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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 19, 2017
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With fall sports in full swing, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care are beginning to see more young people in our office with calcaneal apophysitis or Sever’s Disease, as it is more commonly known. This condition typically affects children ages 8 to 14. It is an inflammation of the growth plate that is usually the result of excessive pounding on the heel in a sport such as basketball, track or soccer. Until the heel is fully developed, there is a vulnerable area at the back where new bone is continually forming. This spot can become inflamed with overuse.

Signs and Symptoms

Tracking down foot disorders in children, particularly those on the younger side can be challenging since they are not always able to articulate what specifically is bothering them. Some signs that your child may be suffering with Sever’s Disease include:

  • Pain, sometimes quite severe, in the back or bottom of the heel
  • Tenderness or pain when the sides of the heel are squeezed
  • Limping
  • Walking on tiptoes
  • Unusual gait or difficulty running and jumping
  • Complaints of tiredness
  • Lack of desire to participate in activities he or she normally enjoys

Treatment

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child or he or she complains of heel pain, it’s time to make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, NJ office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will get a medical history and want to know about recent sports activities. An x-ray, other imaging studies or laboratory tests may be ordered in addition to the physical examination to rule out other more serious conditions. Once a diagnosis of calcaneal apophysitis is confirmed, the foot doctor will want your child to stop or greatly reduce any activities that aggravate the heel. There are a number of treatment options available, including:

  • Immobilization—a cast or boot may be necessary to keep the foot and ankle from moving so the heel can rest and heal
  • Physical therapy—stretching and other modalities may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and heal damaged tissue
  • Orthotics—shoe inserts may be recommended to provide support and cushioning for the affected heel

The foot doctor will decide on the best treatment for your child. It is not uncommon for Sever’s Disease to recur until your child gets into his or her late teen years. If you suspect your child may be suffering from this condition, contact us for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 13, 2017
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Autumn is a beautiful time of the year and draws many people out onto our state’s hiking trails. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, however, we often see patients after hikes with injuries and foot conditions that are a result of what should have been an enjoyable afternoon of fitness and fun. In many instances, the problem could have been avoided. To promote hiking without pain, we would like to offer the following do’s and don’ts:

Do: choose a hiking trail that is appropriate for your ability and current level of fitness. Overuse injuries such as Achilles tendonitis are likely to occur when a patient “overdoes it” while exercising. Overstretching the tendon, particularly climbing uphill, is easy to do if you choose a strenuous trail when the most exercise you’ve had all summer is walking back and forth to the grill. Pay attention to whether the hike you are considering is a loop (circle) or if it’s in and out. If you have to turn back because of foot pain you need to know where you are on the trail and the fastest way back.

Don’t: hit the trail with a pre-existing foot condition without talking to a foot doctor first. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will be able to advise you on the best type of hiking boots to get to accommodate your foot issue. In some cases, the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic device to wear inside the book or padding to protect a vulnerable area.

Do: inspect your hiking boots before setting out. Check for signs of wear such as worn down heels or soles, loose stitching or any damaged spots. If you need to purchase a new pair of boots, visit an outdoor gear store and get professional advice on the best kind of boots for the type of terrain and level of hiking you plan to do.

Do: pack moleskin in your daypack. This self adhesive covering should be applied to any spot on your foot at the first sign of friction or irritation to head off the development of a blister.

Don’t: forget to make stops on your hike to drink water (which will help prevent swelling of your feet) and give your feet (and the rest of your body) a short rest. Listen to your feet—when they’ve had enough, call it a day!

For an appointment, contact our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe  office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 05, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
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Arthritis and other conditions that cause inflammation of the joints can strike anywhere in the body but with 33 joints in each foot, pain and stiffness in them can have a large impact on your ability to stand, walk and carry on daily activities. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet and most likely order x-rays and/or other imaging studies to determine the cause of joint discomfort. In addition to proper medical treatment for joint disorders, your diet can play a role in decreasing joint pain.

What Not to Eat

There are certain foods that can actually trigger an inflammatory response. Some to avoid include:

  • Sugar—excess sugar in the body can trigger pro-inflammatory responses in the brain. In addition to obvious sources of sugar (candy, cookies, cakes, etc.) be on the lookout for hidden harbingers: tomato sauce, salad dressings and low fat yogurts
  • Fried foods
  • Refined flour—found in products like cereal, pizza crust, white bread, bagels and pasta, this type of flour has had slow-digesting fiber and nutrients removed, meaning they break down quickly and basically turn to sugar in your body (see above!)
  • Dairy products (with the exception of yogurt, which can help fight inflammation)—these are allergens for many people and can trigger an inflammatory response in the body
  • Artificial sweeteners and additives
  • Processed foods

Foods that Fight Inflammation

Conversely, there are also foods that can help suppress or decrease inflammation in your joints. Try swapping some of these into your diet in place of the foods you are trying to eliminate:

  • Tomatoes
  • Green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, collard greens and kale
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines
  • Certain fruits, including: strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts (almonds and walnuts)

You may see a trend here: the foods that fight inflammation are healthy foods and those that aggravate it are ones we’re better off without. Maintaining a healthy diet will also help keep your weight down, which is another way to reduce joint pain.

To learn more about how to be proactive in caring for your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

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.





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