Is Your Middle School Superstar Benched with Heel Pain?

003 heel_pain_in_childrenAs summer comes to an end and fall season’s start, many parents face unexpected injuries to their favorite players.  I’m not talking about the Jacksonville Jaguars, though their O-line has its fair share of injuries, I’m referring to our middle school super-stars.  These young athletes seem to have grown a foot over summer, return to the school sports and are benched by heel pain.

A feeling of tightness throughout the foot and pain, specifically in the heel, can be caused from the bones of the foot growing faster than the muscles and ligaments.  The heel ossifies (turns into bone) later that the other foot bones, so children that play sports (most commonly soccer or basketball) and are very active are more likely to develop pain here.  The pain is caused from a repeated stress, such as running or jumping, on the growth plate in the heel, and is a sign of Sever’s disease.

Sever’s disease, medically called Calcaneal Apophysitis, is an inflammation caused by stress on the growth plate in the heel and is very common in children.  The pain is generally worse after physical activity, and commonly located on the side or back of the heel.  This is unlike another common condition, plantar fasciitis, which is worse after long periods of inactivity.  Sever’s will go away on its own in most children, but it may take a while.  There are several simple options we can offer to confirm the diagnosis, eliminate the pain and shorten recovery so kids don’t miss the fall sports season.  A fracture of the heel has very similar symptoms so if the pain is chronic, or does not subside with conservative treatments it should definitely be looked at by a podiatrist.

003 seversWe at First Coast Foot and Ankle Cliniccan offer several options for treating and preventing Sever’s disease.  Children’s arch supportsare recommended for those who have not yet experienced the severe pain, but are at risk because of their participation in sports or high activity level.  Children’s arch supports are commercially available or can be custom fitted by us and will fit into athletic shoes or cleats. It is also important to choose an athletic shoe that supports the child’s arch since it is still developing.

Heel cushions can be a good option for children already experiencing the heel pain.  Icing for 20-30 minutes after strenuous activity and stretching exercises for the calf muscles will help alleviate the pain and decrease the chance of it returning.  Temporarily decreasing the activity level, specifically activities that include jumping or running, may also be required in order to let the area heal.

Let us help heal your pain, make an appointment to get your kid back in the game.

Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Line Suffer from Ankle Injuries

005a Jag InjuryFirst Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic could not be more excited that football season has begun! But already three of the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line starters are wearing protective boots on their left ankles following the overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

  • Left guard Eben Britton suffered an ankle injury and was out for the remaining of the game
  • Uche Nwaneri also suffered an ankle injury
  • Right tackle Cameron Bradfield suffered a leg injury

In this one game, there have been more injuries to the lower extremities than any other and Coach Mike Mularkey is starting to wonder if it might have been a turf issue. “It’s the most foot injuries I’ve ever been around,” Mularkey said. “Foot, ankle, you think about the number of linemen we have lost with it, it’s just unheard of. I don’t know if it’s bad luck. I am putting a little research out there with some of the turf teams if they’re experiencing the same kind of issues we are with our ankles and feet. We have had an unbelievable number of injuries to that part of the body. More than I’ve ever been around.”

So what will happen this Sunday when the Jags hit Everbank Field to take on the Houston Texans?  Even with a ranking of 32nd in the NFL in total offense and all these injuries the offensive line is still showing signs of improvement.

September is National P.A.D Month: Are You At Risk?

004 PAD_picBetween the changing of seasons bringing cooler temperatures, and events such as the 2012 First Coast Heart Walk, and Northeast Florida Beer Cup approaching, September is shaping up to be an exciting month in Jacksonville.

September is also P.A.D awareness month.  P.A.D stands for Peripheral Arterial Disease and currently affects around 8 million Americans.  People with PAD are at significantly increased risk for stroke and heart attack.  If caught early P.A.D is preventable and can be easily treated.

P.A.D occurs when arteries in the legs become clogged or blocked by fat deposits and cholesterol that stick to and accumulate on the walls of the artery. The more narrow and hard the artery is, the harder it is for blood to pass through, leading to decreased blood flow to the legs and feet that can result in a number of symptoms.

These symptoms include:  

  • Painful cramping in the legs while walking
  • Heaviness
  • Numbness and/or weakness of the lower extremity

Symptoms that occur later in the disease include: 

  • Pain or burning in the feet or toes while resting
  • Coolness and color changes of the skin
  • Loss of hair
  • Wounds of the feet or toes that do not heal

Risk factors include: 

  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Age greater than 50
  • Diabetes

Here at First Coast Foot Clinic, we use the reliable, non-invasive Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) to test for P.A.D.  Blood pressures are taken on both the arm and the ankle, and are compared to each other.  The ankle blood pressure should be about the same as the arm blood pressure, in which normal values are 0.95-1.2.  If it is below this, a patient will be tested further for P.A.D.

