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Posts for: May, 2018

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 30, 2018
Category: foot safety
Tags: Untagged

Did you know that the two age categories that sustain the greatest number of power mower injuries are children under the age of 14 and adults over the age of 44? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we believe that nearly all mower injuries are preventable. Below are some tips for keeping toes and feet safe for the two most at-risk groups:

Children

Protecting children from mower accidents is as simple as keeping them away from the mower when it is running. This means no rides—no matter how much they beg you! Also, you should instruct your children not to come onto the lawn while you are mowing. If they need something from you, they should know to wait until the mower is turned off. You may want to show them how loud the mower is to help them understand that you will not be able to hear them coming up behind you when it is on. Another way the children can be injured is by sticks, toys or other objects shooting out from the mower. Always keep the clip bag attached to catch any debris.

Adults

Mower accidents that happen to adults occur for a number of different reasons. In general, it’s a good idea not to rush and to avoid careless shortcuts. In addition, observe these precautions:

  • Put on heavy work boots or similarly protective footwear when mowing.
  • Never mow a wet lawn—mowers slipping on grass after it has rained is the single, biggest cause of accidents.
  • Don’t attempt to pull a running mower backward.
  • Use a mower with a “dead man” switch that automatically shuts off if you let go.
  • Mow slopes side to side, not up and down.

Finally, if you do get injured while mowing your lawn, get treatment immediately. Small cuts from dirty mower blades can create an entry point for germs and bacteria that can result in an infection if you wait until you’re done mowing before cleaning and bandaging. Obviously, more serious accidents will be treated in the emergency room but you should also follow up with our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah to ensure that the wound is healing properly and that no further treatment is necessary. Contact our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe offices in New Jersey for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 23, 2018
Category: Skin Cancer
Tags: Skin Cancer  

This weekend marks the official start of summer and we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care know that many of our patients will be heading off to the Jersey shore to kick off the season. It’s a good time for us to recognize Skin Cancer Awareness Month and ensure that you know how to have fun in the sun and keep the skin on your feet safe at the same time. Follow the do’s and don’ts below for maximum protection.

Don’t: get a “base tan” using indoor tanning machines. People who use indoor tanning beds are 74% more likely to get melanoma than those who don’t. Indoor tanning also increases the risk of other forms of skin cancer.

Do: use a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Re-apply every two hours and immediately after swimming.

Don’t: forget to apply sunscreen to your feet even if you are not at the beach or pool but you are wearing open shoes and spending the day outside.

Do: be extra careful if you are fair-skinned. People with light skin have an increased risk of skin cancer and even one bad sunburn raises your risk of skin cancer in the future.

Don’t: skip your feet when conducting a monthly skin check for suspicious looking moles and lesions. Check the top and bottom of your feet as well as between your toes. Too often skin cancer on the feet is not caught until it is at an advanced stage because people don’t think to check there.

Do: know the signs of a potentially malignant mole or spot:

                Asymmetrical—if you drew a line down the center of mole both sides would not look the same

                Border—irregular, notched or scalloped borders on a lesion

                Color—moles that are multi-colored and mottled in appearance

                Diameter—moles that are bigger than the width of a pencil eraser

                Evolving—any changes, such as a mole bleeding, crusting over or itchy as well as anything

                different in the appearance of the lesion (size, color, shape, etc.) is cause for concern.

If you have noticed anything unusual about the skin on your feet or have questions about skin cancer, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can take a look and determine if further testing is needed.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 21, 2018
Category: Bone health
Tags: Arthritis   Gout  

Did you know that arthritis is an umbrella term that includes more than 100 different types of joint diseases? It’s also the leading cause of disability in the United States. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know how debilitating joint pain in your feet and ankles can be. In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, we want to encourage our patients to take steps now to prevent arthritis. It’s never too early or too late to start!

Changing What You Can

There are definitely factors that increase your risk of developing arthritis that you have no control over, such as your sex, age, and family history. But there are plenty of lifestyle choices you can make that will significantly lower your chances of getting a joint disease, including:

  1. Playing it safe—many times the site of a knee, ankle or another joint injury later becomes a place in your body where arthritis sets in. You can reduce your risk of arthritis by taking proper safety precautions when driving and playing sports. Avoiding an injury now can help prevent arthritis down the road.
  2. Quit smoking—this has been tied to an increased risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  3. Watch your weight—osteoarthritis—the “wear and tear” kind where cartilage and joint tissue breaks down with age, is the most common form of arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight means less pressure over time on the joints of your lower extremities.
  4. Exercise regularly—weight-bearing exercise helps strengthen bones and joints. Exercise also helps keep joints flexible and increases the range of motion—it’s the old “use it or lose it” strategy and it definitely applies to keeping joints healthy and being able to stay active.
  5. Choose foods carefully—in the case of gout (a form of arthritis that often affects your big toe), certain foods that are high in purines can be directly linked to attacks. Patients who suffer from this form of arthritis can lower the chances of an attack by not eating shellfish, red meat, red wine, rich sauces, beer and other alcoholic beverages.

