Posts for category: Common Foot Conditions, Sports Injuries

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 25, 2017
Tags: Untagged

To beat the increasing heat as summer approaches, you decide to move your exercise routine indoors. You start working out on the treadmill but it doesn’t seem very challenging—until you discover the incline programs. You increase the slope and the amount of time you’re walking until you really feel like you’re burning calories. The next day, however, when you get out of bed, you can hardly walk. The area in the back of your lower leg between your heel and your calf is so sore and stiff. If this or a similar scenario sounds familiar, chances are you’ve aggravated your Achilles tendon, a condition patients frequently bring to us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care.

Inflaming the Tendon

Sudden increase in the intensity or duration of your exercise program or starting a sport or fitness routine too quickly after a period of inactivity are common causes of Achilles tendonitis but there are other causes of this disorder too. The condition of overpronation or flat feet puts excess pressure on the Achilles tendon. In addition, certain gait abnormalities may inflame the Achilles tendon since it is the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle and is instrumental in raising your heel off the ground when you walk.

Treatment and Prevention

Our foot and ankle doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will start by examining your foot and ankle and assessing the condition of the Achilles tendon and its range of motion. X-rays or other digital imaging studies may be ordered to help confirm a diagnosis or rule out other causes of pain in this area.

There are several ways to help relieve the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. First, you will need to stop whatever activity is causing the inflammation and give the tendon a rest. If you are experiencing significant pain, the foot doctor may recommend that you ice the area or take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. Night splints, custom orthotics and physical therapy are all possible treatment options depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms.

You can help reduce the risk of future episodes of Achilles tendonitis by taking the time to stretch your calf muscles before and after exercising or physical work. Wearing properly fitted shoes that are designed for the activity or sport you are participating in will also help.

If you are experiencing stiffness, tenderness or pain in your Achilles tendon, contact us to make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050. 

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 06, 2016
Tags: Sever's Disease  

Fall brings a new school year, the start of the fall sports season and, for some children and teens, a painful heel condition known at Sever’s Disease, which we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care see often in young athletes. Not actually a “disease,” this disorder occurs when the growth plate at the back of the heel becomes inflamed, making playing a sport and even simply walking a challenge.

Risk Factors

Sever’s Disease (also known as calcaneal apophysitis) usually strikes children ages 8 to 14. The heel bone is still developing during this phase of a child’s life and the new bone is forming at the growth plate creating a weak spot in the heel. When there is an excessive amount of repetitive pounding and stress on the foot, inflammation can flare up causing severe pain.

It’s important to recognize the signs of Sever’s Disease, particularly in children on the younger side who may not be able to articulate the discomfort in their ankles. Other symptoms you may notice include:

  • Pain when the sides of the heel are being squeezed
  • Limping
  • Walking on tip toes
  • Difficulty running or participating in sports usually enjoyed
  • Tiredness or complaints of not wanting to play

The main source of this disorder is overuse and stress due to a sport. Participants in two fall sports in particular—track and soccer—which involve a good amount of running and pounding on the heel, have a higher risk of developing Sever’s Disease. There are other factors that can make a child more prone to Sever’s Disease and these include: a tight Achilles tendon, biomechanical foot problems like a high arch or flatfeet and obesity.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will need to examine your child’s foot and find out about his or her activities. The podiatrist may also want x-rays or other imaging studies done to better evaluate the heel and rule out other conditions or injuries.

Once a diagnosis of Sever’s Disease is confirmed, the foot doctor has a number of non-invasive treatment options including: physical therapy, immobilization, custom orthotics and medication. A treatment plan will be created to suit your child’s particular needs.

As a parent, it’s important not to ignore a child’s complaints of foot pain. Early detection and treatment of foot problems leads to the best results with less chance of chronic issues later on. If your child is experiencing any foot or ankle discomfort, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment today.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 06, 2016
Tags: Ankle Sprains  

Did you know that almost 50% of patients who sprain their ankle once are likely to experience future ankle sprains or pain? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our patients to learn how to prevent ankle injuries. When an ankle sprain is not healed completely, the result can be chronic lateral ankle pain. You may experience symptoms of an ankle sprain: tenderness, pain on the outside of the ankle, swelling and stiffness in the ankle on a regular basis. For some people, the pain can be severe enough that it prevents them from participating in activities they want to do. Patients with this condition also feel as if their ankle is going to “give way,” and may twist their ankle easily when stepping onto uneven pavement or a hiking trail.

