Oh deer! It’s hunting season and at Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS it’s a good opportunity for us to remind our patients who take to the woods at this time of the year of some precautions to prevent foot injuries. If you are a hunter you are probably very conscientious when it comes to safety and your firearm or bow, but there are other potential risks to the feet that you may not think much about. Some of the more common ones we see include:
- Achilles tendon inflammation or rupture
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Heel fractures
Some tips to keep in mind to reduce your risk of foot or ankle injuries include:
Watch Your Step—roots, rocks and uneven terrain make it easy to trip and fall or twist an ankle. Keep an eye out for what’s ahead while hiking in and out.
Take it Easy on the Hills—Achilles tendon trouble can occur from strenuous hill climbing. Pace yourself and avoid sudden push offs as you head up hill.
The Right Gear—check your shoes before heading out to hunt. Look for signs of wear. You should have a good tread to prevent slipping and make sure there are no rough spots inside the shoes that could result in friction and blisters. It’s a good idea to keep some moleskin with you in case a sore spot starts to develop.
Pack Extra Socks—keeping feet dry is essential to prevent blisters and athlete’s foot.
Use a Safety Harness—one of the biggest causes of foot and ankle injuries when hunting is falling out of a tree stand.
Share Your Position—if you’re hunting alone, make sure someone knows where you are and when you are expected back. Consider a pre-arranged phone call to confirm that you’re back. If you suffer a foot or ankle injury that prevents you from walking, this will make it possible for you to be found.
If you do sustain an injury when hunting, don’t try to tough it out. Get back to civilization and contact our Wayne, New Jersey office (973-595-1555) as soon as possible so that our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, can examine your foot and treat the injury promptly.