Kickflipping Your Way Into an Injury: Skateboarding Poses Serious Risks
Skateboarding is a popular activity among children, teens, and adults, and it’s only growing in popularity as cities across the U.S. are opening skateboarding parks to cater to enthusiasts.
While riding the half pipe, “catching air” and other tricks may be fun and exciting, skateboarding puts stress on your lower extremities that can cause serious foot and ankle injuries, especially when one of the tricks goes awry.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ latest data, skateboard-related injuries accounted for more than 78,000 emergency room visits among children and adolescents (19 years old or younger) in 2011.
From minor bruises to more serious injuries like sprains and ankle fractures, podiatrists warn riders to take precautions, like wearing supportive shoes to help deter injuries caused when trying new board tricks. Shoes with good arch ankle support are recommended. Repetitive and forceful impacts (from trying to master that kickflip) can put strain on the foot and ankle, and cause painful conditions like bone spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and stress fractures.
It’s important that you don’t shake off any injuries, even the most minor. Cuts, scrapes, and abrasions cause the skin to open, which can allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause an infection. Staph and MRSA infections can easily develop, resulting in surgery and weeks of antibiotics.
One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to foot and ankle fractures is that if you can walk, then you haven’t fractured your foot or ankle. You can sustain a fracture and still be able to walk, and doing so can exacerbate the injury.
If you suffered an ankle or leg injury while skateboarding, it is advised that you have your injury evaluated by a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If you can’t immediately see a podiatrist, the best treatment action plan is R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), as it will help to control swelling and reduce pain.
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