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Leg Injuries - Topic Overview

Overuse injuries occur when too much stress is placed on a joint or other tissue, often by "overdoing" an activity or doing the same activity repeatedly. Overuse injuries include:

  • Inflammation of the sac of fluid that cushions and lubricates the bones (bursitis).
  • Inflammation, tearing, or fraying of the tough, ropey fibers that connect muscles to bones (tendinitis).
  • Hairline cracks in bones, such as stress fractures of the foot camera.gif.
  • Inflammation of the fibrous covering of the bone (periosteum) where muscle fibers attach to it (shin splints).
  • Inflammation of the plantar fascia, a broad, flat ligament on the bottom of the foot (plantar fasciitis).
  • Inflammation at the top of the shinbone (tibia) where the patellar tendon attaches to a bony prominence (Osgood-Schlatter disease). This is more likely to occur during rapid growth periods and is usually seen in athletic teenagers, especially those who play football, basketball, or soccer, and those who are involved with gymnastics and dance. Osgood-Schlatter disease involves both legs about 25% of the time and is rarely a chronic, lifelong condition.

Treatment for a leg injury may include rest, ice, elevation, and other first aid measures (such as the application of a brace, splint, or cast), or physical therapy. Some leg injuries are treated with medicine or surgery, especially if a bone is broken. Treatment depends on:

  • The location, type, and severity of the injury.
  • When the injury occurred.
  • Your age, health condition, and activities, such as work, sports, or hobbies.

Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 19, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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