NBA Player Nikola Pekovic, center for the Minnesota Timberwolves, announced this week he would take no part in the 16’-17’ basketball season due to recurring right ankle pain. This isn’t the first time Pekovic has been taken off the court because of his ankle. In 2014, the same ankle suffered from bursitis – or inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs in our joints, which occurred in the Achilles’ Tendon area. Bursitis, a common form of heel pain, causes swelling around muscles and bones. In Pekovic’s case, his right ankle formed a small, fluid-filled sac which as a cushion between the bones, muscles, and tendons of the foot and ankle. Treatment usually involves surgical debridement and typically can lead to scare tissue. The leftover scar tissue causes bursitis to become a chronic condition.
While official word from Timberwolves has not outlined the nature of Pekovic’s ankle pain, we could reason his right Achilles’ bursitis, or bursitis of the heel, might have returned, or there may even be detrimental complications from his surgery. If this is the case, Pekovic needs to manage his inflammation, reduce stress on the right Achilles’ tendon, and get refitted for custom orthotic inserts, footwear, and possibly even an active brace. Taking the season off may give Pekovic some time to heal from this injury, or even time to undergo and recover from another surgery, but time it a crucial component in healing bursitis of the heel. In order to avoid this in the future, Pekovic will have to ease into conditioning for longer, more intense practices. Given Pekovic’s past record of foot and ankle injuries, as well as the down time off the court, this may be Pekovic’s last season all together.
Achilles’ bursitis is very common in athletes, particularly runners and other active individuals. It occurs concurrently with Achilles tendonitis. Typically, there will be tenderness and swelling at the back of the heel. Depending on the severity of the foot or ankle condition, there are a number of treatment options available to you. From basic at-home care to advanced surgeries, Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates has the skill, experience, and tools to help your feet feel better. We offer the following advice, products, and services for all types of heel pain:
- Stretching and Icing
- Anti-Inflammatory Medication
- Medical Grade or Custom Orthotic Inserts
- Corticosteroid Injection
- Bracing or Immobilization
If you’re experiencing any heel pain or issues with your Achille’s tendon, like Nikola Pekovic, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Lockwood at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates today! We help athletes of all ages, sizes prevent pain and injury! Just call 309.661.9975 today!