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Posts for: September, 2017

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 29, 2017
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With nearly a quarter of all the bones in your body being in your feet, it’s not surprising that fractures are a common foot problem that we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care treat. Although a fracture means a break in the bone, there are two distinct kinds of bone fractures.

General Bone Fracture—the best known type of a break to a bone in the foot is the kind that goes all the way through the bone. This type of break is most often caused by a trauma, such as having a heavy object dropped onto your foot or jamming it in a car accident or sports activity. Within this category of fractures there are other sub-categories that offer more details about a break: stable means there is a break but the bones still are in alignment as opposed to displaced, which is where the ends no longer match up properly. A bone fracture that breaks through the skin is called an open fracture; one that does not is classified as a closed fracture.

Stress Fractures—this second type of break is a little trickier to diagnose. A stress fracture does not go all the way through the bone. It consists of one or more tiny cracks in the surface of the bone. The symptoms of a stress fracture may come and go, causing patients to delay seeking treatment. Common causes of stress fractures are a sudden increase in exercise (either in intensity or time), repetitive pounding pressure on one area of the foot, changing surfaces for a sport or improper training techniques.

Symptoms

Regardless of the type of fracture, symptoms of a break include pain, swelling and sometimes bruising. If you sustained an acute injury or you experience these symptoms from time to time, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050 at your soonest convenience. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will want to examine your foot and will have questions for you about your injury or your symptoms. X-rays or other diagnostic imaging studies may be ordered to further aid in the diagnosis of a fracture. Once the type and severity of a fracture is ascertained, the foot doctor will be able to prescribe the correct treatment to allow the bone to heal properly.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 21, 2017
Category: Senior Foot Care
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we recognize that our patients have different footcare needs at different stages of their lives. In honor of our senior patients we’d like to offer some important information on preventing falls—the number one cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries to older adults.

Your Surroundings—one way to reduce the risk of falls is by being aware of your environment (indoors and out) and making changes when necessary. Inside your home, that may mean improving lighting, adding rails to both sides of stairs, tubs and toilets and eliminating throw rugs and low lying furniture, potted plants and paper piles. Outside, pay attention to what’s on the ground where you’re walking (i.e., ice, slippery leaves and loose stones). Be on the lookout for curbs and changes in surface elevation, particularly in parking lots and urban settings.

Your Health—be sure that you get regular checkups and follow all your doctor’s instructions. Missing an eye exam may mean you’re wearing glasses that don’t provide optimal vision—a key factor in falls. Have physicians or the pharmacist review your prescriptions periodically to ensure that you are not taking any medications that interact negatively with each other and cause dizziness or lightheadedness. Also, don’t overlook foot pain! Arthritis, bunions, plantar fasciitis and many other foot conditions can lead patients to shift pressure away from painful spots by changing how they walk. This decreases stability and makes a fall more likely. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will diagnose any foot pain or discomfort you may be experiencing and prescribe corrective treatments to eliminate the pain and the need for abnormal gait patterns.

Your Lifestyle—engaging in healthy habits overall can also go a long way to prevent falls. Maintaining an appropriate weight makes it easier to get around. Eat a balanced diet that contains foods rich in bone-strengthening calcium (dairy products, leafy greens and certain fish). Exercise regularly to help keep the bones, muscles and ligaments of your feet limber and flexible. Taking an exercise class that is specifically aimed at increasing balance can also help reduce the risk of falls.

If you have questions about any senior foot conditions or want to know how to be proactive in the health care of your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 14, 2017
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Patients are understandably alarmed when they discover a lump in their foot. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, the good news we can deliver to patients is that this lump is sometimes diagnosed as plantar fibroma, in which case the lump is benign and not a sign of cancer.

Mysterious Fibroma

A fibroma is a fibrous knot or nodule that forms along the plantar fascia—a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from heel to toe. Oftentimes a fibroma is not painful and patients may not notice it until they feel it. In other cases, the pressure from shoes or even from standing, if it’s a larger fibroma, can start to cause pain or discomfort. It’s unclear what causes a fibroma, but if you detect a lump in your arch, one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your foot and manipulate the part of your arch with the lump. An MRI or biopsy may also be ordered to further aid in the diagnosis.

Treatment Options

A plantar fibroma will not go away on its own. The only way to remove it is through surgery. However, surgical removal may result in the flattening of the arch of the foot or in hammertoes developing. Nonsurgical treatments may bring pain relief, however. These include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections—these can help shrink the fibroma, which can decrease pain and increase comfort. The size reduction may be temporary, however.
  • Orthotic devices—if the fibroma is stable and not growing, the foot doctor may fit you with an orthotic insert for your shoe that will shift your weight away from the fibroma and thereby give you relief from the pain.

If you have found a lump in the arch of your foot (or anywhere else on your foot for that matter), contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office as soon as possible by calling: 732-662-3050. In nearly all cases, seeking medical care sooner rather than later for foot issues will result in more effective treatment with less chance of chronic pain or long term disability.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 08, 2017
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that being overweight puts additional strain on your feet and increases your risk of many foot and other health disorders. For children, obesity has additional detriments: young bones and muscles are still developing and being overweight can limit necessary physical activity for healthy development; being teased and ostracized can have serious mental health consequences; young people who don’t change their habits now may be setting themselves up for many health problems as adults.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Below are tips to help your family. Whether you have a child or other family member that struggles to maintain a healthy weight or not, these suggestions for a healthier lifestyle will benefit all:

1.Increase fruits and vegetables. Strive for at least 5 servings a day. Offer fruits and veggies for snacks. Add a salad or carrot and celery sticks to lunch. Encourage your children to help you pick out new items in the produce aisle that you haven’t tried before and find ways to prepare them together that the whole family will enjoy. Consider making one night a week meatless and try new vegetarian dishes.

2.Drink more water. Many times people think they’re hungry when they are really thirsty. Each family member should strive to drink in ounces half the number of pounds they weigh (i.e., a 100 pound person should drink 50 ounces of water a day). Drinking a glass of water before meals will increase the sensation of fullness and cause you to eat less.

3.Get everyone moving! Children and teens should have at least 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every day (and it wouldn’t hurt adults either!). Lead by example and make fitness a time for family fun. Substitute a game of basketball or a bike ride for watching television or playing a board game.

4.Set a time limit on screens. Yes, most homework involves a computer these days, but once that’s done, be firm and consistent about the amount of time your children are allowed to play video games, use their cell phones, notebooks, pads, etc. for games and media viewing.

5.Educate your child about good health. Encourage older children and teens to do some research on the connection between fitness, weight and health. Help them to discover how maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems.

Apply that same proactive approach to health to your child’s feet. Teach them good basic foot care and don’t delay in seeking an evaluation from our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah if your child is experiencing pain or unusual foot or ankle symptoms. You can contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.