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Posts for: July, 2017

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 26, 2017
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Have you been experiencing pain in your calf on a consistent basis? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we find that there are a wide variety of possible causes of calf pain in patients we treat. Below are some questions to ask that may help lead to the source of the pain:

Have you changed your fitness routine? If you’ve made a sudden increase in the intensity or duration of your exercise program, you may experience calf pain. While a certain amount of muscles soreness is normal—particularly if you are starting a sport that uses the calf muscles, or if you’ve been inactive for awhile—lasting or severe pain is not. A ruptured Achilles tendon or inflammation of the tendon (Achilles tendonitis) are possible causes of the pain.

Did you have surgery recently and/or fly on a plane? A very serious cause of calf pain is a Deep Vein Thrombosis. This is a blood clot that forms deep in the calf and can be extremely dangerous if it breaks free and travels to the heart, lungs or other organs. If you have any reason to believe that Deep Vein Thrombosis is a possibility, contact your doctor immediately.

Are you drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet? Current guidelines recommend that you drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day to stay fully hydrated. Calf cramps, particularly when they occur during the night, can be a sign of dehydration. Also, if you are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals you may experience pain in your calf.

Do you have diabetes? Circulatory problems are often associated with diabetes. Poor blood flow to the lower extremities is another possible source of calf pain. Other diseases such as Peripheral Vascular Disease are characterized by decreased blood flow to the legs, resulting in pain in the calf area.

In some cases, calf pain may be a sign of other podiatric problems such as flat feet or an ankle issue. The only way to find out for sure what’s causing the pain and how to relieve it is to make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. Our foot doctor will conduct a physical examination of your feet and ankles and also ask questions about your medical history and lifestyle to track down the cause of your calf pain and then prescribe the correct treatment. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey today by calling 732-662-3050.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 21, 2017
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Are you expecting? Congratulations! You are probably well aware that this happy event will bring many changes to your body and at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that there are some that will particularly affect your feet. While not the focus of your pregnancy, the health of your feet can play a large part in how comfortable you feel. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help you take care of your feet so they can take care of you and the baby you are carrying:

Do: drink plenty of water, especially if you are pregnant during the hot and humid summer months. However, staying hydrated helps with a pregnancy issue that can occur in any season: swelling, or edema. Your feet and ankles are likely to become the repository for much of the extra fluid your body will be producing. Drinking water actually helps flush the excess fluid out of your system.

Do: buy a bigger size shoe if your feet start to feel cramped and pinched in the last trimester of your pregnancy. Your body releases a hormone known as relaxin, which will loosen ligaments in your body. The purpose is to relax the birth canal to make delivery easier. In your feet, however, the loosening ligaments may allow your feet to spread a bit and actually become larger.

Don’t: wear high or spiky heels. Your center of gravity will shift as your pregnancy progresses and this makes it easier to lose your balance.  In addition, the relaxin hormone mentioned above will also loosen your ankle ligaments, making sprains and other injuries more likely.

Do: put your feet up periodically throughout the day if possible, and definitely at the end of the day. This will help ease swelling and foot pain issues and is just a good idea for moms to be.

If you have unusual podiatric symptoms while you are pregnant, or are experiencing foot or ankle pain, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet and prescribe any necessary treatment for foot conditions that develop during this time. 


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 13, 2017
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we find that many patients suffer unnecessarily with bunions for a long time before they come for treatment. Partly this is because they are unaware that multiple treatment options exist or because they believe surgery is the only option, which they want to avoid. The truth is, there are many ways to bring relief from bunion pain that are non-invasive. Most of them, however, are most effective when used in the earlier stages of the deformity.

Since bunions are a progressive disorder—meaning that without treatment they will only get worse over time, the sooner you come into our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office, the better your chances are of avoiding surgery and being able to utilize a conservative treatment method. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to examine your bunion, get a complete medical history (bunions are often due to an inherited biomechanical defect) and probably take an x-ray to assess the extent of the deformity. The x-ray can also serve as a baseline to track the bunion’s progression. Once the foot doctor has a complete picture of your bunion, the appropriate treatment can be determined. Non-surgical options include:

  • Shoe modification: This is the simplest solution. By choosing shoes that are made of a soft, flexible material and have a roomy toe box to accommodate the bony protrusion of the bunion, you can greatly reduce the pain associated with rubbing and pressure from footwear. You also may be able to prevent corns and calluses from forming—two painful conditions often associated with a bunion.
  • Protective padding: If corns or blisters have formed as a result of the bunion, padding on the sore spot may help decrease friction from shoes and allow inflammation and skin irritation to subside.
  • Orthotic devices: Since faulty foot mechanics are the root cause of many bunions, our foot doctor may prescribe a custom orthotic insert for your shoes that will stabilize the joint and correct the positioning of the foot. This will not only increase comfort, but it can also help slow the progression of the bunion.
  • Exercise and physical therapy: Arthritis and joint stiffness are  possible side effects of bunions. Stretching and other exercises can preserve joint mobility.
  • Night splints: These can be worn to help properly align joints and toes. Splints are particularly helpful for adolescents suffering from bunions because their bones are still developing and may be more malleable.

