Foot/Ankle Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine Problems of the Foot & Ankle

Sports medicine injury of the foot, ankle or even heel or toe is a big part of our podiatry practice. Our podiatrists at our Northwest Indiana podiatrist office know the value of regular exercise and competitive sports and athletics. Dr. Nirenberg or “Dr. Mike” as patients call him, loves treating sports medicine injury of the heel, foot or ankle in athletes. Foot and ankle injury problems our podiatrists provide treatment for ranges from those people with a running injury to children with an ankle sprain to those people who are the proverbial “weekend warrior” who injures their foot or ankle.

Dr. Nirenberg exercises on a regular basis and knows first-hand how important it is to keep people moving, whether just walking the dog, jogging or running on the treadmill or performing in a competitive sport, such as baseball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, track, or football. Dr. Nirenberg and our entire Northwest Indiana podiatrist practice strives to do our very best to resolve your sports medicine foot or ankle injury as fast as possible–and keep you on your feet.

At Friendly Foot Care, our podiatric physicians treat sports medicine problems of the heel, foot and ankle problems in athletes of all ages, from children to the elderly. Women’s Adventure Magazine, the Canadian Medical Association Journal and Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine have sought Dr. Nirenberg’s sports medicine expertise.

Many of our sports medicine patients are competitive athletes while others are simply people who want to walk, jog or run for better health. So if you are pro-athlete or weekend warrior, our doctors can accommodate your sports medicine injury or problem. We know how a painful ankle sprain or twisted ankle or ankle injury can lay you up and we are experts are getting you back to your favorite activity quickly.

Our podiatrist office treats people with a sports foot and ankle injury (including ankle sprain) from all of Northwest Indiana (Lake County and Porter County). If you are looking for a podiatrist in Valparaiso, or podiatrist in Gary, Merrillville, podiatrist in Schererville, podiatrist in Dyer, Winfield, podiatrist in St. John, podiatrist in Highland, Portage, Chesterton, podiatrist in Cedar Lake, podiatrist in Griffith, Lowell, Wheatfield, Hobart, podiatrist in Hammond, Munster, Lafayette, Michigan City, Kouts, East Chicago and Valparaiso, or even Chicago, call us today at (219)663-2273!


Innovative Technology

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Our podiatrists use state-of-the-art sports medicine injury technology to keep your heel, feet, ankle and entire lower extremity well-aligned and functioning at its very best.

Besides using diagnostic ultrasound and real-time fluoroscopy to evaluate foot and ankle injuries, our podiatrists may use Dartfish gait analysis video software. “Gait” refers in most basic terms to how we move, which is often running or walking. Dartfish gait analysis software was developed in Switzerland and has won numerous awards, including the Tabby Award winner in Sport and Fitness, and numerous medal-winning Olympic athletes use it.

Our award winning Indiana licensed podiatry practice treats sports medicine injury of the heel, toe, foot and ankle for Northwest Indiana, including Highland, Merrillville, Schererville, Valparaiso, Hobart, Lafayette, Kouts, Dyer, Portage, Gary, Dyer, Winfield, Cedar Lake, Griffith, Lowell, St. John, DeMotte, Hammond, and Chesterton. If you have a sports injury or sports-related foot or ankle problem, call us today at (219)663-2273!


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The impact of basketball injury on our feet and ankles after a great jump shot is substantial and as a result, foot and ankle sprain and other injury during basketball is common and these foot and ankle injury issues can be severe. Our podiatrists know the importance of properly treating a basketball foot injury or basketball ankle injury to prevent long term complications, such as a lifetime of pain or foot and ankle weakness or instability.

Basketball injury of the foot or basketball injury of the ankle can range from a simple sore toenail to a torn Achilles tendon or ligament, an ankle sprain or twisted ankle, or even a fracture of the ankle or foot (or in some cases, both!). Other common basketball injuries our podiatrist office sees include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and sprains and strains.


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Gymnasts appear to move gracefully, even effortlessly, but the reality is that gymnastics can strain and injure our feet and ankles. Our podiatrists know how important gymnastics is to those people involved in the sport and they strive to get gymnasts back on their feet as quickly as possible. Gymnastic foot injury and gymnastic ankle injury can be serious. The gymnastic injury can sprain or fracture the foot or ankle.

