Preventing And Treating Ankle Injuries From Aggressive Spikeball Games

Jenny L Sanders DPM

A patient came in last week with an ankle injury from a sport I had never heard of called Spikeball (www.spikeball.com/ ). Popular among college students, Spikeball is a cross between volleyball and four square. Essentially people play the game around a circular trampoline-like net, which sits on the ground. Four players surround the net and “spike” the ball into the net. The pace is fast and furious and can result in unstable, single-leg landings, leading to severe sprains and strains, especially at the ankle.

Here is an ESPN video about the sport with creator Chris Ruder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o_iIPLBAHzY .

Although Spikeball is designed for the beach, athletes now play the game everywhere. My patient sustained his compression ankle injury at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Above are the magnetic resonance images of the injury. This is not your typical ankle sprain to say the least. Although podiatrists may not be able to prevent injuries in these athletes, we can and should become experts in understanding the sports that cause them.

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