Posts for: April, 2018

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 25, 2018
Category: Ankle Injury
Tags: ankle injury  

When you suffer a serious injury or trauma to your foot or ankle, you head for the emergency room. But what about injuries that don’t seem to warrant a hospital visit but are still painful and somewhat debilitating? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we recommend that patients always get a foot or ankle injury checked, even if you don’t think it is serious. Determining how serious an injury is can be tricky—pain and swelling can flare up and then go down, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the condition is improving. In other instances, patients mistakenly believe that if they can walk on the affected foot or ankle, it can’t be sprained or fractured. Your best bet is to contact our podiatry office in Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe, New Jersey for an appointment as soon as possible. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine the foot or ankle and possibly order x-rays or other tests to determine the type and extent of your injury. Once a diagnosis is made, the best treatment plan can be formulated to suit your individual needs.

 In the meantime, you can relieve uncomfortable symptoms and help reduce pain using the RICE method:

REST—get off the injured foot. Bearing weight on a hurt foot almost always increases the severity of the issue. In some cases, it can even lead to a fall or a secondary injury.

ICE—icing the affected area several times a day for 15-20 minutes at a time can bring down the swelling and reduce pain. Do not put ice or an ice pack directly on the skin. Wrap it in a thin towel or put the towel on your foot and then apply ice to avoid damaging the skin.

COMPRESSION—by wrapping the ankle or the part of your foot that has been hurt with an elastic bandage, you can keep the swelling down and also provide a little stability to the foot while you wait for your podiatrist appointment. Don’t wrap too tightly, however, or you will actually increase swelling below the injured area. Signs of a wrap that’s too tight include numbness, tingling, coolness to the touch, and increased pain.

ELEVATE—try to keep your foot raised up on a few pillows when you are sitting or lying down. The goal is to get the injured part of your foot above the level of the heart. This will help reduce the amount of swelling and allow fluids to be reabsorbed naturally by the body.

If you injure your foot or ankle, don’t delay. Contact us by calling: 732-662-3050 immediately.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 18, 2018
Tags: Diabetes   Ingrown Toenail  

Sometimes referred to as “poor circulation,” peripheral arterial disease or PAD is a serious condition that affects your legs and feet (as well as the rest of your body). At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want patients to be informed about this disease and to know the risks. Below are some facts about PAD:

  • PAD occurs when cholesterol and other material (known as plaque) stick to the walls of arteries, narrowing them and thus restricting blood flow (hence “poor circulation”).
  • Lack of circulation greatly slows and impedes the healing process. This means that even cuts, blisters, and minor foot ailments like an ingrown toenail can become a serious health risk. The injuries to the skin don’t heal and infection can easily set in.
  • Although PAD most often affects your legs and feet it can occur in other parts of the body and when blood flow is restricted to vital organs like the brain or heart there can be serious consequences such as stroke or heart attack.
  • PAD can develop on its own, but it is often associated with other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Risk factors for this disease include smoking, high cholesterol, being over age 50, sedentary lifestyle and a personal or family history of PAD.
  • Many patients with PAD have no symptoms when the disease is in its early stages. As arteries become more blocked the following symptoms may occur: leg cramps, numbness or weakness in the legs, change in skin color and loss of hair, legs feel cold, toenails become thickened and/or discolored. Another sign is sores on legs, feet or toes that do not seem to be healing.
  • There are both medical and surgical treatments available for PAD. In many cases, however, lifestyle changes such as improving diet, starting an exercise program and stopping smoking are the first lines of defense.

PAD can be dangerous. If you have any signs described above or if you have one or more of the risk factors for PAD, it’s important to talk to one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah about assessing your potential for developing this condition and what you can do to prevent it. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 11, 2018
Category: Foot Health

In April we celebrate Foot Health Awareness Month. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we thought this would be a good opportunity to dispel some myths that can hurt your feet. Many times, patients act on erroneous information that can lead to serious harm to the feet and ankles. Below are some of the more common myths we hear:

MYTH: Sticking cotton under the toenail is a good way to treat an ingrown nail. Wrong! Neither is cutting a notch in the nail or trying to dig out the ingrown nail with a sharp instrument. “Bathroom surgery” can lead to serious bacterial infection and disfiguring injuries. Have one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah examine and treat any foot problems you are experiencing. Forget folk remedies when it comes to caring for foot conditions.

MYTH: Once you know your shoe size you can save time and buy shoes without trying them on. Unfortunately, shoe sizes are not standard across brands. If you buy shoes without trying them on and they are uncomfortable, many people just end up keeping them, which can greatly harm your feet. Shoes that are too tight in the toe box or rub in the wrong spot at the back of your heel hasten the development of crippling deformities, such as bunions and Haglund’s deformity (pump bump). In addition, your shoe size can change as you age or if you are pregnant. It’s best to have your foot professionally measured when you shop for shoes and then take your time trying them on and walking around to ensure comfort and proper fit.

MYTH: If you can walk on it, your foot or ankle is not sprained or broken. This myth has caused the worsening of many feet and ankle injuries. Being able to bear weight on an injured foot does not at all mean that it is not damaged. Sprains and fractures, particularly stress fractures, can hurt off and on after the initial injury. If you believe you have injured your foot or ankle, it’s important that you contact our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office in New Jersey as soon as possible and allow one of our foot doctors to evaluate your injury. Chronic conditions such as weak ankles and arthritis are often the result of not promptly treating and fully rehabilitating foot and ankle injuries.

Contact us at 732-662-3050 for any foot pain, injury or questions about your foot and ankle health.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 04, 2018
Category: Achilles Tendon

As the days finally begin to get warmer and spring makes a somewhat belated appearance, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care know that many of our patients will see this as the perfect opportunity to start a new outdoor fitness program. This means we will likely be seeing a rash of injuries due to inappropriate preparation and unsound exercise regimens. One part of the lower extremity that is particularly vulnerable to these types of scenarios is your Achilles tendon.

Sources of Injury

Your Achilles tendon is a long band of tissue that runs down the back of your lower leg connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. It helps to raise the heel off the ground and makes walking possible. The Achilles tendon is the largest and one of the strongest tendons in the body. It can tolerate forces of 1,000 pounds or more. It is also the most commonly injured tendon.

Issues involving the Achilles tendon include:

  • Tendonitis—the inflammation of the tendon
  • Tendonosis—the progression to degeneration of the tendon characterized by microscopic tears
  • Rupture—a partial or complete tear of the tendon

All of these types of injuries are caused by overuse and sudden force applied to the tendon. Some common reasons for Achilles tendon issues include:

  • Over-zealous exercise-if you attempt to go from couch potato to track star overnight without gradually building up stamina and muscle, you are setting the scene for an Achilles injury
  • Not stretching or warming up adequately before and after exercise
  • Hill running and stair climbing
  • Trauma to the tendon from a very hard or sudden contraction of the calf muscles, which could result from a sprint or a sudden start
  • Wearing inappropriate footwear for the activity you are doing or for your feet--patients that tend to overpronate are more likely to sustain an Achilles injury

Signs of Achilles Trouble

Symptoms of Achilles tendon issues may start out as mild pain or stiffness along the tendon after running or exercising but will steadily progress to severe pain. Swelling, morning tenderness and sluggishness in your lower leg may also be present. Any recurring pain in the tendon area should be evaluated by our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah. There are several treatment options available but it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid possible long-term consequences to the tendon. If you are experiencing ongoing pain or stiffness in your Achilles tendon, contact our New Jersey offices today in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling: 732-662-3050.