Ankle Sprains

with Dr. Richard Beauchamp M.D., FRCSC

An ankle sprain refers to an acute or sudden injury that results in tearing of any of the ligaments of the ankle. Ligaments are strong tissues that attach to the adjacent bones of a joint, providing stability and limiting excessive movement. Sprains are usually graded according to the severity of the injury, as follows:

Classification: Grade 1
This refers to a mild stretch of some of the ligament fibres only. The individual is able to initially walk on the ankle without much discomfort. There may be some swelling, but recovery is usually complete in a few days. Continue reading “Ankle Sprains”

Ilio-Tibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC

Ilio-tibial band (ITB) friction syndrome is a condition/irritation that causes pain along the outside of the leg due to inflammation related to the ilio-tibial band.

Anatomy :
The ilio-tibial tract is a condensation of muscle and tendon into a structure called the ITB. It runs from the outside of the pelvis (“Ilio”) above the hipbone and extends along the outside of the thigh, over the prominence of the hip and the knee and ends up just below the knee joint (“Tibial”) (Figure 1). This band begins as a muscle incorporating the hip and buttock muscles (flexors and abductors) but soon becomes a tendon with very little muscle function by the time it gets to the knee. It is meant to stabilize the knee primarily and the hip secondarily during walking and running. If your particular running style is abnormal, the ITB can be subjected to excessive pull or force that will make the muscle contract and cause resultant rubbing (hence the term “friction”) over the areas where it is close to the bone and other solid structures. (Figure 2) The ITB is a very important factor in the kinematics and kinetics of the leg during running. As this muscle-tendon complex spans two joints (hip and knee) it is very susceptible to forces from a multitude of causes. These can include leg length discrepancies, persistent running on uneven or canted surfaces, increased knee flexion from overstriding, which may include downhill running. Continue reading “Ilio-Tibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome”

Stress Fractures

Two words that can really stress out a runner: stress fracture.

A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone brought on by repetitive loading and strain, resulting in pain and tenderness at the injury site. Stress fractures occur most frequently in the foot (metatarsals), the shin (tibia) and the hip (femur or pelvis). The condition can be accelerated by inadequate muscular support; therefore, maintaining balanced muscle and bone strength is the best way to avoid a stress fracture.

Bones are the skeletal structures that provide attachment points for muscles, ligaments and tendons, which exert force in order to generate movement. The bones also receive their strength from proper use of the adjacent muscles, so any situation where there is muscle weakness or misalignment can lead to weakening of the bones, which may in turn lead to fractures. Continue reading “Stress Fractures”

What You Need to Know About Runner’s Knee

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp M.D., FRCSC

Have you experienced pain around the front of your knee(s) during or after a run? If so, you may have had a case of runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is actually a vague term used to describe the above symptom—pain in the knee. However, it is not necessarily a precursor of arthritis; in fact, it has been said that there is no correlation to hip and knee arthritis in active marathoners.1

Runner’s knee is a common condition, but the actual causes and effective treatments are not easily explained. Runner’s knee is a grab bag of other diagnoses and conditions often aggravated by the pounding of the legs on the ground during your sport. Your legs have to generate force in order to run, as well as absorb force in order to protect your bones and muscles from injuries. Runner’s knee can also occur in walkers, although not as frequently. Continue reading “What You Need to Know About Runner’s Knee”

Can I Return to Running After My Hip Replacement?

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC

Joint replacement surgery, particularly of the hip and knee, has become one of the most frequently performed operations around the world. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, over 300,000 total hip replacements (THR) are completed in the United States every year, and the number of knee replacements is even higher. Continue reading “Can I Return to Running After My Hip Replacement?”

Pain in the Butt

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC

Recently, we invited readers to send in topic suggestions for this column, and here is one of the replies we received:

“May I suggest an article about butt pain? In my case, it is probably a glute issue, which may or may not have been caused by years of running without adequate stretching. It is certainly inhibiting my running now. Is there anything I can do?” Continue reading “Pain in the Butt”

Fractured Fibula

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC

The fibula is the bone on the outside of the leg and is the smaller of the two bones of the lower leg (the other is the tibia or shin bone). The tibia handles most of the weight bearing responsibilities while the fibula contributes to the stability of the knee and ankle joints. The fibula keeps the ankle joint in line and helps, along with the ligaments, to prevent ankle sprains. Continue reading “Fractured Fibula”

Plantar Fasciitis

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC

The “plantar” surface refers to the sole of the foot, while fascia is tough, fibrous tissue with no active muscle. The plantar fascia serves as a connecting structure from the back of the foot (at the heel bone) to the front (at the toes). It supports the arch and assists in the biomechanics of walking and running. Although the suffix “itis” suggests inflammation, the plantar fascia has a limited blood supply so inflammatory changes are minimal. A more appropriate name for this ailment would actually be plantar tendonopathy. Continue reading “Plantar Fasciitis”