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Pickleball Injuries on the Rise

Pickleball – the highly competitive sport with a funny name – combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong and has recently become popular among people of all ages. But, while everyone’s having a lot of fun and getting some great exercise, foot and ankle surgeons caution players also need to be aware of injury risks and take precautions to avoid them.

Pickleball, like tennis, can put players at risk for many toe, foot and/or ankle injuries. Foot and ankle surgeons have seen an increase in injuries from their patients who play the active sport, including:


  • Ankle sprains, strains and fractures,
  • Achilles tendonitis, tears and strains,
  • Toenail injuries
  • Metatarsal fractures (bones of the foot)
  • Broken toes
  • Onychomycosis (a fungal infection of the toenail)

To protect against injury on the court, players of any age or fitness level should always warm up and stretch before a practice or a game, and cool down afterward. They should also be sure to wear proper athletic shoes that are well-fitting, supportive and broken-in, as well as appropriate orthotics as needed for things like additional arch support.
Everyone – from little kids to their grandparents - need to be smart and immediately address any injuries that happen on the court. As a first step, players can use the RICE approach - rest, ice, compression, and elevation - for less serious injuries and allow time for recovery before hitting the court again.
If the pain persists, it may be signaling something more serious that requires a professional diagnosis and treatment plan from a foot and ankle surgeon. For players who find themselves in a “pickle,” early intervention is the key to proper healing.

Why choose a foot and ankle surgeon?

About Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Foot and ankle surgeons are the leading experts in foot and ankle care today. As doctors of podiatric medicine, they are the board-certified surgical specialists of the podiatric profession. Foot and ankle
surgeons have more education and training specific to the foot and ankle than other healthcare providers.

Foot and ankle surgeons treat all conditions affecting the foot and ankle, from the simple to the complex, in patients of all ages including injuries sustained while playing pickleball, as well as ankle sprains, strains and fractures; Achilles tendonitis, tears and strains; toenail injury; metatarsal fractures, and broken toes. Their intensive education and training qualify foot and ankle surgeons to perform a wide range of surgeries, including any surgery that may be indicated for pickleball related injuries.