Stepping Into Winter: Watch Out for Common Foot and Ankle Injuries


Avoid foot pain and problems with advice from foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons

Rosemont, Ill., Dec. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Winter is officially here, and many people are trying to stay warm and enjoy the holiday season. Unfortunately, the accumulation of ice and snow can make sidewalks and roads slippery, which can lead to slips, falls and foot and ankle injuries.

Watch out for common foot and ankle injuries and follow advice from foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to help you stay pain free this winter and enjoy the holidays with family and friends.


1. Wear stable shoes

Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon Garett J. Pangrazzi, MD, from Corewell Health Medical Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says ankle fractures and sprains increase substantially in regions where snow and ice are common in the winter months.

“The slick surfaces can cause rotational injuries to the foot and ankle,” he said. 

With the icy sidewalks and roads, Dr. Pangrazzi advises to wear stable shoes with excellent gripping treads and to avoid smooth-bottom dress shoes outside. To prevent slipping on ice, he also recommends making sure your driveways and walkways are shoveled and salted.

Andrew D. Wohler, MD, from Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Indianapolis, Indiana, agrees.

“While some injuries may not be completely avoidable, taking appropriate precautions when going into cold, wet, slippery environments can help mitigate some of these risks,” Dr. Wohler said.

2. Stay active

While cold weather might make you feel like curling up in bed or watching movies on the couch, Dr. Wohler says staying active can help prevent foot and ankle injuries.

“I see conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy increase because of tightness. This tightness in the foot or leg can be caused either by decreased activity and mobility in the winter or sharp changes in the weather,” he said.

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that affects the heel of your foot while Achilles tendinopathy causes pain in the back of your leg.

“If you begin to notice pain on the bottom or back of your heel, setting some time to work on stretching and low-impact exercise may help decrease symptoms,” Dr. Wohler said.  

3. Keep your feet dry

In the winter, Dr. Wohler also sees more patients with athlete’s foot, a condition caused by fungi that thrive in moist and warm environments such as showers and wet or sweaty socks that have been left in shoes.

Keeping your feet as dry as possible will help prevent athlete’s foot as well as cold-related foot injuries such as frostbite, he said.

4. Seek help for injuries or pain

If you experience significant pain and swelling or you can’t put weight on your foot, Drs. Pangrazzi and Wohler recommend seeking out a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area for an evaluation.

Learn more about foot and ankle conditions and treatment from FootCareMD.

About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons

Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.

About the AOFAS

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at

CONTACT: Elizabeth Edwards American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) 618-795-4824 [email protected] 

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