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Athletic Training

Pain in the top of the foot

09/19/2007

Question:

When playing tennis, I`ve been feeling painful twinges in the top of the foot (if the foot and ankle form an L, the pain stabs in the crook). On a dissection plate, the inferior extensor retinaculum seems to be the area. Generally, the twinge is just that--uncomfortable for the moment, but not disabling. Today, though, when moving forward quickly, I felt twinges in the same place and in the Achilles tendon, and it was painful enough that I did have to stop playing. Diagnosis and/or treatment suggested?

Answer:

Given the fact the your pain has now become a hindrance to your activity, a visit to your personal physician is probably in order.  While many foot and ankle injuries respond well to relative rest and therapeutic treatment and exercise, it is first important to know what type of injury you have.  A diagnostic test (X-Ray, MRI, etc.), ordered by your physician, can be a good place to start to rule out significant pathologies such as fractures and stress reactions.  Once a working diagnosis has been established, a certified athletic trainer or therapist can direct you in a treatment and rehabilitation protocol that will hopefully allow you to eventually return to full activity.

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Response by:

Robert W Sweeney, MS, ATC Robert W Sweeney, MS, ATC
Athletic Trainer
Clnical Instructor
The School of Allied Medical Proffesions
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University