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By Varun Gujral
April 22, 2015
Category: Fractures

For those of you who follow college basketball—or Big Ten basketball to be exact—the biggest news that surfaced today was that University of Michigan’s senior guard Caris LeVert will be returning for his senior season. LeVert suffered a fifth metatarsal fracture in May 2014 which underwent, what we all thought, successful surgery. However, this past January he suffered another fracture to the same part of his foot requiring him to miss the remainder of the season. Prior to his injury, LeVert was projected to be a first round draft pick in this year’s NBA draft. Sadly, his stock dramatically plummeted after his injury and he was recently projected to be picked early in the second round.

Fifth metatarsal fractures, as we’ve eluded to many times before, are extremely common—in fact, the most common—injuries amongst athletes. With that said, it is also common for athletes to re-injure themselves. This can be avoided, though, with proper technique and proper post-operative care. As far as the technique, the surgeon must make sure the fixation being used fits properly. Sometimes the screw is too small and may break once any kind of weight is put on it; especially weight and force of a collegiate athlete. Post-operatively, patients should not bear weight for at least 4 weeks and even when they do it should be in a CAM (Controlled Ankle Motion) walker. As always, if you have sustained any type of fracture please do not hesitate to call your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ. These types of injuries are easily treatable but they need to be caught early.

 Caris LeVert is Michigan’s top scorer and best all-around player and he is someone they could have used this past season. What’s interesting about Levert’s return to Michigan is, he wants to pursue and finish his degree. That’s not something you hear from a top-tier athlete who could have potentially gone to the NBA. I would like to tip my hat to him and hope he has a pain-free off-season and a stellar season in 2016. Good luck, Mr. LeVert!

 By Varun Gujral

 

By Nrupa Shah
April 15, 2015
Category: MRSA

It’s obvious that NFL kickers need their feet to be healthy in all aspects in order to perform their best. If the health of their feet is compromised in any way, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. That was not the case for Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker, Lawrence Tynes. Tynes apparently contracted Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection during training camp. Tynes stated that the team did not disclose any information about him having the infection but he claimed they knew he had it. When he went to an outside physician, they knew right away that he had a MRSA infection. Since the infection, Tynes has had to retire due to how painful his toe is. He is currently in the process of suing the team for $20 million dollars.

MRSA infections are extremely serious and need to be monitored closely and treated as soon as possible. MRSA in the lower extremity is not necessarily a life or death issue but it is something that can cause extremely damaging complications sometimes as serious as amputation. In Tynes’ case, he almost had to have an amputation but because it was caught early and he was put on intravenous antibiotics, he was able to save his toe. Some signs to look out for when trying to figure out if you or someone else has contracted a MRSA infection in the foot is: an open sore or wound, active drainage of pus, increased warmth, redness, and swelling. Additionally, if you feel nauseous, feverish, or have vomited recently, those are also some indications that you may have an active infection. If this is the case, you should first go to your nearest emergency department. From there, you may be referred to a foot and ankle surgeon for more specific treatment. Your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ are extensively trained in treating lower extremity foot infections and will do whatever it takes to manage and cure your condition.

Again, if you or someone has any of the aforementioned signs or symptoms do not hesitate to go to your nearest emergency room. MRSA infections are nothing to take lightly and the quicker they are found and treated the quicker you will be on your feet again. It is truly unfortunate that Tynes had to end his career because of something that could have been avoided if caught early enough.

By Nrupa Shah

Not only is walking in high heels difficult, but walking in stilettos is even worse. Why? Stilettos, by definition, are thin, high, tapering heels on a woman’s shoe. The keyword is tapering, meaning the tip gets smaller as you travel down the heel itself. Now, it’s not abnormal to see celebrities flaunting these types of shoes and it’s definitely not abnormal to see Kim Kardashian (West) wearing them. In fact, Kim is known to wear high-heeled sandals! A Few days back Kim was seen wearing stilettos—probably 6-7 inches high. As I’ve stated before, these shoes can cause havoc to those with history of lateral ankle sprains or in those patients who have yet to find out what one feels like. I assure you, you do not want to find out wearing these shoes.