Sometimes P.A.D can show no symptoms at all, so it is important to get tested if you are at risk.  So while you are enjoying the Northeast Florida Beer Cup, be aware of what puts you at risk and remember you can always walk off those extra beer calories at the First Coast Heart Walk and keep your lifestyle active.  September is going to be a great month here in Jacksonville, but try to stay aware of P.A.D and catch it early.

Don’t Hide Ugly, Thick, Discolored Toenails…. Treat Them!

002 Toe FungusIt’s hard to believe the 2012 Summer Olympics are over, the school year has started in Jacksonville, FL and Football Season is upon us. Although fall is right around the corner, we are still feeling summer temperature’s here on the First Coast, leaving many still showing off their toes in flip-flops or sandals.  For some this can be embarrassing if you have thick, yellow, cracking, brittle nails, which can be painful and hard to treat, could be fungus.  Nail polish can disguise the discoloration, but regular polish can also lock in the fungus, making it worse. Summer is more fun if you’re fungus free!

Toenail fungus, called onychomycosis, can start as a yellowing of the toenail but progress into a painful, thick nail with a foul odor.  Fungus thrives in hot, humid environments, making it an extremely common condition in Florida.  This contagious infection can be spread easily in moist environments such as public swimming pools, and gyms and can be difficult to get rid of.

It can be difficult to get rid of toenail fungus and recurrence is high, but a podiatristcan give you options that have the highest success with the particular kind of fungus you have:

  • Topical nonprescription creams
  • Oral Medications, which can have side effects
  • Surgical removal of the nail
  • Laser Therapy

First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic makes sure to offer the most effective treatments available, from anti-fungal nail polish, to the most up-to date treatment tools.

002 rednailACurrently the Pinpointe FootLaser is one of the most effective treatments for nail fungus.  The procedure is quick, painless and does not have to be repeated.  The laser is able to go through the nail and destroy the fungus under it while leaving all other tissue unharmed.  The laser offers effective treatment without the side effects and prolonged treatments of many of the medications currently used, and without the pain and recovery associated with surgical removal of the nail.

The First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinics’ Four steps to Fabulous Fungus Free Feet:

  1. Rid yourself of any current fungus: Let us PinPointe the problem for you!
  2. Keep feet dry: Dry cotton socks and ventilated shoes are a good choice
  3. Don’t share: Tools such as nail clippers or files, and clothing can spread fungus
  4. Wear shoes in public facilities: showers, gyms and public pools

If you or someone you know may possibly be suffering from toenail fungus, request an appointment today to see what Dr. Vimal Reddy can do for you.

Set Your Sights on a Smoother Pregnancy

Pregnant and the Olympics are not two words most people would put in the same sentence; But at the 2012 London Olympics, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi of Malaysia represented her country for the air rifle competition, eight months pregnant!

Just weeks away from her due date, Mohd Taibi reported “I only feel pain when I walk too much…  sometimes I forget that I’m pregnant.”  And though she not the most decorated Olympian like Michael Phelps, she now holds her own Olympic record as the most pregnant Olympian.  At eight months pregnant Mohd Taibi, like many current day mothers-to-be, does not have time to be slowed down by foot pain.

Many soon-to-be-moms are burdened by everything from back pain and cramping calves, to swollen ankles and sore feet.  Pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your body, and your feet are no exception.  Foot pain experienced during pregnancy is due to the increased hormone levels coupled with the extra weight of the baby.  Women may develop:

As the pregnancy progresses, the increasing weight may make the problem worse; Causing walking to be very painful, as well as other issues such as sore knees and back due to the added strain.  Our Olympian Mohd Taibi represents Malaysia where the warm humid conditions cause even further difficulties, such as increased swelling and risk of foot infections – both fungal and bacterial.  The Jacksonville area certainly competes with Malaysia in this regard this time of year.

Ammunition to keep your baby-bump bliss right on target:

  • Aim at taking time off your feet: Taking time to rest and elevate your legs will help reduce swelling
  • Choose correct footwear for your pregnant feet: Feet change size throughout your pregnancy so have them measured accordingly
  • Custom made Orthotics can control or prevent the over-pronation which leads to other body aches

Jump the gun on foot pain and make an appointment before pregnancy related foot problems become more advanced and difficult to treat.  Come see us at First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic for assistance to prevent expected pregnancy-related foot problems and for expert treatment of any problems you may already b experiencing.

