Your feet and ankles take a beating when you’re playing baseball. Baseball players should be aware of the following risks.
- Ankle sprains may occur while running, fielding balls, stepping on or sliding into bases. Sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to determine the extent of injury, including possible peroneal tendon injuries or fractures. The foot and ankle surgeon will develop a treatment plan: failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains.
- Overuse or excessive training may sideline some athletes with Achilles tendinopathy or heel pain (often plantar fasiciitis, or calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents).
- Contusions may occur from impact with the ball or contact with other players.
- Cleats may pose challenges in the forefoot and aggravation of neuromas, sesamoids, bunions and hammertoes. To stay at the top of your game, ensure that cleats are fitted properly and have injuries evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
- One of the most common injuries seen in pitchers and catchers is ingrown toenails. If the nails are cut too short or at an angle, the torque and demand on the toes as they help balance the foot can lead to ingrowing. If ignored, this can lead to a nail infection (paronychia) and cellulitis (a potentially serious bacterial skin infection).