Posts for: January, 2017

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
January 26, 2017
Tags: Untagged

We’ve all had one—those annoying painful, fluid-filled spots on our feet that sting with every step we take. Although blisters are a minor condition that don’t usually require the treatment of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah, at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we do want to remind patients that blisters can become infected, especially if you try to pop them (which you shouldn’t!). A yellow or white discharge or foul odor coming from the blister may indicate an infection and requires an appointment at our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office ASAP. An open blister can be particularly dangerous for patients with diabetes or other diseases that compromise the immune system or cause circulation difficulties.

Normally, the fluid from the blister will get reabsorbed into the body once new skin has developed under the irritated area. While this healing occurs, you should keep the area clean and covered with a bandage or some moleskin to prevent further rubbing and irritation.

Of course the best way to get relief from a blister is to avoid getting one in the first place!

Here are a few tips on how to prevent blisters:

  1. Only wear shoes that fit properly and are not worn out. As many as 9 out of 10 women and 1 out of 4 men are wearing shoes that are too small for them. Your foot may get larger as you age. Have your foot professionally measured and be sure shoes feel comfortable from day one—there’s no such thing as a “breaking in” period.
  2. Look for socks that wick moisture away from your feet and use a foot powder if you tend to have sweaty feet. That moisture creates more friction and increases the chances of a blister forming.
  3. Avoid tube socks or styles without heels because they tend to bunch up uncomfortably and can lead to blisters.
  4. If renting ski boots, ice skates, bowling or other sports related shoes take a few extra minutes and be sure the shoes are a good fit before beginning the activity.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
January 19, 2017
Category: Senior Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

If you or someone you love is over 60, there are specific foot health issues that need to addressed. As we age, our bodies change and our feet are no exception. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our senior patients to be proactive about their health. Look at the True/False statements below to test your senior foot care knowledge.

Smoking negatively impacts the health of your feet.

TRUE: Smoking reduces circulation. Since your feet are the part of your body that is furthest from your heart, the blood has to travel the longest distance to reach them. For injuries, infections and conditions that impede circulation, such as diabetes, maintaining good circulation is essential. Other ways you can improve circulation are by avoiding sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time and putting your feet up whenever possible. Walking and regular exercise also keeps the blood flowing.

Diabetes, arthritis and other systemic disorders can be detected through your feet.

TRUE: Your feet are like an early warning system for your body. The diseases mentioned above as well as certain circulation, joint and nerve issues first show up in your feet. If caught early, they have much better treatment outcomes.

When you are a senior you can start to check your feet less often.

FALSE: Precisely because your feet can be the first place that diabetes, arthritis and other conditions show up, seniors should actually inspect their feet daily (or have someone else do it). Swelling, bruising, changes in shape, color, temperature can all be indicators of a larger problem. Stiffness, decreased range of motion or unusual lumps, and of course any pain should be reported promptly to one of our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah.

The health of your eyes can affect the health of your feet.

TRUE: Although they’re at opposite ends of your body, if your eyes are experiencing problems, they can cause you to stumble or fall which can result in a fracture, ankle sprain or other injury to your feet or ankles. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. It’s a good time to get an eye exam which can detect this and other conditions that can result in blindness.

If you have other questions about caring for your feet as you age, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office at 732-662-3050 to arrange an appointment.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
January 12, 2017
Tags: Untagged

Pain and discomfort in the ankle can be a debilitating condition. One of the most common causes of ankle pain is a sprain, which is an over-twisting of the ligaments surrounding the ankle bone caused by an injury or severe blow. But what if you haven’t had a recent injury that involved twisting your ankle? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we see patients with ankle pain from several very different causes. The first step to relief is tracking down the source of the pain and discomfort. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will need to examine your ankle and possibly take x-rays or other imaging studies as well as get a complete medical history in order to accurately determine the reason for your ankle pain.

Possible conditions include:

Chronic Lateral Ankle Instability/Pain—this condition is characterized by pain on the outside part of the ankle and weakness in the ankle or a feeling that your ankle is going to “give out” while you walk. Swelling, stiffness and tenderness may also be present. It is usually due to a previous ankle sprain or injury that did not heal completely before the patient resumed normal activity.

Osteochondritis—this is another condition that can develop as a result of past ankle-twisting injuries. The primary symptoms of osteochondritis are stiffness, swelling and pain in the ankle joint which is caused by lesions that form on the joint surface.

Fracture—a fracture may occur at the same time as a bad sprain but not be detected if x-rays or other imaging tests are not performed. Stress fractures, tiny hairline cracks in the surface of the bone can happen in cases of repetitive, overuse of the ankle due to a sport or other activity.

Arthritis—inflammation of the ankle joint or the lining of the joint can cause considerable pain. Gout, a specific arthritic condition, can also affect the ankle.

Nerve Conditions—injury to the nerves that pass through the ankle or compression of the tunnel that encloses them can be another source of chronic ankle pain.

If you are experiencing ankle pain or other symptoms that you do not believe are due to an ankle sprain, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment to find the cause and correct treatment for your condition.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
January 04, 2017
Category: Senior Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

Icy roads, snowy driveways and slushy parking lots mean we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care will be seeing an increase in foot and ankle injuries caused by slips and falls. There’s not much chance of escaping winter weather here in New Jersey but there are ways to reduce your risk of taking a spill. Here are 5 ways to avoid a winter fall:

  1. When the weather outside is frightful, stay home! It may sound obvious, but avoiding going out when the conditions are slippery is the best way to reduce your risk of slipping on ice or snow. Try to keep a supply of staples on hand so that you can get by for a day or two without a trip to the grocery store if the weather is bad.
  2. Don’t rush. If you’re in a hurry to catch the bus, get into your office or make an appointment you’re more likely to miss that icy patch in the parking lot or slip in the slush. Rushing distracts you from being alert to the conditions of the places where you are walking. Quick steps cause you to be less stable as well.
  3. Wear weather-proof shoes. This means shoes or boots with heavy soles that have good traction. Dress shoes, pumps and high-heeled boots may make a fashion statement but they can also result in an ankle sprain or other injury if you count on them for navigating slippery conditions.
  4. Don’t forget your gloves. You want to be able to keep your hands out of your pockets to aid with balance. Also, avoid carrying children and packages on icy surfaces because that can also throw off your balance and increase the likelihood of a fall.
  5. Do the penguin. If you have no choice but to walk on snowy or icy spots, take short shuffling steps and keep your feet as flat as possible for greatest stability.

If you do take a tumble and injure your foot or ankle follow the RICE regimen: rest, ice, compression and elevation and make an appointment to come into our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling 732-662-3050 as soon as possible. One of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your foot and determine if a sprain, fracture or other injury has occurred and if so, what the best treatment will be.