History’s Most Infamous Leg & Foot Injuries (2024)

WHEN WE THINKof sports and some of the greatest athletes throughout the course of history, there's no way we can forget about the leg and foot injuries that made headlines alongside those famous names. Ankle injuries, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis have benched some of the best athletes in the world. Let's take a look at some of the most unforgettable injuries and how they shaped the course of history.

History’s Most Infamous Leg & Foot Injuries (1)

Achilles and the Legendary Heel Injury

One of the most notorious sports injuries of all time is Achilles’ heel. As famous Greek mythology has it, Achilles’ mother dipped him into the river of Styx, holding him by his heel, making him invincible everywhere except for where her thumb had covered. Many years later during the Trojan war, lore has it that Achilles was killed by a fatal arrow wound to his mortal heel, thus birthing the term “Achilles heel”.

Today, in addition to meaning a point of vulnerability, Achilles’ problematic ankle has a medical condition named after it - Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is a condition where the tendons of the ankle become inflamed, and is common in runners and those who play sports involving large amounts of running like soccer, football or baseball. Achilles tendonitis can be a hassle, but graduated compression socks are a great way to manage pain and promote quick recovery.

Kerri Strugg and the Ankle Sprain Heard ‘Round the World

Keri Strugg made Olympic history in 1996, when she landed on an injured ankle and won the first gold medal for the US women’s gymnastics team in Atlanta. During her first vault, Strugg had fallen and tore two ligaments in her ankle, which is enough for most people to call it quits. Her coach pleaded for her to go one more time, which she did - sticking the landing on that injured ankle before collapsing and being carried off the podium. Strugg was suffering from a severely sprained ankle.

Ankle sprains are incredibly common for gymnasts; sticking the landing incorrectly can cause unnatural twisting or turning in the ankle. As compression technology has advanced, compression socks have become popular among gymnasts, because they reinforce the ligaments and tendons in the ankle.

Kobe Bryant and the Ankle Injury that Took Him Down

Famed Laker’s player Kobe Bryant is no stranger to injuries, especially those involving the ankles, but during the 2013 season, it was different. Crumpled on the floor in pain after an awkward landing on his ankle, Bryant was out for the remainder of the season. In the years preceding this, Bryant had played through various wrist, knee and ankle sprains, but this was the worst ankle injury he had ever had in 13 years. While injuries can’t always be avoided, proper post-game rest and recovery can help muscles and ligaments to heal before its time to play again.

Basketball players are no strangers to using compression socks for recovery. After a tough game, rest, ice, compression and elevation are recommended to help the muscles recover before its time to hit the court again. Slipping on a pair of basketball compression socks is an easy way to promote healing, because the increased blood circulation reduces swelling and also makes it possible for nutrients and oxygen to reach their destinations quicker, leading to speedier recovery times.

Evan Longoria and the Vicious Case of Plantar Fasciitis

Evan Longoria who is now the third baseman for the San Francisco Giants, first played ten seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2013, after dealing with plantar fasciitis for the better part of a month, Longoria injured his foot once again and was forced to sit out for much of the season. Once again in 2019, Longoria fell victim to plantar fasciitis in his left foot once again; benching him for 10 games.

Plantar fasciitis is a common affliction that causes stabbing pain, swelling and tenderness in the heel of the foot. With treatment, a full recovery can be made, but constant impact from playing sports can greatly prolong recovery times. In addition to doctor supervision, compression socks can be helpful for managing the pain associated with this condition. Plantar fasciitis compression socks reduce swelling, and give increased support to the arches of your feet, where foot pain is most likely to occur.

The Best Compression Socks for Injuries and Post-game Recovery

For athletes of all skill levels, having the right gear can be the difference between playing a great game or getting an injury. Lasso’s athletic compression socks are designed toreduce ankle rolls, reduce pain and swelling, and relieve the symptoms of common leg and foot ailments without compromising mobility. Our socks come with added joint and arch support to keep ankles stabilized as long as you’re playing.