This will be the straightest shot at keeping your feet healthy during your pregnancy.

Solution for That Toenail Fungus

shutterstock_80839891 4x6-2Do you have thick, yellow, discolored toenails?

Are you embarrassed to wear your open toed sandals in public?

Chances are you have fungal toenails, a condition also known as onychomycosis.

It is estimated world wide that over 30 million people have onychomycosis, and it is especially a problem in warm weather climates like Florida.

Fungal toenails are caused by an organism that grows on top and under the nail.  The fungus likes to grow in warm, most places, like your shoes.  Many patients pick up fungal toenail infections, in the gym locker room, from a nail salon, wet shoes, or even from trauma.  Fungus can stay in the nail for many years and spread very quickly.  There are currently three treatment modalities for this condition.  They include; topical medications, oral medications, which can have some serious side e ffects, and the newest modality, which is laser therapy.

At First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic we use the first FDA cleared laser, which focuses a concentrated beam of laser light through the nail, to eradicate the fungus living under and in the nail.  The procedure is preformed right in my office, requires no anesthesia and is painless.  Most patients require only one or two treatments and can once again enjoy the satisfaction of wearing open toed shoes.

So, if you are tired of looking as those unsightly nails, please contact my office to determine if you are a candidate for laser therapy.

“Knock Your Socks Off” For Optimum Health

072 Socks off-1It’s that time of year to knock your socks off and enjoy a little fun in the sun in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and the Ponte Vedra Beach area!!!  That also makes it a good time for annual physical examinations (aka “annuals”) essential for maintaining a clean bill of health. Despite this, yearly foot exams by a qualified foot and ankle specialist are an important aspect of the “annual” that is often bypassed. But when a doctor’s trained eye isn’t nearby, it’s your very own inspection that could save your life.

The next time you clip your toenails or lace up some shoes, take a closer look at your feet. Via an initiative appropriately named “Knock Your Socks Off”, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) recommend routine self-exams to focus on the most common areas of the foot for melanoma (malignant skin cancer) to appear:

  1. The soles
  2. Between the toes
  3. Around or under toenails

Routine self-examinations of the feet are an easy way to find skin cancer early, when it’s easiest to cure. Need more motivation??

  • Nearly 50% of those who learn they have melanoma of the foot die within five years because the cancer has already spread to other parts of their body by the time it is diagnosed.
  • Approximately 65,000 people will learn they have melanoma this year.
  • It’s difficult to estimate how many of those cases will involve the foot, but more than 8,000 will die.
  • If detected in its earliest stages, 92% of melanoma patients are alive after five years.

Unlike many other types of cancer, melanoma strikes people of all age groups, even the young. Routine self-exams of the feet increase the likelihood of noticing suspicious moles, freckles or other spots. If a mole, freckle, or spot on your foot starts to change over the course of a month and becomes asymmetrical or changes its bordercolordiameter or elevationcontact Dr. Reddy immediately.

The First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic provides professional, routine foot care services for patients with certain medical conditions that place them at high risk for developing foot problems and complications, such as:

– Poor circulation

– Peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation)

– Bleeding disorders

– Diabetes

We encourage those individuals without the above medical conditions to schedule a routine podiatric wellness exam! Either it be yourself of someone you love let the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic keep your feet safe this summer and year round!

Fiasco-Free Flip-Flops!

070 flip flopsThe warm sunshine of summer is near and feet everywhere are happily stepping out into a variety of sandals and flip-flops. However, in Florida these types of footwear are a wardrobe staple year-round. Though they may seem carefree and harmless, the wrong pair of flip-flops can lead to a variety of issues including, but not limited to: blisters, tendinitissprained ankles, ligament injuries, plantar fasciitis, cuts, scrapes, and stubbed toes.

Despite their fun or trendy appearance, flip-flops are typically not healthy for your feet. Generally speaking, most flip-flops should not be worn exclusively throughout the day. Like most things in life, moderation is key!

The following American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) flip-flop “do’s” and “don’ts” can help keep you from falling victim to flip-flop related foot problems this summer:

  • Do gently bend a flip-flop at the ends, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Flip-flops of any kind should never fold completely in half.
  • Do look for the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance on flip-flops. Many companies, such as FitFlop, Chaco, and Orthaheel, have certain flip-flops or sandals that have been awarded the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance for demonstrating proper support.
  • Don’t re-wear flip-flops year after year. Inspect older pairs for wear. If severe signs of wear are found, discard them.
  • Don’t wear flip-flops if you have diabetes, as the footwear leaves feet susceptible to cuts and scrapes that may lead to serious injury. Instead, opt for lightweight footwear that covers and protects the toes.