Stay Steady

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, make an appointment to see one of our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. The foot doctor will want to examine your foot, take a medical history and find out more about your symptoms. Imaging studies, such as digital x-rays may be ordered. This is so the doctor can rule out other causes of ankle pain which can include a fracture, arthritis, tendon or joint lining inflammation.

Once the podiatrist has ruled out other possible causes of your ankle discomfort, you can take steps to strengthen your ankle and prevent future injuries. These may include:

  • Physical therapy and exercises that will help increase your range of motion and also strengthen the muscles that support the ligaments of your ankle
  • Steroid injections
  • A brace or some other kind of support to keep your ankle from twisting

If the cause of your chronic lateral ankle pain is a loose bone fragment or if the tear to the ligaments is severe, the foot doctor may recommend surgery to repair and strengthen your ankle.

To prevent additional ankle problems, finish the course of treatment your podiatrists prescribes.  Do not return to sports or fitness activities until your foot doctor gives the okay and wear appropriate fitting and supportive shoes designed specifically for the sport you are playing.

If you have additional questions on how to protect your ankles, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050. 

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 24, 2016

The Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone, is the strongest tendon in your whole body. It can withstand forces of over 1,000 pounds. It is also very susceptible to injury and inflammation and often causes athletes—both professional and amateur—to sit out many a game.

What Does it Feel Like?

In most patients we see at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with Achilles tendonitis it starts gradually with some minor aches and pains in the tendon area a few hours after exercise. Over time, the pain gets worse and may occur while you are exercising as well. Other symptoms include swelling in the calf area, a little tenderness above the back of your heel first thing in the morning, stiffness and just an overall tired feeling in your calf and lower leg area.

What Causes It?

There are several factors that can bring on Achilles tendonitis, including:

  • Starting an exercise or sport too rapidly after a time off from activity
  • Excessive hill running or stair climbing
  • Not stretching or warming up adequately before exercising
  • Increasing the mileage or speed of your walking or running routine too quickly
  • Tight calf muscles
  • An injury caused by a sudden intense pushing off movement that involves the calf such as a sprint
  • Overpronation (feet roll inward)
  • The wrong footwear or improperly fitted footwear

What Can Be Done?

Once our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah have diagnosed Achilles tendonitis, there are several treatment options available depending on what’s causing the problem. Mostly likely, the foot doctor will ask you to rest the foot for a period of time and possibly to switch to activities that do not put strain on the tendon. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended to relieve pain and inflammation. To protect the tendon in the future, the podiatrist may recommend a bandage to limit the motion of the tendon, orthotics to relieve pressure on the area and exercises to stretch the tendon and make injury less likely.

If you believe you may be suffering from Achilles tendonitis, contact our Edison, Monroe, or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 29, 2016
Tags: Turf Toe  

Spring has sprung and as more athletes take to the field, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care see an increase of the injury known as turf toe. Turf toe is an injury that occurs when the big toe joint bends upward beyond its normal range. This can happen suddenly, such as when you stub your toe or it “jams” or it can happen gradually over time with activities that require repeated pushing off with the big toe. The disorder gets its name because athletes who play on artificial turf are more prone to this injury due to the fact that the foot tends to stick to the surface, increasing the likelihood of the toe jamming and the turf toe injury occurring.


If you have turf toe, you will most likely feel pain in the big toe joint. There may also be swelling and stiffness and it may be difficult to bend the toe. When turf toe is the result of a trauma or sudden injury, the symptoms will come on immediately and get worse over the 24 hours following the injury. If turf toe is caused by repetitive motion, the symptoms will usually be intermittent and gradually get worse. Sometimes, because the pain is not so bad, a person will continue playing on the injured toe, making the injury more severe.

Healing Turf Toe

If you are having pain in your big toe joint, our foot and ankle doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will do a complete examination of your big toe and your foot. The podiatrist will also take your medical history and ask questions about your activities and when you noticed the symptoms. X-rays or other imaging studies may be ordered to make sure the toe is not broken.

The treatment of turf toe follows the RICE regimen: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Once the injury has healed, the foot doctor may recommend modifications to your sports shoes or your activities to prevent turf toe from recurring.

If you think you may have turf toe or are experiencing pain or swelling anywhere in your foot, contact our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office for an appointment. The sooner your discomfort is diagnosed, the sooner you will be on the road to recovery.