Posts for: December, 2016

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 29, 2016
Tags: Gout  

Chances are if you’ve had an attack of gout it was memorable. Extreme, throbbing pain in a very swollen big toe which often comes on in the middle of the night and lasts for several hours before subsiding is typical. Also known as gouty arthritis, this condition occurs as a result of an excessive amount of the salts or uric acid (known as purines) building up and crystallizing in the joints. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our patients to know more about this condition and how to prevent it.

Why Here, Why Now?

Although gout can strike any joint, the big toe is the most common site of this affliction. Two reasons for this being: uric acid is sensitive to temperature and is more likely to crystallize when it’s cold. Not only is it winter, but your big toe is the part of your body farthest from the heart and therefore it’s the coldest. The other significant factor is that your big toe joint is exposed to an extreme amount of pressure when you walk. Your diet can also play a key role in triggering gout. Red meat, shellfish, rich sauces, brandy, beer and wine have all been linked to gout attacks and these types of food are served in abundance during the holiday season.

What Can Be Done?

Once you’ve had gout, it’s likely to reoccur in the same toe. One of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to examine your toe and also get a complete medical history. Most likely the foot doctor will ask questions about your recent activities and diet. During a gout attack, icing the big toe or applying a cooling lotion may help reduce the pain and swelling. On an ongoing basis, the podiatrist may prescribe medication and suggest dietary modifications to help prevent future attacks. Sometimes the foot doctor may recommend shoes that are specially made to help minimize gout-related pain.

If you have additional questions about the painful condition of gout, please contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 22, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

You’re probably making your list and checking it twice to be sure you’ve got something nice for everyone on your list. For those “hard to buy for” friends and family, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care would like to suggest some treats for feet:

Personal Pedicure Set—getting a salon pedicure is certainly a treat but can carry the risk of fungal infection if proper sanitizing procedures are not followed. Clients who bring their own pedicure tools, however, eliminate that worry. Consider pairing with a gift certificate to a local salon.

Socks—doesn’t sound exciting but people rarely splurge on truly good socks. If there is a ski or other winter sports enthusiast on your list, a pair of warm wool socks is a great gift. Also, light-weight socks made of a moisture-wicking material are a good choice for outdoorsy types to wear underneath heavier socks to help keep feet warm and dry.

Luxurious Rich Moisturizer—skin tends to get dry in the winter. For feet, that can lead to flaking and painful cracks. Treat someone special to an extra emollient lotion or cream to rub into tired feet at the end of the day. Include a pair of super soft booty socks to put on after applying the moisturizer.

Gift Certificate to a Sport Shoe Store—avid runners and serious athletes should be wearing shoes specifically designed for their activities and replace them as soon as they wear out. Sport shoe stores will professionally measure your foot and may even ask you to run on a treadmill to analyze your individual gait and running pattern to help you find the best shoe to enhance performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, wish everyone happy holidays and remind you to contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for all your podiatric needs by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 16, 2016
Category: Proper Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that you have much to do during the holiday season but we want to remind all our patients to take good care of your feet at this busy time of the year. Not surprisingly, many foot problems surface during the holidays because patients are on their feet for an above average amount of time. If you do start to experience pain or discomfort in your toes, feet or ankles we urge you to make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office to be evaluated by one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. Putting it off until after the holidays may create a far worse problem than simply treating the condition promptly while in its early stages.

You can also help prevent foot and ankle problems with a few simple tips:

Be sensible about shoes—tis the season for fashion boots and high-heeled party shoes but be aware that many boots lack adequate arch support and time spent in heels squeezes toes, leading to a host of problems such as bunions and ingrown toenails. Wear comfortable shoes with wide toe boxes for the majority of your walking and change into your fashionable shoes when you arrive at your event. Be sure that you have shoes with good gripping soles for icy sidewalks and slippery driveways to prevent ankle sprains and falls.

Wash, dry, moisturize—don’t neglect your winter footcare regimen. Wash feet daily with soap and water and dry completely, especially between the toes. Hot homes, offices and cars can lead to sweaty feet and create a breeding ground for fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.

Don’t overindulge—there are lots of tempting treats during the holidays but try to take small tastes rather than eating full portions of everything in sight. Excess weight increases the stress on your feet and can raise your risk for several foot conditions.

Know when to say when—and finally, when your feet are tired, get off them! Pace yourself and take good care of your feet this holiday season so they can help you do all that you wish to do.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 08, 2016
Tags: Toe Fracture  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we hear many false statements about toe fractures from patients. These myths can result in chronic pain and long term disability so we’d like to set the record straight:

Myth:  “If you can walk on it, it’s not broken.” There are 19 toe and metatarsal bones in each foot. If one of them is fractured, especially if it’s a stress fracture (a hairline crack on the surface of the bone) you may very well be able to walk. In fact, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah may need an x-ray to confirm a fracture in your toe.

Myth: “If your toe hurts really badly it’s probably broken.” There are other symptoms besides pain that indicate a toe fracture. These include: bruising, swelling, and a crooked or abnormal appearance of the toe. The pain may actually subside after a few hours in the case of a toe fracture and should not be used as the determining factor for a fracture. In the case of a stress fracture, the pain may only be present when you are active and not when you are resting. Of course, if you heard a snapping sound at the moment your toe was injured and you are in pain, chances are a fracture has occurred.

Myth: “There’s nothing that can be done for a broken toe.” The foot doctor has several treatment options depending on the location and severity of the break. Rest, buddy taping the toe to another toe and using a splint or special shoes to keep the toe in place are all noninvasive toe fracture treatments. In cases of severe fracture, surgery may be required.

Myth: “A broken toe will heal on its own.” A fractured toe that is not treated promptly and properly may result in long term problems, including:

  • Chronic pain due to the bones not joining
  • Deformity in the bone structure which may limit range of motion and movement and make it difficult to find shoes to comfortably fit your foot
  • Arthritis developing in the joint of a fractured toe

For these reasons, you should seek medical treatment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office immediately if you believe you may have fractured a toe. Contact us for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 02, 2016
Tags: Untagged

With winter fast approaching, you may think cold feet are just the norm for the season. Digging out your fur-lined boots or wearing an extra pair of socks may help, but feet that are constantly cold can be a sign of a bigger problem. Most often, chronically cold feet are an indication of poor circulation. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will be on the lookout for potentially serious causes of cold feet, including:

  • Peripheral Artery Disease—this is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries that bring blood to your legs and feet (as well as other parts of your body). It is similar to coronary artery disease and has the same risk factors: smoking, heart disease, high blood pressure and history of stroke. Your podiatrist can evaluate the circulation to your feet by checking for pulses.
  • Diabetes—poor circulation is often associated with this disease.
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon—cold feet accompanied by changes in skin color from normal to a bluish white can be a sign of Raynaud’s Phenomenon. This condition mostly affects women and stress, smoking (which has a negative impact on circulation) and certain medications can all trigger symptoms.
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Nerve issues, such as peripheral neuropathy or fibromyalgia
  • Autoimmune disorders, including scleroderma lupus

Get Checked

Due to the wide range of reasons that feet can be constantly cold, it’s important to make an appointment at our Monroe, Monmouth Junction or Edison office to have your feet examined. The foot doctor has a number of different ways of evaluating your feet and will also take a detailed medical history that can reveal inherited tendencies toward foot problems. Treatment will, of course, depend on the final diagnosis but may include medication, lifestyle changes and referrals to other physicians. If you suffer from chronically cold feet, contact us today at: 732-662-3050.