If you have questions regarding making healthy shoe decisions, request an appointmentwith the First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinicin Jacksonville today.

With Beautiful People There is Still Toenail Fungus Among Us

BeyoncePeople Magazine has announce Beyonce as its’ 2012 Most Beautiful Woman.  The Grammy winner joins a list shared by Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, and Jessica Pare of “Mad Men”. There’s no surprise the new mother to Blue Ivy Carter received this honor, as she’s always so well put together from head to toe. And with summerfast approaching in Jacksonville, FL, toes will become more visible as folks trade shoes for sandals… or just opt to go barefoot!  Unfortunately, far too many people keep their tootsies under cover due to toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a dermatophyte fungal infection of the nail and one of the most common dermatologic disorders affecting the foot. The sometimes “ugly and embarrassing” toenail fungus can be ignored because the infection can be present for years causing no pain.

Signs and symptoms of nail fungi are:

  • Discolored nails; yellow streaks, white spots, brown or grey nail, etc.
  • Brittle, broken, and thickened nail
  • Soft and powdery nail surface
  • Damaged, crumbly, nail surface
  • Lifting of the leading edge of the nail
  • Occasionally an odor – the condition is very tough to miss

In the past, the only medical treatment for fungal nails included:

  • Topical medications: generally minimally effective or completely ineffective
  • Oral agents (pills): potentially successful in treating the infection, have been known to affect the liver and/or kidneys if special care is not taken
  • Surgical removal of the nail plate: painful and debilitating

Fortunately, modern medicine and the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic have an easy solution to treat nail fungus… the PinPointe FootLaser. This FDA approved, patented laser is specially designed to shine through your toenail and destroy the specific pathogens embedded in and under the toenail causing the infection.

pretty toesAbout the PinPointe FootLaser:

  • Does not effect healthy tissue
  • Little to no discomfort associated with the treatment during or after (some patients report the sensation of heat on their toes during treatment)
  • Will not harm or affect your activity in any way
  • No age or health restrictions or limitations (Men, women diabetics and those who are pregnant can benefit from treatment)
  • Only a licensed physician such as Dr. Reddy can administer the PinPointe FootLaser

If you or someone you know may be shy to show their toes due to potential toenail fungus request an appointment today. Imagine how much more enjoyable a day at the pool or Jacksonville Beach could be with a visit to the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic.

Wedding Season is Here: Pretty Toes a Must!

remedyStop the presses!  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are engaged!  And with wedding season well underway here on the First Coast, many of us will be slipping into strappy sandals, peep toe heels and cute flip-flops for upcoming nuptials in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach or St. Augustine Florida.  For the confidence to show off those toes with and pride… It’s trivia time!

Question:

What product was created by two board-certified podiatric physicians, has the ability to treat nail fungus and yellow nails without any harsh chemicals, is fully endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association(APMA), and can make you look like a million bucks???

Answer:  

Dr.’s REMEDY enriched, anti-fungal, non-toxic nail polish!

Commercial nail polishes are often formulated with Dibutyl Phthalate a/k/a DBP (banned throughout the European Union), toluene, and formaldehyde – each linked to a wide variety of health risks including, but not limited to, cancer, infertility, and birth defects. Why should looking good involve such extreme risks? With Dr.’s REMEDY polish, it doesn’t have to!

Dr.’s REMEDY line of nail care products are formulated with non-toxic, natural ingredients that help – not hurt – your nails, such as:

  • Tea Tree Oil:  Found to have antiseptic and antifungal effects
  • Garlic Bulb Extract:  Contains a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent that helps kill harmful germs
  • Vitamins C & E:  Improves the health of skin and nails
  • Wheat Protein:  A vegetable-derived, high quality protein that contains moisture-binding capabilities and naturally increases shine

Dr.’s REMEDY polish is allergen friendly for those sensitive to ingredients in commercial nail polish. And it’s a vegan product!  Add these healthy benefits to a long-lasting coat of color (over 30 available) and you have a recipe for a great polish.

Don’t bother looking around the mall for Dr.’s REMEDY products. You can find them at First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinicin Jacksonville. If you have any questions or concerns about your foot, ankle or toenail needs request an appointment.