Stay in the game with Lasso’s athletic compression socks.

History’s Most Infamous Leg & Foot Injuries (2024)


What sport damages your feet the most? ›

Worst Sports For Your Feet
  • Basketball. Because players frequently stop and start quickly in order to change direction, jump, and run, their feet and ankles take the brunt of many impacts. ...
  • Cycling. ...
  • Football. ...
  • Soccer. ...
  • Baseball.

What are some serious leg injuries? ›

Common leg injuries include sprains and strains, joint dislocations, and fractures (broken bones). These injuries can affect the entire leg, or just the foot, ankle, knee, or hip. Certain diseases also lead to leg problems. For example, knee osteoarthritis, common in older people, can cause pain and limited motion.

What is the most common ankle and foot injury? ›

One of the most common foot and ankle injuries in adults is Plantar Fasciitis. Nearly two million patients are treated for this problem each year. It occurs when the Fascia band of tissue in the arch of the foot becomes inflamed, causing sharp pain in the heel of the foot.

What is the most ankle injury? ›

Ankle strains, sprains and fractures are among the most common orthopedic injuries. While they are most often seen as a sports injury, you don't have to be an athlete to hurt your ankle.

What are the top 3 worst sports injuries? ›

What are the top worst sports injuries? Some of the worst sports injuries include groin pull, concussion, torn ACL, and hamstring, to name a few.

What is the most physically damaging sport? ›

13 Most Dangerous Sports in the World
  1. Bull Riding. One of the most hazardous and exciting hobbies in the world is bull riding, a sport with a strong heritage of daring. ...
  2. Motocross. ...
  3. Motorcycle Racing. ...
  4. Base Jumping. ...
  5. Rock Climbing. ...
  6. Skydiving. ...
  7. Surfing. ...
  8. Hockey.

What is the rarest ankle injury? ›

Bosworth fracture-dislocation of ankle is a rare and irreducible type of ankle injury, with a high incidence of complication. This type of fracture was defined originally as entrapment of the proximal fragment of the fibula behind the posterior tubercle of the distal tibia.

What is Lisfranc's injury? ›

A Lisfranc joint injury is a type of injury to the bones or ligaments in the middle part of your foot, the tarsometatarsal joint. It can range from mild to severe. Your Lisfranc joint injury might cause bruising, deformity, swelling, or pain in the middle of your foot.

What are 7 common foot problems? ›

Treat conditions such as: bone disorders, bunions, corns, calluses, cysts, heel spurs, infections, ingrown nails, and plantar fasciitis.

What's the worst ankle break? ›

A trimalleolar ankle fracture is when your ankle breaks in three separate places. Only 7% of all ankle breaks are trimalleolar ankle fractures. They are rare, and they are among the worst kinds of ankle fractures.

What ankle injury takes the longest to heal? ›

A third degree sprain is a complete tear, which Sampsell says will take much longer to heal. This sprain will require some patience since you can expect anywhere from 3 to 6 months for recovery.

What is the most painful ankle fracture? ›

Trimalleolar Fractures

These are the most severe of ankle fractures and have a poor prognosis. With these fractures, the back of the tibia / shinbone is also broken off. As with bimalleolar ankle fractures, they are the result of an extremely high-energy impact.

What is the most unhealthy sport? ›

Basketball has the most injuries overall, but the number of injuries varies with each age group. Football is the most dangerous sport for children ages 5 to 14, while basketball has the highest number of injuries among people ages 15 to 24.

What sport has the highest risk of injury? ›

Sports with the most injuries. The sports with the most injuries are contact sports such as basketball, football, soccer, rugby, and hockey, all of which are high-intensity sports with frequent and sometimes high-impact contact between players.

What sports have foot faults? ›

Foot fault, when a competitor's foot placement does not comply with the official rules in sports such as:
  • Bowls.
  • Pickleball.
  • Tennis.
  • Volleyball.

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