 Lateral ankle sprains are among one of the commonest foot problems that your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ deal with throughout the practice. They seem to occur more often in women than men and I think a lot has to do with wearing of high heels. It’s also known that women tend to have more mobile joints than many again, owing to increase incidence of ankle sprains. Aside from ankle sprains, wearing high heels increases the chance of bunion formation, metatarsalgia—or generalized pain in the balls of your feet, and even hammer toes. Many of these disorders can be avoided or at least controlled by either limiting the wearing of high heels or decreasing the height of the heel. Obviously, if you just quit wearing high heels altogether that would be ideal. However, as foot and ankle surgeons we know that that’s not possible since high heels are part of a women’s wardrobe for work.

In summary, limiting the amount of time one wears high heels, wearing high heels with a shorter heel, or even cutting out high heels will drastically decrease your chances of suffering an ankle sprain, or forming hammertoes and bunions. We know it’s not the easiest thing to do but it’s definitely something we stress to our patients.

 By Varun Gujral

 

By Nrupa Shah
April 01, 2015
Category: Fractures

We have written a lot about Kevin Durant recently mainly because he is—or was—the most dominate basketball player in the NBA and a recent MVP. Interestingly enough, he also has one of the most common foot fractures among athletes or even the general population. Currently, it is said that he will be done for the regular season but, optimistically, he may come back for the post season—if the Thunder can make it that far. Now the reason he is said to be out indefinitely is not because he broke his foot again, it is because of increased soreness of his foot that he cannot tolerate. Some of you may think he is over-reacting but with his type of injury and at his level of athleticism, he is doing the best thing possible by sitting out. As I have stated in previous entries, any type of micro-motion with these injuries greatly decreases the chance of healing and markedly increases the chance of non-union and increased pain. As foot and ankle surgeons, those are the two things we try to control the most—healing and pain control.

 Your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Monroe and Edison, NJ know exactly what it takes to increase healing potential and decrease pain. If, however, you sustain this type of injury and are diagnosed with a non-union there are many different modalities that can be used to help increase healing. One of the most common treatments is the application of a bone stimulator. Bone stimulators help by increasing the electrical field (almost like an electrical stimulator for soft tissue injuries) around the fractured site which in turn increases the healing factors around the bone itself. Another treatment commonly used is the addition of supplements like vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D and calcium are very important in the production and restoration of bone. Lastly, medications called bisphosphonates have also been known to help increase healing time by decreasing the activity of cells that resorb or breakdown bone.

Kevin Durant is one of the most versatile players to date and the game I not the same without him. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him on the court, healthy and healed, soon!

 By Nrupa Shah

 

Every sport typically has some sort of playoff or tournament to see who the best team really is mainly out of those teams who were their respective conferences or divisions. College football had their inaugural playoff this year as a matter of fact. NCAA College basketball, on the other hand, has had a tournament for over 75 years; first tournament was in 1939. March Madness as it’s termed today is one of the most watched sporting events in the country. It’s also a tournament where every single team lays out everything on the basketball court with no intention of leaving anything behind. With that said, players are at an increased risk for sustaining some sort of injury. Georges Niang of the Iowa State Cyclones knows about that all too well. Niang fractured a bone on the outside of his right foot and now he has to sit out the rest of the tournament. The bone he broke is the most common bone to break in the foot and it’s actually the same kind of break that OKC’s Kevin Durant is rehabbing.

Fifth metatarsal fractures are very common but are also very difficult to treat depending on the extent and location of the break. On top of that, high-level athletes make the rehab process a little more daunting too because of their need to get back to the sport as soon as possible. Your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ are highly trained foot and ankle surgeons who know just what it takes to treat these types of fractures. If the fracture is minimal and there is no displacement of the fractured piece they can usually be treated conservatively in a walking boot. However, if the fracture is large and it is displaced then surgical intervention is warranted. After surgery the patient will be non-weight bearing in a boot for about 4-6 weeks. It’s the time after surgery that is most crucial for the bone to heal properly. Any sort of motion (or micro-motion) will inhibit healing and will cause the patient to be off their feet for an extended period of time and this is why non-weight bearing is so important.  From everyone here at AFACare, we want to wish Niang a speedy recovery and to stay off his foot!

 By Varun Gujral

 





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