image_NapxvGS.jpeg (image_znh2iKj.webp)49ers Quarterback Trey Lance’s ankle fracture is a reminder of how important it is to get the best podiatric care immediately after this kind of injury.

On Sunday, September 19, Trey Lance, the quarterback for the 49ers, suffered an ankle fracture to his right leg in the first quarter of the game after he was tackled on a run up the middle. Although the injury ended the season for the first-round draft pick, he’s had surgery and is now on the mend.

A statement from the team said that doctors repaired two injuries to Lance's ankle: 'a fibula fracture and ligament disruption.' Here at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, we see ankle fractures all the time and they can happen to anyone, not just those that are participating in very active sports, like football.

Dr. Peter Lovato, a foot and ankle surgeon on staff, said that Lance’s injury is an isolated fibular fracture, a ligament injury, so it is a bit more straightforward than a dislocated fracture or what's been reported in news outlets as a compound fracture. “I think the reason why a lot of media outlets are using buzzwords and saying it's not a compound fracture is because the most recent, similar injury in the NFL was Dak Prescott, the quarterback for the Cowboys. He had an ankle fracture that was dislocated and compound, meaning it actually broke through the skip, so it was much more complicated.”

One of the existing discomforts that Prescott has talked about is not being able to wear certain shoes or cleats because they no longer feel right, or that now, the laces are at a new, awkward angle on his feet. By comparison, with what Dr. Lovato knows through published news reports, Lance’s injury will very likely be an easier recovery. Both he and Lance’s team believe that the quarterback has a strong chance of playing again next year after he heals and goes through physical therapy.

However, the team and subsequently, major news outlets are reporting that’s Lance’s injury is a fibula fracture and a ligament injury or a ‘ligament disruption.’

“I don't know exactly what they mean by ‘ligament disruption’. My guess is if they're saying that, it’s that he had a fibula fracture and a Syndesmotic ligament injury that would change the timetable a little bit, still a more straightforward injury than what happened to Prescott. Really, there’s a lot of speculation about his prognosis and only the doctors who are treating him know all the details to make the best diagnosis at this time,” said Lovato.

If you have any kind of ankle injuries, even ones that didn’t make it to front page of the sports section in your local paper, come see us for an evaluation. We see ankle injuries all the time and encourage everyone, not just players and athletes, to call us if the injury is an emergency. That way, you can be assured you’re getting care right away from doctors and surgeons who can give you the care you need, right way!

We only treat foot and ankle ailments, and these kinds of injuries are common, especially now that a lot of kids and adults are playing fall and winter sports. When it comes to athletes, it's even more important to find the right kind of doctor who specializes in these kinds of injuries. The emergency room doctors and your primary care physician will most likely send you to a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon anyway, so skip the middleman and come straight to us; it’ll save you time, money and will most likely get you back on your feet faster with fewer complications and better patient outlooks.