If you notice the joints in your feet or ankles beginning to get stiff, painful or sore, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, New Jersey offices for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050. There are other causes of joint discomfort besides arthritis and our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet, take your medical history, and help track down the cause of joint pain while it is in its earliest and most treatable stages.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 09, 2018
Category: Bone health
Tags: breaking a bone  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that building and maintaining strong bones is important for our patients no matter what age they are. After all, your feet contain nearly 25% of all the bones in your body! Osteoporosis is a disease that makes a person’s bones weak and more likely to break. It’s estimated that half of the adults in the U.S. age 50 or older have an increased risk of breaking a bone due to osteoporosis or low bone density. Ideally, prevention should start in childhood and continue throughout your entire life. Below are some ways that you can make strong bones a family affair:

Moo…re Calcium Please—in addition to helping build strong bones, calcium is a mineral that also enables blood to clot, hearts to beat and muscles to contract. Your body loses some calcium each day. When you don’t take in the calcium your body needs it “borrows” some from your bones. Some sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, certain green vegetables such as spinach, arugula, and kale, as well as fortified juices and cereals and soymilk. You can also increase your daily calcium intake by adding a few tablespoons of nonfat powdered milk to recipes.

Build Healthy Habits—eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet that helps everyone in the family avoid being overweight reduces strain on bones—especially those in your lower extremities. Be sure to also get enough vitamin D from foods (fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent sources) or a multivitamin. Avoiding smoking (which is a known to weaken bones and impede circulation) and immoderate use of alcohol.

Get off the Couch—strength training and weight-bearing exercise are bone health boosters. Biking, walking, dancing, and hiking are just a few ways your family can enjoy time together and make bones stronger. If you can exercise outside in the sun, you’ll also be getting a good dose of Vitamin D.

If you are an adult over the age of 50 and suffer a foot or ankle fracture, talk to our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, about assessing your risk for osteoporosis and ways you can prevent falls. Contact our New Jersey offices in Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 02, 2018
Category: Fitness
Tags: walking  

It’s been a long time coming but here in Edison, Monroe and Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, it looks like spring is finally putting in an appearance. Warmer temperatures and sunny days lure us outside and at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want to encourage patients to make the most of the nice weather and up their fitness quotient by walking.

Why Walk?

Walking is one of the easiest ways to get moving and improve your health. It doesn’t require any training or expensive equipment other than a good pair of walking shoes (see below), it can be done practically anywhere, inside or out, alone, or with company. It’s also a fitness activity that even people who have been sedentary for a while can safely do. In addition, there are some significant health benefits:

  • Helps control blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure
  • Aids in weight loss: a brisk walk can burn up to 100 calories per mile or 300 calories per hour
  • Improves circulation and keeps muscles, joints, and ligaments flexible
  • Elevates mood by producing endorphins which can help fight anxiety and depression

Choosing the Right Shoes

Ready to join approximately 67 million other adults who have discovered the many benefits of walking? It’s always good to check with your physician before beginning any fitness program. Contact one of our offices for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral or Dr. Varun Gujral can check your feet to make sure there are no podiatric conditions or biomechanical problems that might be aggravated by walking. In addition, the foot doctor can make specific recommendations about the right walking shoes for your particular feet and gait.

Below are some walking shoe shopping tips:

  • Have your feet professionally measured at a sports shoe store. Remember that it’s not uncommon for one foot to be larger than the other—always buy to fit the bigger foot.
  • Wear the socks that you will wear when walking so that you get a more accurate idea of fit.
  • Choose shoes made of lightweight, breathable materials.
  • Be sure there is wiggle room for your toes. There should be about half an inch between the tips of your toes and the end of the shoe.
  • Take your time and walk around the store for several minutes to be sure shoes are comfortable.
  • Replace your walking shoes every 300 to 600 miles or when you notice obvious signs of wear.