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Posts for: August, 2018

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 29, 2018
Category: Bunions

That’s a question that we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care hear frequently during when summer comes to an end. The reason is that many women spend the warmer months in sandals and flip-flops. These open shoes don’t put pressure on a bunion. Once fall arrives and foot fashions switch to closed shoes the pain seems worse than ever. And, it may well be more painful. Bunions, the bony protrusion at the base of the big toe, are deformities that occur because the toe begins to drift toward the second toe. It’s a progressive condition and one that will only get more pronounced and painful as time goes on.

Non-Surgical Options

As soon as you suspect that you may have a bunion forming, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey. Our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will conduct a complete examination of your feet. We will most likely take x-rays or do other imaging studies to determine the extent of the bunion. Our foot doctors will use those images to monitor the progression of your bunion. In the early stages, bunions can be treated with conservative measures including:

  • Protective padding to reduce friction and pain
  • Footwear that will accommodate the bunion and not accelerate its growth
  • Orthotic inserts for your shoes to correctly position your foot and stabilize the toe joint
  • Exercises to promote joint mobility and range of motion
  • Night splints to help properly align the joint

Bunion Surgery

Although non-invasive measures may slow the progression of a bunion and help increase your comfort, they will not eliminate it. The only way to correct a bunion deformity is through surgery. There are several types of bunionectomies. The foot doctor will choose the one that best suits your joint deformity. Bunion surgeries have a high rate of success. Many patients choose to have this surgery in the fall when they know summer vacation is over and they have some down time before the busy holiday season arrives.

If your bunion pain is becoming unbearable, contact us for an appointment today by calling: 732-662-3050.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 22, 2018

Here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that parents in the Monroe, Edison, and Monmouth Junction, NJ areas will all soon be making that annual pilgrimage in search of shoes for their children to wear for the new school year. The shoes you choose for your children can have a big impact on the health of their feet now and in the future. Below are 10 suggestions to help you get the best shoes and the proper fit for your child:

  1. Don’t skimp on quality. Yes, we know there are many expenses associated with this time of the year, but footwear is not a place to cut corners. Shoes should be made of durable, high-quality materials and well-designed with plenty of cushioning on the sole and heel.
  2. Laces will provide better support and fit compared to slip-on shoes. These reduce the likelihood of ankle sprains and falls.
  3. Get feet measured professionally. Children’s feet can increase up to 2 sizes in 6 months. If one foot measures larger than the other (not uncommon), shop for shoes to fit the larger foot.
  4. Give toes some wiggle room! There should be ½ an inch space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. Avoid narrow toe boxes and pointy styles which squeeze toes together. This can encourage ingrown toenails.
  5. Late afternoon is the best time for children’s shoe shopping. That’s when feet are at their most swollen.
  6. Have your child wear the type of socks they plan to wear with the shoes you will be buying.
  7. Make sure the heel counter fits snugly. If the heel is slipping out of the shoe when your child walks, it’s too loose.
  8. Children should try on both shoes and walk around the store for several minutes to make sure they are comfortable.
  9. Check feet afterward for red spots which may indicate points of excessive pressure or friction.
  10. Run your hand around the inside of the shoes to make sure there are no rough patches or rigid stitching that could rub the skin of the foot and cause a blister.

If you have additional questions about the best shoes for your child, don’t hesitate to contact Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. This is particularly important if your child has a previous foot injury. Call us for an appointment at 732-662-3050.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 15, 2018
Category: Ankle Injury

An inflammation or injury to the Achilles tendon can severely limit your ability to walk, run and participate in daily activities for work and play. This large tendon connects your heel bone and your calf muscle and aids in lifting your heel off the ground. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we’d like to offer the following do’s and don’ts to help patients protect the Achilles tendon:

Don’t: overdo it--the most common cause of inflammation of the tendon is overuse. A sudden increase in the duration and/or intensity of a repetitive activity involving the tendon can lead to pain, soreness and tenderness in the tendon. These would include running, stair climbing and running hills as well as doing sprints which require you to push off with force.

Do: stretch and warm up—taking the time to stretch your calf muscles before and after working out or playing a sport can greatly reduce the risk of injury to the Achilles tendon.

Do: check the condition of your sports shoes. If your shoes are worn out they may no longer be providing the support necessary to your arch and heel which can cause inflammation of the tendon.