The most common gymnastic injury our podiatrists see is a sprained ankle. Ankle sprains in gymnasts can be minor or severe. In severe sprains, the ankle ligaments can stretch or even tear, and if these are not properly treated, gymnasts can be at risk for a lifetime of pain and weakness and instability.

Other gymnastic injuries our doctors see include ankle weakness, pulled tendons and even tendon tears, sesamoid bone injury (sesmoiditis), plantar fasciitis (heel pain), neuromas, painful bunions and fractures.


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Baseball may look tame but our podiatrists have seen bones broken from the impact with the ball. Players feet and ankles are subjected to sprinting, twisting and sliding. The upshot is that baseball players often injure their feet or ankles. Baseball injury of the foot or ankle can be minor or very serious. The baseball injury can cause an ankle sprain (twisted ankle), ankle fracture or baseball injury of a tendon of the foot or ankle. The baseball injuries that our podiatrists see in the office include fractures, sprains, ligament tears, ankle weakness, tendon tears and high impact contusions to the foot and ankle.


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Nothing is better than executing the perfect spike in volleyball, at least until you land. That is when your feet and ankles endure the brunt of the impact. When a volleyball player’s feet are not landing after a jump, side-to-side movement can stress them. As a result foot and ankle injuries especially ankle sprains are common in volleyball players. Worse, ligaments can rupture and tendons can tear. Volleyball injury of the foot or ankle should be treated promptly. If you have a volleyball foot injury or volleyball ankle injury, call us today and we work to schedule you for treatment of the volleyball injury with one of podiatrists.

Our podiatrists often use our in-office diagnostic ultrasound technology to check for an injury to ligaments or tendons. If these problems are not correctly treated, the foot and ankle can remain sore and weak for years.

Running (in shoes and even barefoot)

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Runners are at high risk for injury. Dr. Nirenberg is an avid runner and participates in barefoot and minimalist running (and has even penned a chapter on the subject!). Running injury of the heel, foot and ankle is common. Our podiatrist office treats running injury of the heel, foot and ankle often, and our podiatrists know how important it is to get runners foot or ankle problem solved quickly so they can get back to what they love – running.

Our podiatrists treat a host of runners, from those who run marathons to weekend joggers. The repetitive nature of running can cause many different problems for runners, including running-related heel injury and heel pain (plantar fasciitis), or even a running-related foot fractures or heel fracture (or a stress fractures). Running takes a toll on the tendons in the foot and ankle and running can cause severe tendonitis or a running injury can tear a tendon (rupture a tendon). Other running problems include bursitis (particularly painful bursitis of the heel), running nerve problems (such as a neuroma or tarsal tunnel syndrome) or a serious running injury, such as an ankle sprain or foot fracture.

Runners can easily take a wrong step and end up with an ankle sprain or twisted ankle, or a foot injury, including a foot or ankle fracture (broken bone), strained ankle or ligament, or torn tendon. Running injury can occur nowadays just about anywhere – both indoors and outdoors. Our podiatrist office treats treadmill running injury of the foot or ankle, or treadmill walking injury of the foot or ankle, and we have seen elliptical injury to the foot and ankle as well.

Most runners dread the thought of not being able to run because of an injury. The doctors at our practice strive to keep runners running, while alleviating their foot or ankle problem, or at a minimum, getting the patient running as soon as possible. If you have a running injury of the foot or ankle, do not run through it hoping it will subside (which it often does not), make an appointment for treatment with one of our podiatrists.

Barefoot running is common nowadays, and Dr. Nirenberg has long worn minimalist shoes when running and usually wears a minimalist, zero drop heel shoe in the office (Vibram). Barefoot running and barefoot runners will find Dr. Nirenberg very knowledgeable about the benefits of barefoot running (and the risks). Barefoot running is not for everyone, though there is scientific evidence as to the benefits of barefoot running and walking — he is truly a barefoot friendly podiatrist!


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Dancing may not be considered a sport but dance can be just a grueling as many other sports. Dance injury of the foot or dance injury of the ankle can be minor or serious.

Dancers often subject their body, and particularly their feet, to severe stress. Common problems our podiatrists treat with dancers includes dance injury of the toenail (including an ingrown toenail), a nerve entrapment, shin splints, tendonitis and heel pain (plantar fasciitis). Some dancers end up with a twisted ankle or ankle sprain, or even a torn tendon or fracture! If you love to dance you do not have to pay the piper – just visit our Northwest Indiana podiatrist office so our podiatrist can provide treatment of your dance-related foot injury or dance-related ankle injury or ankle sprain – before the problem becomes worse!


