Foot Facts: Main Causes of Foot Injury

Reviewed by Janet D. Pearl, MD, MSc

More than 3-5% of all emergency visits in the hospital setting are attributed to acute ankle sprains(1). This corresponds to roughly 5,000 to 6,000 Emergency Room visits due to ankle sprains per day in the US!

The most frequently reported foot and ankle injuries(2) are:

  • Ankle sprains (49%);
  • Ankle fractures (25%);
  • Contusions (17%);
  • Plantar fasciitis (4%);
  • Dislocation of ankle or associated joints (2%);
  • Injuries of major tendons (2%); and,
  • Bursitis (1%).

Some other causes of increase risk of foot and ankle injuries include: chronic metabolic or medical conditions; prolonged steroid abuse; sedentary lifestyle; and, accidental injuries.

If you have a foot injury, what’s the best way to treat it? Cold therapy (like ice) or heatt therapy (like a warm salt water bath)?


  1. Doherty, C., Delahunt, E., Caulfield, B., Hertel, J., Ryan, J., & Bleakley, C. (2014). The incidence and prevalence of ankle sprain injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective epidemiological studies. Sports medicine, 44(1), 123-140.
  2. Luciano, A. D. P., & Lara, L. C. R. (2012). Epidemiological study of foot and ankle injuries in recreational sports. Acta ortopedica brasileira, 20(6), 339-342.

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