Posts for: July, 2018

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 25, 2018
Category: Foot injury
Tags: ankle sprain  

The hot spells we’ve been having here in Edison and Monroe have our patients at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care flocking to the Jersey shore to cool off. Going to the beach is a great way to spend a summer day but it can be quickly ruined if you injure your foot. Below are some common foot problems that can occur at the shore and how to avoid them:

Burns—there’s more than one way to burn your feet at the beach. Blacktop, boardwalks and sand can all reach high enough temperatures to burn the soles of your feet. When the thermometer reads 90 degrees the sand can heat up to over 120 degrees and this is high enough to cause second and even third-degree burns. If the sand feels hot, don’t try to make it to the water. Stop and put on flip-flops or water shoes. If you do burn your feet, soak them in cool water. If the burn is bad enough to blister, wrap loosely in a towel. Then call our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office at 732-662-3050 and come in so that one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah can provide the proper care. Your feet are also susceptible to sunburn and require a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Remember to reapply sunscreen after you’ve been in the water.

Ankle injuries—since the sand gives, creating an unstable surface to walk on there’s an increased risk of spraining your ankle. If you like to take long walks on the beach, go closer to the water where the sand is firmer. If beach volleyball or frisbee is your preferred pastime, pack a pair of sneakers in your beach bag which will at least provide some support for your ankles.

Cuts and wounds—hidden in the sand are sharp shells, glass and can and bottle tops, all of which can puncture or cut your foot. Washed up jellyfish are also a hazard because their stingers still work and can injure your foot if you step on them. Water shoes or flip-flops will help keep your feet safe from these potential dangers. If you do get a cut, clean and bandage it immediately. Don’t go in the water because bacteria that are present can enter the wound and cause an infection.

We hope you enjoy your beach days but if you do sustain an injury, contact us for an appointment promptly so that we can treat it promptly and help you get back to having fun in the sun.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 18, 2018
Category: Pedicures

Remember that game they used to have in children’s magazines—what’s wrong with this picture? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our clients who like to get professional pedicures to use those same skills when visiting the nail salon. Fungal toenails, athlete’s foot, and warts are all easily spread by direct contact. A nail salon can be a high-risk zone due to the fact that there are many people there with bare feet. Before getting a pedicure, take a look around the salon to see if you spot any of the following which may be a red flag for an unsafe pedicure:

Nail technicians don’t get up between clients—there are a few reasons why this is a problem. First, nail technicians should wash their hands each time before starting a new pedicure. More importantly, however, you want to be sure the tools being used for your pedicure have not touched someone else’s feet. That means you should see tools coming out of an autoclave (a sterilizing machine that looks like a toaster oven) or a liquid sanitizing solution. The only good possibility if nail technicians don’t get up to get clean tools is that they are using one-time disposable tools that come in a sealed package.

The only thing decorating the walls is pictures from old calendars—no we’re not being snobby about the décor. What should be prominently displayed in the salon is a license from the state cosmetology or health department. This means that the salon meets certain standards for cleanliness and follows safe sanitizing procedures.

There are no flip-flops for sale—no one should be walking barefoot in the salon. If you forget to bring a pair, a salon that is concerned with not spreading fungal infections should either sell flip-flops or have some type of disposable foot covering for clients.

The magazines in the waiting area are a mess—seems minor but if being sanitary and clean are important to a salon, it should show overall. This means the restrooms, floor, mirrors, and workstations should all be neat and tidy. If it just doesn’t feel clean, look elsewhere for you a place for your pedicure.

If you suspect you may have already contracted a fungal nail or foot infection, make an appointment at our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling: 732-662-3050 so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can examine your feet and determine if an infection is present.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 11, 2018
Category: toe deformities
Tags: hammertoe   corns   orthotic  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, when a patient comes in with the early signs of a hammertoe we sometimes have to convince them that this is not merely a cosmetic issue. Hammertoe is a progressive condition most often caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance. As time goes on, the bend in the toe becomes more severe and increasingly rigid. Pain, inflammation and a burning sensation may develop in the affected toe. In addition, wearing shoes becomes difficult due to the fact that the bent toe is constantly being pressed up against the front of the shoe. Secondary conditions, such as corns, calluses and even open sores on the hammertoe are also a possibility.

Creating a Treatment Plan

Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will want to monitor the progression of your hammertoe. As part of the initial diagnosis, the foot doctor will most likely take an x-ray of the hammertoe. This can be used as a reference point going forward that will show when and how the deformity is changing. Depending on the severity and rate of progression, the foot doctor will determine the best treatment options for you.

If you are in pain, getting relief will be a top priority. The podiatrist may recommend using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or undergoing corticosteroid injections. If you’re suffering from corns or calluses, padding can help protect those areas and prevent them from worsening.

Modifying your footwear can also relieve pain and help correct the muscle/tendon problem. Avoiding high heels (over two inches) and choosing styles that have roomy toe boxes will definitely be more comfortable. The foot doctor may also order a custom orthotic device to wear inside your shoe.

Another approach to correcting a hammertoe is trying to straighten out the toe and properly realign it. The can be done with splints or straps that help move and keep the toe in the correct position.

It’s important to realize that hammertoe will only get worse and not better without some treatment measures. If you have noticed a bend in one of your toes, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling 732-662-3050 to learn if you have a hammertoe and what is the best way to proceed.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 03, 2018
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: podiatrist  

It occurs to you one day that your foot has been hurting for a while. At first, you thought you might have slept on it funny or a pair of shoes bothered you, but now it appears to be pretty consistent day after day. You don’t recall injuring your foot and or see any overt reason for the pain. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we hear this scenario more often than you’d expect. When the source of foot pain isn’t obvious, that’s when our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, have to do some digging. What they find may surprise you.

  1. You’ve injured your back (or knee or hip). Pain or injury in your back or anywhere in the lower half of your leg may alter the way you walk as your body tries to subconsciously shift away from the pain. This, in turn, can cause pain in your feet.
  2. Kicking your shoes off. A reason that comes up more commonly in the summer months is going barefoot. Wearing no shoes (or flip-flops) more frequently can result in a flattening of the arch, which leads to arch and heel pain. Without shoes, you’re also depriving your feet of the shock absorbing power of soles which means your foot is getting the full impact of every step which can lead to foot pain.
  3. You’re buying the wrong size shoes. If you’ve been wearing the same size for a decade or more and don’t even bother trying on the shoes you buy, there’s a good chance that you’re wearing shoes that are too tight. Your feet can get larger with age. Get your feet professionally measured. Try shoes on and walk around for a while before purchasing. Remember, a “breaking in” period is a myth—shoes should fit properly from the onset.
  4. An intensive exercise program has caused a hidden injury. If you started your new exercise program a few months back and are just starting to experience foot pain now, you may not make the connection, but stress fractures are generally caused by overuse. Swelling is another sign of a possible stress fracture. Pain may only be present during and immediately after exercise and then subside.
  5. Scale creep. If you gain 3 or 4 pounds you may not notice it in the mirror or even the fit of your favorite jeans, but it can have a large effect on your feet. Your feet experience the impact of 2 to 3 times your body weight when you walk, so every pound gained delivers a double or triple whammy to your feet.

Finding the reason for unexplained foot pain is important in order to prevent a minor problem from developing into a debilitating and chronic condition. Contact our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey today by calling: 732-662-3050 if you are experiencing any podiatric discomfort.