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The severe intensity of football puts the feet and ankles at risk for a large number of injuries. A football player’s ankle may be twisted or torqued excessively during a football game, or another football player may even step on your toe, foot or ankle. The result may be a football-related injury that tears a ligament or causes a tendon tear or foot or ankle fracture. Our podiatrist office commonly sees foot or ankle injury related to football (or other sports) that includes an ankle sprain (or twisted ankle), foot fracture, torn tendon, ligament injury, ankle weakness or ankle’s that give out.

Some football injuries are overlooked, such as a subtle fracture of the foot called a Lis Franc fracture. A Lis Franc fracture can occur during football or other sports and is often overlooked. If you have pain following a football injury, see us promptly to make sure you do not have a serious football injury of your foot or ankle.

Our podiatrists often use a combination of x-rays and diagnostic ultrasound to diagnose football injuries of the heel, foot and ankle. In severe cases, the doctor may also examine the foot or ankle in our office using real-time fluoroscopy or send the injured player for an MRI or CT scan of their foot or ankle.


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Most injuries to the foot or ankle during soccer are the result of trauma; instead of kicking the ball, a player kicks someone’s foot. The common problems are podiatrists see include sprains, ligament tears, tendon tears, and fractures. Soccer foot injury and soccer ankle injury is common. Our podiatrist office sees soccer players who have an ankle sprain (twisted ankle), tendon tear, weak ankle, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, foot pain, ankle pain or a fracture.

Soccer requires a lot of intense running and kicking and often crowding around the ball can cause another soccer player to kick your toe, foot or ankle or soccer can cause you to twist your foot or sprain your ankle. The result of this intense soccer activity can be a fracture of the foot or ankle or tendon tear or ligament tear of the foot ankle. If you have a soccer foot or ankle injury, do not let the injury go — call us today!

Ankle Sprain, Ankle Injury and Ankle Weakness in Athletes

Athletes who have a severe ankle sprain may tear the ankle ligaments and may end up having a weak ankle, ankle instability, ankle pain, or difficulty walking. Repeated ankle sprains may be sign you have a torn ankle ligament. If you have ankle weakness or continue to sprain your ankle, it is important to see one our podiatrist sports medicine experts sooner than later.


Knee, Hip or Back Pain Could Be Related to Your Feet

Often knee, hip, ankle, foot and even back pain relates to the way our feet are functioning. After all, our feet serve as our foundation and they when they are misaligned our whole body can be affected. By improving the biomechanics of our feet, problems throughout our body may improve—this is especially true for athletes who have knee pain.

We also use special wraps and braces and custom made foot orthotics to keep get our patients well faster and keep them moving. When surgery is needed, our podiatrists often use arthroscopic cameras to solve the problem through tiny incisions on an “out-patient” basis or other minimal incision techniques. The bottom line is we do everything we can to get our athletes “back in the game” as quickly as possible.

Common Sports Medicine Problems of the Foot & Ankle

Sports medicine problems of the heel, foot and ankle we treat include:

  • Dislocations
  • Ingrown Toe Nails
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome
  • Runner’s Toe, Runner’s foot pain
  • Stress Fracture, foot fracture, ankle fracture
  • Capsulitis, joint inflammed
  • Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)
  • Posterior Tibial Tendonitis or tendon tear
  • Friberg’s Necrosis, avascular necrosis
  • Bunions (Hallux Valgus)
  • Hallux Rigidus/Limitus (big toe pain)
  • Numbness, Burning, Shooting pain
  • Treadmill foot injury, treadmill ankle injury
  • Barefoot running injury

Our foot and ankle podiatry practice treats sports medicine injury of the heel, foot and ankle for people throughout Indiana and Northwest Indiana, including Merrillville, Schererville, Valparaiso, Hobart, Lafayette, Kouts, Dyer, Portage, Gary, Dyer, Highland, St. John, Cedar Lake, Griffith, Lowell, Wheatfield, DeMotte, Rensselaer, Hammond, Munster and Chesterton. If you have a foot or ankle injury or other sports problem, call for an appointment today at (219)663-2273!

If you have a sports medicine injury of the heel, foot or ankle, please give us a call at 219-663-2273 or make an appointment online today.

To schedule your first visit, call us today at (219)663-2273

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