Golf is a sport I feel many people underestimate for the simple fact that there isn’t any contact. However, just because there isn’t contact doesn’t mean athletes don’t get injured—there are many injuries, surprisingly. The most common injuries in golf are to the knee, back, and shoulder. That’s not the case for Michelle Wie. Wie, one of the stars of women’s golf, reinjured her ankle by stepping in a hole early in the round on Friday. Later, on the 13th hole, Wie slipped and fell to the ground and was not able to put any more weight on her foot. What preceded her injury was the development of a bone spur near her ankle last month in which she wore a protective boot to help reduce the pain and swelling.

Bone spurs can occur for a number of reasons but the main cause of them developing in the ankle is arthritis. As joints become narrowed their range of motion decreases which can eventually cause impingement and ultimately lead to spur formation. Immobilization is the first line of treatment for spur formation near or at a joint. The main reason for this is to help reduce the amount of motion because motion at a narrowed joint with a spur is what causes the pain. Sometimes, though, complete immobilization isn’t enough and the spur needs to be surgically excised. I highly doubt that will be the case for Wie, but it’s something that may be considered in the future.

Although golf is not a demanding sport, per se, it is still a sport that can cause a lot of havoc on certain areas of the body. Being that golfers have to walk the entirety of the course, a lot of stress is applied to the lower extremity so the ankle and knees can become injured more often than one would imagine. As for Michelle Wie, she had an unfortunate accident which may have exacerbated the pain caused by her bone spur. If you or someone you know has slipped and injured the ankle, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ.

By Varun Gujral