Foot and ankle problems in the young athlete

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Jul;31(7 Suppl):S470-86. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199907001-00008.


In the U.S., greater than half of boys and one quarter of girls in the 8- to 16-yr-old age range are engaged in some type of competitive, scholastic, organized sport during the school year. Children and adolescents are becoming more involved in sports at earlier ages and with higher levels of intensity. Foot and ankle problems, in particular, are the second most common musculoskeletal problem facing primary care physicians in children under 10 yr of age next to acute injury. This report focuses on foot and ankle problems, trauma, and overuse in the young athletic population. Guidelines are given for both conservative and surgical management. Specific problems addressed include pes planus, tarsal coalition, adolescent bunion, os trigonum, accessory navicular, physeal fractures, sprains, peroneal tendon subluxation, metatarsal fractures, sesamoid fractures, turf toe, stress fractures, tendonitis, osteochondritis dissecans, ankle impingement, bursitis, Haglund's deformity, sesamoiditis, plantar fasciitis, apophysitis, osteochondroses, cuboid syndrome, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. An extensive review of the literature is performed and presented in combination with the extensive experience of a well-established sports medicine clinic at the Boston Children's Hospital.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Ankle Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Ankle Injuries / therapy
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Child
  • Female
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / physiopathology*
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / therapy
  • Foot Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Foot Injuries / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male