sports injuries we treat, and reach out to our team to find the best sports podiatrist near you at EVFAS.

Common Foot & Ankle Injuries in Sports

Sports injuries most often occur in the ankle. If you’ve suffered from a sports-related injury, it’s important to choose a podiatrist with experience in treating these types of injuries to ensure a complete and healthy recovery.

Ankle injuries are defined by the kind of tissue – bone, ligament, or tendon – that's damaged. The ankle is where three bones meet – the tibia and fibula of your lower leg with the talus of your foot. These bones are held together at the ankle joint by ligaments, which are strong elastic bands of connective tissue that keep the bones in place while allowing normal ankle motion. Tendons attach muscles to the bones to do the work of making the ankle and foot move, and help keep the joints stable. Because of the ankle movement and tissue involved, the following injuries are most common for athletes:

Sprains, Strains and Fractures

Sprains, strains and fractures are some of the most common sports-related foot and ankle injuries, and they can be difficult to identify on your own.

  • Fractures – a fracture describes a break in one or more of the bones. There are 30 bones in our foot and ankle that have to take on a lot of wear and tear as our feet are used each and every day. In addition to the high amounts of stress our foot and ankle bones are put through, they weaken with age making fractures very common. While treatment is based on the severity of your condition, our sports podiatrists at EVFAS will ensure you have a complete understanding of your options and are completely involved in the decision making process.
  • Strains – a strain refers to damage to muscles and tendons as a result of being pulled or stretched too far. In the ankle, there are two tendons that are often strained. These are the peroneal tendons which stabilize and protect the ankle. They can become inflamed as a result of overuse or trauma.
  • Sprains – an ankle sprain describes damage to ligaments when they are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. A ligament sprain can range from many microscopic tears in the fibers that comprise the ligament to a complete tear or rupture. They are painful and can lead to permanent damage if left unaddressed, and should be handled by a specialist. Learn more about sprains along with exercises to regain range of motion after an ankle sprain.


The inflammation of a tendon is called tendinitis. Microscopic tendon tears that accumulate over time, because of being repeatedly over stretched, and don't heal properly lead to a chronic condition called tendinosis. Tendinitis is most common in the heel and can also occur if a previous injury isn’t fully healed, or a tendon experiences repetitive trauma. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of tendonitis, it’s important to contact a sports podiatrist to avoid loss of strength or further injury. Symptoms of tendonitis may include pain when the affected tendon is touched, stiffness in the affected area, and in some cases a lump will appear on the affected area.

Plantar Fasciitis

This condition happens when the band of tissues – the plantar fascia – supporting the arch of your foot absorbs too much stress. When the tissues are strained from activities like running, they become inflamed, causing pain at the bottom of the heel. This pain is most evident in the mornings during those first few steps taken as well as after being on your feet for an extended period of time. While this pain can be difficult to tolerate, our sports podiatrists at EVFAS often treat patients with plantar fasciitis and see them live pain-free with proper treatment. It’s important you pay attention to these symptoms because if ignored, plantar fasciitis can lead to more chronic conditions down the road.

There are both non-surgical and surgical treatment options for plantar fasciitis depending on your condition. Our physicians use the most up-to-date ultrasound imaging and treatment options available. Those with a severe case will need to go through a procedure called plantar fascia release surgery. Your podiatrist may also recommend therapy that includes daily leg and foot stretches you can do in the comfort of your home.

Choose Iowa’s Leading Sports Medicine Podiatrists at EVFAS

At EVFAS, our podiatrists in Des Moines, Mason City, and Pella use state-of-the-art technologies and perform the latest procedures to ensure you get the best outcome possible. Find the best sports podiatrist near you and the treatment you deserve when you contact our foot and ankle clinic.