Olympics: Reason to ignore injury?

It’s Olympics time! If you’ve been following Rio 2016, you have probably heard about the many injuries that have been plaguing the athletes. Some haven’t even been able to participate due to injuries that did not heal in time for qualifications. In particular, John Orozco of the USA men’s gymnastics team re-tore his Achilles tendon in 2015, and then re-injured his left knee during training camp, tearing his ACL and meniscus again.

Ankle injuries require immediate podiatric attention, treatment, and time for healing. If you have an ankle injury preventing you from walking and doing normal daily activities, visit our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Carl Ingrassia of Fords Foot and Ankle Care. He will assess your injury and provide quality treatment to care for your foot and ankle problems.

So what happens if the injuries occur during the Olympic event?

When you are so close to getting a medal, should you keep going even when you’re injured? Or what if it’s for the team? Should you continue to perform? Athletes such as Kerri Strug in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and Ellie Downie and others in the 2016 Rio Olympics had this dilemma.

Ellie Downie of the Great Britain Women’s Gymnastics team was doing her floor routine when she landed on her neck. She tried to continue, but stopped, telling the medical team that she heard a loud crunch. However, after a few minutes, she said she felt better and went on to do the vault routine. She performed mostly well on the finals, but she did fall off the beam and the team ultimately did not medal.

Other ankle injuries in Rio include: Maret Balkestein-Grothues, the Dutch volleyball captain sprained her ankle (or maybe worse). Tennis player, Dustin Brown also injured his ankle and had to stay off of his feet.

Perhaps the most memorable of these examples, though, may be of gymnast Kerri Strug. She went on to finish her 2nd vault to secure the gold in 1996 even though she already damaged her ankle on the first attempt. The coach said she needed to do the second vault in order to get the gold for the team, so she allowed adrenaline to take over. She made a really good run but then had to be carried off the landing pad because her pain was so severe. They later found that she tore two ligaments in her ankle and could no longer compete after the injury.

Because ankle injuries can range from a sprain to a fracture or broken bone, it is very important to get it assessed and treated as soon as possible. Untreated issues can become worse and can have long-term consequences. If you have sports-related injuries to your feet or ankles, make an appointment today at our Fords, NJ office!