Using Tape to Help Tough Out Foot and Ankle Injuries

No matter what sport you are following this time of year, odds are good that you are going to see a few athletes using tape to support their feet and ankles. Recently, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls caused a stir over the use of ankle taping after he felt that the tape on his ankles hindered his ability to play to his full capabilities. Tape can be very beneficial for a wide variety of conditions in the foot and ankle in both athletes and non-athletes if done correctly.

While Derrick Rose suffered an ankle sprain last year during the playoffs, he was lucky enough to not miss any games due to the injury. This year he has not been so fortunate with his ankle injury and has been forced to miss playing time. Rose is right to take care of this injury because many ankle sprains can progress to cause chronic ankle instability requiring surgical treatment to fully cure, even when they are properly cared for. When the ligaments that stabilize the movements of the bones in and around the ankle joint become damaged, unnatural or excessive movement of the bones can result. These abnormal movements can give the feeling of the ankle “giving out”, and can be painful. Another condition called peroneal subluxation can contribute to chronic lateral ankle instability. The tendons of the muscles peroneus brevis and peroneus longus run along the outside of the foot near the ligaments that are commonly damaged in ankle sprains. If the tendons become irritated a tendonitis can result. Peroneal subluxation can also occur if the fibrous structure that normally keeps the tendons on their course becomes damaged. This allows the tendons to move out of place and causing a “snapping” sensation on the side of the foot.

If these conditions of ankle instability are not painful, they can be treated with conservative methods such as taping or bracing to help maintain the stability of the ankle and prevent further damage to the foot and ankle. When diagnosed with lateral ankle instability, your podiatrist may offer to tape your foot and ankle to provide some relief immediately until a more structured brace can be ordered or ankle surgery can be performed.

While taping may not have been Rose’s favorite treatment option for his ankle injury, many people find taping to be a great option, either temporarily or to be used as needed, for conditions of the foot and ankle. Other conditions that may gain some relief from orthopedic taping in addition to or before the use of surgery, physical therapy or custom orthotics include: Achilles tendonitis, heel pain, posterior tibial tendonitis, and overpronation.

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington. If you would like to see a podiatrist in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-885-3338 for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia