Posts for: June, 2016

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
June 24, 2016

Many patients have a bony enlargement at the back of the heel, known as Haglund’s Deformity. When this enlargement becomes irritated, problems arise. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we believe in educating our patients about common conditions.

Here are the facts about Haglund’s Deformity:

Women develop Haglund’s Deformity more often than men. The reason for this is that one of primary causes of irritation to the deformity is friction from the stiff backs of pump-style shoes. For this reason, Haglund’s Deformity is also referred to as “pump bump.” Of course, any stiff backed shoes, men’s or women’s, can aggravate this condition. These would include work boots, ice skates and men’s dress shoes. Left untreated, the irritation can result in bursitis or Achilles tendonitis.

Heredity plays a role in Haglund’s Deformity. There are certain structural issues with the foot that can be genetic which make patients more prone to this condition. These include:

  • Walking on the outside of the heel
  • A high arch
  • Tight Achilles tendon

There are many non-surgical treatment options available. While these treatments will not reduce the size of the bony protrusion, they can help minimize inflammation and pain. The foot doctor will first need to examine your heel and try to determine the reason you are suffering from Haglund’s Deformity. X-rays may be ordered to allow the podiatrist to see the foot structure. Depending on what’s causing the irritation, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah may recommend exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon, physical therapy, heel lifts and pads to reduce pressure on the heel and switching to shoes with very soft backs or no backs. The foot doctor may also suggest icing the affected heel and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain until the treatment yields relief.

Don’t suffer unnecessarily. If you are experiencing pain on the back of your heel, contact our Monmouth Junction, Monroe or Edison office for an appointment by calling 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
June 17, 2016
Tags: sesamoiditis  

There are several conditions which cause pain in the ball of your foot. One symptom that points to sesamoiditis over other possible disorders is the pain is most noticeable in the pushing off motion of the foot when walking or running. Another telltale sign is that once you get off your feet, the pain usually disappears fairly rapidly. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we find that patients are often unfamiliar with this disorder. Sesamoids are tiny bones that are not connected by joints. They are embedded directly into the tendons and help those tendons function properly. In your foot, there are two sesamoids located at the base of your big toe. When the sesamoids become inflamed, there is pain and discomfort, especially when bearing weight on the foot. This is sesamoiditis.

What Causes Sesamoids to Become Inflamed?

Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah often have a clue about the cause of sesamoiditis based on the age of the patient. In most cases, if the patient is a senior citizen, the inflammation of the sesamoids is most likely a result of osteoarthritis. People with osteoporosis are also more likely to develop sesamoiditis due to the weakening of their bones. In younger people, sesamoiditis is usually the result of overuse, which can take several forms. If you participate in a sport such as tennis, football or basketball where pushing off is a common motion, you are more at risk for this condition. Also, jobs that require carrying a heavy load or squatting frequently put excessive pressure on the sesamoids and may eventually cause inflammation.

Treatment Options

Once the foot doctor has confirmed the diagnosis of sesamoiditis, you can discuss an appropriate treatment plan. Initially, the podiatrist will probably want you to rest the affected foot, avoiding weight bearing as much as possible and not participating in activities that require excessive pressure on the joint of the big toe. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and icing the ball of the foot may be recommended to relieve pain. Going forward, the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic insert for your footwear to protect the sesamoid area and also correct the mechanics of the foot to shift pressure away from the area.

If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, don’t delay in making an appointment at our Edison or Monroe office by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
June 14, 2016
Tags: capsulitis  

A condition that we see at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care that patients are often unfamiliar with is Capsulitis. Below are some questions and answers about this condition:

What is Capsulitis? It is an inflammation of the ligaments that surround or “encapsulate” the joint at the base of a toe. It occurs most often in the second toe but can happen in the third or fourth toe.

What causes it? Capsulitis happens because of a defect in the mechanics of the foot which results in excessive pressure being put on the ball of the foot with normal weight-bearing. Patients who have a severe bunion deformity, weak arches, tight calf muscles or a second toe that is longer than the big toe are all more prone to developing Capsulitis. Capsulitis can also be caused by an injury or trauma to the foot and is aggravated by wearing poorly fitting shoes and doing activities that require the bending of the toes such as gardening or ladder climbing.

What are the symptoms of Capsulitis? Pain in the bottom forefoot is the most common symptom of Capsulitis. Some patients say it feels like they are walking on a marble or that there is a pebble in their shoe. You may also see swelling at the base of the toe. In the last stages of the disorder, the affected toe may drift or actually cross over the next toe. This is why Capsulitis is sometimes called pre-dislocation syndrome. The symptoms of Capsulitis are similar to some other conditions such as Morton’s Neuroma, and require the diagnosis of one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah.

Can Capsulitis go away without treatment? No. It is a progressive medical problem that will only get worse.

How is Capsulitis treated? There are several possible methods of treatment that the foot doctor may use. If you have Capsulitis, you will need to rest the affected foot and refrain from activities that involve bending your toes. The podiatrist may recommend icing and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and swelling. Taping or splinting the toe can correct its position and custom orthotic devices can be used to help shift weight away from the inflamed area. Stretching exercises may also be recommended.

What should I do if I have symptoms of Capsulitis? Contact our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment. Our professional staff will be able to provide a prompt diagnosis and the right treatment plan for you.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
June 08, 2016
Category: Proper Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

The temperatures are rising and summer time activities are right around the corner. Here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want our patients to have fun and keep their feet safe. Here are some ways to protect your feet:

  1. Limit the time you go barefoot—we know, it’s hard, everyone loves to kick their shoes off in the summer but going barefoot presents a number of foot health concerns. If you are at a public pool or seaside changing rooms and showers, going barefoot will greatly increase your risk of getting a fungal infection like athlete’s foot which is spread in damp places by direct contact. Not wearing shoes also leaves you vulnerable to stepping on sharp objects that can cause a puncture injury.
  2. Avoid sports injuries—Sunday afternoon softball, extreme Frisbee on the beach—warm days bring lots of opportunities for fun and fitness. Even though the game may be informal, you should still stretch and warm up before play. Wear appropriate footwear and don’t overdo it or you could end up with Achilles tendonitis, an ankle sprain or other sports injury.
  3. Remember to apply sunscreen—feet get sunburn too. Apply liberally to the tops and bottoms of your feet before stretching out on your towel or in your chair at the beach or pool.
  4. Stay hydrated—you probably know that drinking plenty of fluids is essential in the hot summer months to replace water as you sweat, but it can also help your feet, by reducing swelling.

If, despite your best efforts, you do suffer a foot or ankle injury, make an appointment at our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will provide prompt diagnosis and the appropriate treatment for all foot and ankle injuries, infections and chronic ailments. Contact us by calling: 732-662-3050.