At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care many of the foot disorders we treat could have been prevented or at the very least caught at an earlier stage if patients practiced better foot care and were vigilant in noting changes in the feet that can signal a potential problem. We want our patients to be proactive in the care of their feet. Here’s how:
If you have concerns about a toe, foot or ankle condition or want more information on how to properly care for your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment today by calling: 732-662-3050.
Are you experiencing pain under your big toe or on the ball of your foot? Is it painful to bend and straighten your big toe? Have you noticed any swelling or bruising on the ball of your foot? If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, you may have a condition known as sesamoiditis.
What are Sesamoids?
Sesamoids are tiny bones that are embedded in muscle or connected only to tendons. This bone structure occurs in only a few places in our bodies and one of them is the bottom of the foot. Two sesamoids are near the base of the big toe. Their job is to provide a smooth surface for tendons to glide over easily. This helps with weight bearing and bending the big toe. When the tendons near the sesamoids get inflamed, sesamoiditis is the result. The inflammation is usually the result of overuse and at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we see it fairly often in runners, baseball and softball catches, dancers and other patients who participate in other activities that put an excessive amount of pressure on the toes and forefoot.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The first step is to have one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah take a look at your foot. During your appointment at our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office, the foot doctor will focus on the joint of your big toe. The podiatrist may observe you walking and check the wear pattern of your shoes. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered. Once a diagnosis of sesamoiditis is confirmed, the foot doctor will want you to rest the foot and take a break from the activity that is causing the irritation to the tendons. There are several treatment options available:
In extreme cases, you may need to wear a removable brace on your feet for several weeks to allow the bones to heal. It’s best not to delay seeking treatment. If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, contact us by calling: 732-662-3050.
The simplest definition of orthotics is any device that gets inserted into your shoe. Orthotics may provide support, shift the position of your foot or help correct a defect or functional problem. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care orthotics can be part of the treatment plan for a number of different conditions including: plantar fasciitis, arthritis, hammertoe, sesamoiditis and many others.
Types of Orthotics
Although there are over-the-counter orthotics people try for minor foot issues, custom orthotics that are made to fit your individual foot can greatly reduce pain and increase ease of walking and participating in activities you enjoy. Orthotics can be used to protect painful or injured areas, increase foot function or both.
There are three kinds of orthotics:
If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your toes, feet or ankles, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment. Non-invasive treatments, such as orthotics, are available to help get you back to your normal level of activity.
Soccer Moms (and Dads) in New Jersey are dusting off their children’s cleats and gearing up for the fall season. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we expect to be seeing an increase in injuries related to soccer in the upcoming weeks and months. Studies show that ankle injuries account for 20 to 30 percent of all soccer injuries. Being a contact sport, many injuries occur due to collisions with other players. Overuse injuries are a concern as well. Some of the more common podiatric conditions soccer players are at risk for include:
Keeping Players Safe
There are a number of ways to help decrease the incidence of injury in soccer and help children protect the health of their feet and ankles:
Prepare: Make sure your child is conditioning and in good physical shape before starting to play. Many injuries occur because muscles and ligaments that have had the summer off are suddenly and intensely being worked out. A good practice routine should include warm up and cool down stretches to help protect muscles.
Equip: Do an equipment check on your child’s gear. Field appropriate soccer shoes or cleats are necessary and if they are from last season need to be assessed for size and wear. Shin guards are also a must.
Monitor: If your child has had a previous foot or ankle injury, be sure to follow your podiatrist’s instructions for protecting the vulnerable area. Watch for any signs of recurrence. Be observant of your child’s playing conditions—the field should be in good condition without holes or bare spots and goal posts should be padded. Good coaching practices should be followed. If you notice something you think is potentially harmful, speak up.
If your child does complain of pain, even in the middle of a game, don’t encourage them to play through it. Make an appointment at our Monmouth Junction, Monroe or Edison office as soon as possible by calling: 732-662-3050. Our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your child’s foot and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Playing safe means not letting minor injuries become major by delaying diagnosis or treatment.
At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our patients to know that there is an important connection between your feet and your weight. The more you weigh, the more pressure gets put on your feet. Being as little as one pound overweight can increase the pressure on your ankles as you go a flight of stairs by 4 to 6 times! Being overweight can increase your risk of developing or increase the severity of several foot problems, including:
There’s another big health risk associated with being overweight and that’s developing diabetes. Diabetes poses several health threats to your feet due to neuropathy and poor circulation that can result in ulcers, wounds, injuries and infections.
Raising Children to be a Healthy Weight
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and since studies show that obese children have a high likelihood of becoming obese adults, it’s important to get and keep your children on a path to a healthy weight now.
The simplest way to do this for children (and adults!) is making sure they are burning more calories than they are consuming. Parents can do this by controlling diet—limiting the high sugar snacks, increasing the fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet, replacing sugary drinks with water, and also by increasing physical activity—according to current guidelines, a child should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Some simple ways to increase active time is to spend more time as a family doing physical activities such as bike riding, walking, swimming or hiking.
If your child seems reluctant to participate in sports or other activities, particularly if they are ones they have enjoyed in the past, it’s possible that they are having a foot problem. Young children especially are not always able to articulate foot pain or discomfort. Make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling 732-662-3050 and let our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah examine your child’s feet and ankles.
Healthy feet are part of a healthy body. Help your child to develop good habits now that will enable them to live a long and active life well into the future.
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