Facebook Twitter

Wintertime is rough on feet and ankles

SHARE Wintertime is rough on feet and ankles

Winter weather is prime time for foot and ankle problems for anyone who spends time outdoors, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Ankle sprains and Achilles tendon problems are common in winter due to slips on ice walks and from injuries that occur when playing indoor sports. If such injuries aren't taken seriously, they may not heal properly, according to Dr. Daniel Hatch, a Colorado-based podiatric foot and ankle surgeon.

Initial treatment for ankle sprains should include rest, ice, compression and elevation. Even minor sprains should be braced for several days, and in most cases it takes three to eight weeks for an ankle sprain to heal.

Frostbite of the toes requires rapid rewarming at the first sign of severe cold and numbness to prevent tissue damage.

Cold weather impairs circulation, especially in women who smoke and drink caffeinated beverages. That makes danger of frostbite worse.

It's also a good time to think about corrective foot surgery for those who aren't as active in winter. That allows time to heal before warm weather activities return, Hatch said.

You can get a free brochure on ankle sprains and treatments by calling the college at 1-888-843-3338 or online at www.acfas.org.