Don’t: ignore Achilles symptoms—pain first thing in the morning, pain and tenderness that increases with activity, sluggishness or a feeling of tiredness in your lower leg, difficulty stretching the Achilles tendon or walking and extreme pain when the sides of the tendon is squeezed are all signs of Achilles overuse and micro tears that are causing damage to the tissue. In more advanced cases of Achilles tendinosis, nodules may form as well. At the first sign of Achilles discomfort, you should contact us at 732-662-3050 and make an appointment at our offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, NJ. Our podiatrists, Dr. Ben (Varun) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will examine your feet and lower legs and determine the best course of treatment to repair tendon damage and prevent future injury.

Do: talk to the foot doctor about Achilles injury risk if you have flat feet. Being flat footed puts additional strain on your Achilles tendon. Patients with this condition may need shoes with additional arch support or a custom orthotic device to wear in the shoes to counteract the effects of a low or non-existent arch.

To learn more about Achilles tendon issues and treatment options, contact us today. 


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 08, 2018
Category: Footwear

Ask yourself these two questions: are my feet hurting more than usual? How much time do I spend in my flip-flops? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that flip-flops are a popular footwear choice especially during the summer months, but they can pose a serious risk to your feet. Although flip-flops are a good choice around the pool or when using the shower at the gym, they can do harm to your feet if you wear them as your primary shoe. Below are several reasons to re-think wearing flip-flops on a daily basis:

flip-flop

Increased risk of hammertoe—have you ever noticed how your toes have to work extra hard to grip the front of the flip-flops to keep them on? That repeated bending of the toe joint can eventually affect the biomechanics of your toes, causing them to become stiff and rigid in the bent hammertoe position. Switch to sandals that have an ankle strap instead.

Slips, falls and ankle sprains—flip-flops have nothing holding your foot in place. Never run in flip-flops and if a pick-up game of volleyball starts up at the beach, change into sneakers before joining in. The lack of side support makes it easy to twist your ankle, stub or cut your toe or trip on the front of the shoe.

A pain in the lower extremities—because flip-flops have zero arch support, you may experience symptoms similar to flat feet. These include stabbing pains in your arch and heel. Your joints try to compensate for the lack of arch in the shoe and this can throw your whole lower body out of alignment and cause aches and pains in your calves (Achilles tendonitis), knees, hips, and back.

Slow burn for calories—the effort to keep flip-flops on makes you take small steps and move more slowly. That means you’re burning fewer calories when you walk than you do when wearing sneakers.

Overexposure—the skin on your feet is exposed on all sides--except the sole--to whatever dirt, bacteria, and fungi are on the ground where you are walking when wearing flip-flops, increasing your risk of fungal infections and warts.

If you still are reluctant to give up your daily use of flip-flops, at least look into purchasing styles that have an arch added to them and better support for your foot. If you are experiencing foot, ankle or calf pain or toe problems, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction offices in New Jersey by calling 732-662-3050 and make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Ben (Varun) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, and get relief.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 01, 2018
Category: Footwear
Tags: fit properly  

In August we celebrate National “I Love My Feet Day!” At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we believe one of the best ways to show your feet you care is by providing them with good shoes that fit properly. Choosing shoes that are well-made and supportive can go a long way in preventing common foot and ankle disorders. Shoes should be made of a soft material that has some give to it. Lace-up styles provide a more secure fit than slip-on or Velcro shoes. Skid-resistant soles with a good tread can help prevent falls. Look for thicker ones that provide shock absorption for the bottoms of your feet and heels. If you have a toe deformity such as bunions or hammertoe or another chronic foot disorder, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can recommend a style that will best accommodate your foot.

The Right Fit

Good quality and the right style are only half the equation. Getting the proper fit is just as important to the health of your feet. Below are some tips to take on your next shoe shopping tip:

  • Did you know most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other? Buy shoes to fit the larger foot. Start by getting your feet professionally measured.
  • Shop at the end of the day—that’s when your feet are at their largest.
  • Wear the type of socks you plan to wear with the shoes you are trying on.
  • Make sure there is at least a half an inch of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle all your toes freely.
  • Try on both shoes and take your time walking around in them to determine if they feel comfortable.
  • Run your hand around the inside of the shoe and check for any rough spots or loose stitching which could rub on your foot and cause a blister.
  • If the shoes feel tight or uncomfortable in the store, don’t buy them. “Breaking in” shoes is a myth and one that can harm your feet.

If you have other questions or concerns about how to find the right shoes for your feet, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling: 732-662-3050.