If you have noticed an enlarged joint starting at the base of your big toe or are experiencing any pain or discomfort in this area, contact us as soon as possible by calling: 732-662-3050. The sooner you begin treatment, the faster you will get relief from painful symptoms and be able to slow the bunion’s progression.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 07, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
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Summer fun is something we all look forward to but at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care it’s also a time of the year when we see an increase in certain foot conditions and injuries. You can enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer and still keep your feet safe and healthy if you take a few precautions. Below are some foot health concerns you’ll want to try to prevent:

  1. Ankle Sprains—does this sound familiar? You’re at a family picnic and your nephews challenge you to a basketball shoot out or friends at the beach want to play volleyball. You join in wearing your flip flops or sandals and there’s that one killer shot that results in an ankle twisting injury. Even spontaneous and casual athletic activities require the proper footwear. Keep a pair of sneakers in your car for impromptu games.
  2. Fungal Infections—fungi and bacteria love the summer months! They thrive in dark, damp places like sweaty socks and shoes and they are spread by direct contact—all those bare feet around the pool make it so easy! You can help reduce the risk of fungal skin and toenail infections by keeping feet dry. Change socks often and use a foot powder if you tend to sweat profusely. Avoid coming in contact with surfaces or items that may have touched other people’s feet. If you get professional pedicures, be sure to check that your salon is following proper sanitizing procedures.
  3. Sunburn—getting sunburn on your feet can sideline you if it’s too uncomfortable to even put shoes on. People often forget to lather up the sunscreen on the bottoms of their feet but if you’re spending the day at the pool or beach with your feet up it’s essential. Don’t forget to reapply after swimming. Remember to use sunscreen too if you are just out for a day of shopping or sightseeing if you are wearing open shoes or sandals.
  4. Puncture wounds—another common summer hazard for feet are puncture wounds and cuts. Lake bottoms, beaches and grassy yards can all hide sharp objects that can injure an unsuspecting victim. Your best bet is to limit the amount of time you go bare foot. Water shoes and other summer footwear will protect your feet from cuts and wounds.

If despite your best efforts, you do injure your foot or end up with an itchy rash on the skin of your feet, don’t delay in making an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050. Prompt treatment means you’ll be back to summer fun faster and avoid a more serious condition.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 03, 2017
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It lurks in dark, moist areas—waiting for unsuspecting victims to walk by. The shower at the gym, the community pool, even the dance studio and pedicure salon are some of its favorite places to lie in wait. Then, when a foot makes contact, the virus grabs hold and begins to work its way into the foot through microscopic cuts in the skin, until--a wart is born.

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care warts are a condition we treat quite frequently, particularly in children and adolescents. In the summer we often see an increase in the number of cases of warts because there are more opportunities for people to be bare foot.

Recognizing Warts

Warts sometimes get mistaken for corns or calluses. Certain warts can appear as a raised, fleshy bump that resembles the layers of dead skin that make up a callus. Another type of wart, known as a plantar wart (or verrucas) has a different appearance. It is usually hard and flat with a rough surface. It is often gray or brownish in color with tiny pinpoints of black in the center. Although not harmful, warts can be painful, especially if they are on the bottom, weight-bearing part of your foot. The pressure from standing and walking can cause a sharp, burning pain. Warts are also contagious and can be spread to other parts of your body or to other people by touching or scratching a wart or by coming in contact with skin shed from the wart. Sometimes a wart may bleed and this is another way it can spread. 

Treatment

Getting rid of a wart can be difficult. We urge our patients to come into our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for treatment. Although over-the-counter products exist, they are often ineffective and can destroy healthy tissue surrounding the wart. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet and recommend the correct treatment for your wart. Treatment options include prescription ointments and medications and laser cautery. Contact us today for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that a wart won’t return but you can greatly reduce the risk of getting warts by keeping feet covered when walking in public places and not sharing items that touch other people’s feet.