Monthly Archives: March 2011

Pain in the Bunion: Take Two!

tailorsbunionIn the beginning of March I discussed bunions:  the at times uncomfortable, and sometimes unsightly bumps, on the inner sides of your feet next to your big toe. Today I would like to focus to the other side of the foot and discuss, Tailor’s bunion, or Bunionette.  Tailor’s bunion refers to a similar deformity as a bunion but on the outer side of the foot next to the pinky toe.  Both types of bunions are seen frequently at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic.

The Tailor’s bunion got its name centuries ago when tailors would sit cross-legged on hard floors for hours at a time*. The pressure from the hard floor on the side of their foot caused irritation to the spot next to their little toe.

While there is a genetic component to tailor’s bunion there are other contributing factors, such as:

  • The way you walk: This can stretch the ligaments holding your bones together, causing the bone to jut outwards as a result.
  • Wearing High Heels: Compounding the issue, high-heeled shoes will place additional pressure on the toes, accelerating this process of ligament stretching. This progression can give rise to a condition known as splay foot, where the bones on either side of the foot protrude outwards.

Since Tailor’s bunion is usually a natural result of aging, Dr. Vimal Reddy does not find this condition worrisome unless it becomes painful. As always, the goal is to make sure you are comfortable and can go through life easily without being bothered by bunions. We can achieve this with:

  • Padding may help reduce pain in the affected area
  • Measuring your feet to see if your shoe size has changed
  • Icing to reduce pain and inflammation

Surgery is another option to straighten out the bunions but only in severe cases.  Therefore in closing; if sitting cross-legged for hours is causing pain in your pinky toe region, or perhaps you’ve noticed pain in your little toe area while taking a stroll around the Jacksonville, FL St. Johns Town center, consult with Dr. Reddy for appropriate treatment options for your tailor’s bunion.

*Fun fact: The sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the body, found in the front thigh.  Sartoriusderives from the Latin word for tailor because it functions to position your legs in a tailor’s cross-legged position!

Jacksonville, FL in the Diabetes Belt

Diabetes_2008_trends_percent_map_ageThe Centers for Disease Control has released a new outline where diabetes is particularly prevalent in the United States.  They have dubbed it…The Diabetes Belt. “The Belt” spans across the South, from Tennessee to West Virginia, Louisiana to Georgia, including parts of Northern Florida.  Jacksonville lies just outside of the Diabetes Belt.   While diabetes is clearly a severe problem in other parts of the country, Jacksonville has much room for improvement as well.

While the study does not distinguish between Type 1 (juvenile onset) and Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes, 90% of all diabetics are Type 2. Factors affecting this include:

  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Lack of exercise

Different counties within the Diabetes Belt also have higher incidence of strokes. This association is not surprising, as diabetes is associated with cardiovascular disease. The same disease process which leads to strokes, also leads to diseases of the blood vessels in the foot. Unfortunately the diabetic foot has poor circulation, taking it longer for wounds to heal.  This is where Dr. Vimal Reddy at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic can help. As a podiatrist, Dr. Reddy is better equipped than doctors of other specialty to address problems that arise in the feet.

2011 Gate River Run

GRR_logo11-300x226Saturday, March 12, 2011 was the 34th Annual Gate River Run. Beautiful Downtown Jacksonville, FL. was taken over by the largest 15K in the country. 14,971 runners finished the race and two of them are TEAM members of First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic. We would like to congratulate our Office Manger, Jennifer Morris and our Surgical Coordinator, Davy Cotes for finishing the race in 1 hour and 37 minutes. Great job Ladies!

Pain in the Bunion!

X-20110309150712156Ladies, are you having problems fitting into your favorite heels to strut around Downtown? Gentlemen, do your feet feel suffocated in your shoes by the end of the night out in Jax Beach? Do you have bumps on the insides of your feet next to your big toe? If so, you may have… bunions!

Bunions occur when the bones of your foot have changed shape or orientation. Ultimately, the cause is genetic — either your supportive structures are not strong enough to hold your bones in place, or the way your foot strikes the ground causes the bones to shift and protrude. Bunions are a mild problem, but can lead to pain and blisters. Cosmetically, many people just don’t like the way they look and unfortunately can become more pronounced as we age. This is a very common condition seen at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic.

The primary goal for Dr. Vimal Reddy, or any podiatrist, is to improve functionality. If you can walk with little to no pain then we are happy! However, bunions often become painful and the first effort is conservative treatment:

  • Padding: simple pads will take pressure off of the bunion and alleviate the pain and blistering.
  • Shoe sizing: As we advance in age, our feet change. Have Dr. Reddy measure your shoe size to determine if you need a better fitting shoe.
  • Orthotics: If the way your foot hits the ground is the cause of your problems, an orthotic shoe insert will correct the way you walk and work towards taking pressure off of the bunion, thus alleviating the pain.

If these treatments are not enough, we may need to try a more aggressive approach such as surgery. Nevertheless, Dr. Reddy always makes surgery his last resort. In addition to the usual surgical risks, there is no guarantee the end result of bunion surgery is any more cosmetically pleasing than your natural foot and over time your feet may revert back to the way they were. However, a trained and experienced podiatric surgeon will know how to address these risks.