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Sports Medicine/Possible Toe/Foot Injury

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Question
Hi Dr. Bob!

I'm a competitive gymnast, and about a week ago at practice I ended up "wrecking" and hurting my foot. During the fall, I struck my left foot rather hard at the ball and bent all of my toes back quite far. My entire foot immediately felt strange and numb, almost like I had no distinction between any parts in it.

My coach told me to be kind to my foot that day and watch for swelling. There was none, so I was sent home with a clean bill of health.

An hour after getting home, my foot bruised and swelled up nicely. Every day since my foot looks a different shade, with the bruises specifically crawling up my middle and ring toes. I used crutches on and off for a few days, then eventually just stopped when I realized how bad I am at using crutches.

While I can't say the pain has gotten any better, I can't say it's gotten any worse. The only specific pain I can describe is that if I start to raise up on my toes or bend them backwards then I get a very quick, almost pulling, pain.

The thing that bothers me, however, is that I'm not feeling any real pain. Whenever I walk I feel this completely strange feeling inside the top of my foot, almost like it was about to burst from pressure. Sometimes I catch myself limping a little, even though there isn't any real pain if I leave my toes alone.
Also, my foot has been falling asleep very easily, getting pins and needles along with a burning sensation if I wear too tight of shoes.

Should I be concerned? I haven't seen a doctor at all (zero health insurance) but something about bruising that keeps getting worse and a funny sensation gives me a bad feeling.

Thanks!
-Lauren

PS: Forgot to mention. I NEVER bruise. I've literally been struck directly across the knee with a metal bar and not bruised. I've broken my finger/knuckle once and that didn't really bruise either.

Answer
Hi Lauren, first of all as a competitive gymnast, ideally we would get X-ray, MRI or best diagnostic ultrasound. However, don't think you'd be walking around if you fractured or tore something. If possible get opinion of doc who works with your team, even superficially. Let foot calm down, probably sprained the soft tissues & metatarsal joints. Try 2 ibuprophen 3xday for 10 days, TAKE IT EASY, do ice, whirlpool- hot & cold both good for this. I would expect sensations to lesson & things to improve over next couple weeks. Don't push it-- if progress doesn't continue -- SEE SPORTS  doc or therapist. Ice, whirlpool 1-2/day
Hope this helps-- let me know-- good luck, Dr. Bob Weil

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Dr. Bob Weil

Expertise

Diagnosis & treatment & PREVENTION of foot & foot related lower extremity sports related problems. Indications & uses of prescription in shoe orthotics. Foot, ankle functional exercises for injury prevention & enhanced performance. Specific specialty in orthotic use in figure skating & hockey. Access to all topics re sports medicine at sportsdoctorradio.com- radio shows & articles re "the physical & mental challenges of the high performance youth athlete.

Experience


Publications
Podiatry Management Magazine, 9/10/10, "Hitting the Airwaves- this podiatrist uses his own radio show to promote Podiatry Podiatry Management Mag-6/-7/2010, "Figure Skating, Olympic Gold, & Podiatry Lower Extremity Review,7/2012, Pediatric Obesity weighs on Bones & Joints Numerous articles,"the sports doctor"- listed sportsdoctorradio.com- news articles 3 years of weekly radio shows, "the sports doctor", listed sportsdoctorradio.com-radio shows

Education/Credentials
BA degree science Univ. Louisville, Doctor Podiatric Medicine, Scholls College Podiatric Medicine, Chicago, Ill.

Past/Present Clients
Treated many athletes in all sports, tennis- John McEnroe, Tracy Austin, numerous members of 85 Super Bowl Bears Evan Lysacek, 2010 men's Olympic Gold Medal figure skating champion.

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