Ready or not, here comes Gasparilla

The Tampa Podiatrist - Gasparilla Parade

Since 1905, the annual pirate invasion has become one of the largest parades in the country. This year, an estimated 300,000 people will line Bayshore Blvd as they try their best to collect as many beads as possible from dozens of passing floats and pirate ships. The tradition has also evolved into one of the largest parties in the region. When you mix alcohol with that many people, accidents and injuries are bound to happen. Every year, we see a slew of various foot injuries the week right after the parade ranging from broken bones to stepping on broken glass. The best thing you can do is to be prepared and to be aware of your surroundings.

It seems as though boots have become the shoe of choice for every single girl in attendance. They go great with pirate hats but are a very poor choice when it comes to comfort. Towards the end of the event, many girls end up taking their shoes off and braving the broken-glass riddled streets of South Tampa. The obvious way to prevent this is to keep your shoes on.  However if you do happen to step on something, we have state-of-the-art ultra-sound, X-rays, and the expertise to safely remove any foreign bodies.

Some pirates with bad shoes…or lack thereof

Ankle sprains and stubbed toes are also very common.  The uneven side streets along the parade route make for dangerous terrain. We get a lot of, “I swear that curb came out of nowhere” stories. The ending is generally the same: a badly twisted ankle accompanied with the occasional bad fracture that requires 6-8 weeks of recovery.

And of course any activity that requires extensive walking, we highly recommend supportive shoes with custom orthotics. At 4.5 miles, Bayshore is the longest continuous side walk in the world. This can add up to a lot of mileage on your feet. Add on some poor shoe gear and that’s a recipe for heel pain. If you decide to wear those Chuck Taylors or flats, consider making an appointment to be fitted for a pair of custom orthotics to make them actually comfortable to wear. You can walk out with your very own pair of orthotics the same day as your first visit.

Please take all the proper precautions this weekend. In the unfortunate event that you sustain ANY toe, foot or ankle injury, call us at 813-875-0555. We have SAME DAY appointments that’ll get you feeling better in no time. The staff and doctors of Healthy Feet Podiatry wish you a happy and safe Gasparilla Weekend.

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