After watching the USA and Japan duke it out in over time at the FIFA 2011 Women’s World Cup, one may think to themselves, “Do their feet hurt after all that running around?” The calcaneus, or the heel bone, is the largest bone in the foot and the first part of the foot to hit the ground. This makes the heel bone more vulnerable to injury and something seen often at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic.
Heel pain is an issue many people on the First Cost deal with and it is commonly attributed to plantar fasciitis. Dr. Vimal Reddy believes it is best to X-ray the heel in order to check for a stress fracture, which can occur in any bone of the foot as a result of overuse. As we age and our bones become weaker, we are more at risk for stress fractures, and the calcaneus is one of the most common places for it to happen. Utilizing a digital X-ray to quickly and efficiently examine and diagnose, Dr. Reddy can even tell you about osteoporosis, since he is able to use X-rays of the calcaneus as a measure of how strong the bones are.
Of course, people will have accidents and have been known to break the calcaneus, like any other bone in the body. This happens most when individuals fall from great heights and land on their feet. Sadly, they usually break both, and fractured heel bones are a very serious injury due to the difficulty of healing. The individual may never function the same way again. As a podiatric surgeon, Dr. Reddy is qualified to surgically correct these injuries to line up the bony fragments and work towards the best possible recovery.
As Cindy Crawford, Enrique Iglesias and Julia Roberts so prominently demonstrate, a mole is an area of the skin with an abundance of pigment producing cells—melanocytes. These can occur anywhere on the body, even on your feet! However, it is important not to confuse these type of moles with the most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma. So before you go out under the Jacksonville summer sun, consider this advice from Dr. Vimal Reddy.
Melanoma occurs when the same pigment producing cells found in moles start to grow and multiply without control. Skin cancer usually occurs on body parts exposed most to the sun: backs, shoulders and legs. Another area of concern and important to examine are our feet. Early detection of melanoma is critical for successful treatment, so when examining moles on your body don’t forget your feet.
Who is at risk?
- Individuals with fair skin
- Individuals with numerous moles
- People who spend a lot of time in the sun
The Skin Cancer Foundation has created a list of preventionguidelines. Here are a few extra tips Dr. Reddy suggestsfor your feet:
- When applying sunscreen, be sure to include the tops of your feet and toes
- Inspect your feet for moles that are changing in shape, size, or color
- Don’t forget to check for moles in between your toes!
When it comes to your skin you should consult with your primary care physician or dermatologist for most questions about any of your moles. But as a podiatrist, Dr. Reddy is well trained to assess changes to the skin occurring on the feet. Looking over the skin for changes is part of every foot examination at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic. Please feel free to consult with Dr. Reddy for your questions about melanoma and other skin cancers.