By contactus@footandanklenj.com
October 27, 2016
Category: Proper Footwear
Tags: Untagged

Before the leaves are past their peak and sunny autumn days give way to colder winter temperatures, you may be considering hitting a hiking trail or two. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want to remind our patients that the most important piece of hiking gear you will buy are your shoes or boots. A good quality, properly fitted pair of hiking shoes can help prevent many common injuries and problems such as ankle sprains, blisters and heel pain. Here are some factors to keep in mind when shopping for hiking shoes or boots:

  1. Have your feet evaluated by one of our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. Your foot doctor can make recommendations about shoes to fit your individual foot. If you have any previous injuries, chronic problems or deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, etc., they will need to be accommodated in your hiking shoes. If the foot doctor has prescribed an orthotic device, be sure to bring it with you when you shop for hiking boots.
  2. Get measured professionally. Shoe fitters in stores that specialize in outdoor gear can measure the length of your foot and also the width and the arch. Generally speaking, hiking boots should hug your foot snugly all over and there should be a space between your longest toe and the inside of the shoe of about a thumb’s width—you should be able to wiggle your toes in the boots.
  3. Try on hiking shoes with the socks you will wear out on the trail. The best socks are thick, moisture-wicking synthetic ones. Some hikers wear two pairs of socks. Whatever is your norm, that’s what you should wear when you try on new boots.
  4. Something that normally isn’t a factor in regular shoe shopping that is important in assessing footwear for hiking: foot volume. If you still feel like there is space in the shoe at the top of your foot, even when the boots are tightly laced, the foot volume of the shoe is most likely incorrect.
  5. Shop for hiking boots at the end of the day. Your feet will be at their largest at that time since they usually swell as a result of being on them all day.
  6. Finally, take your time in making your choice. Wear the shoes for a while in the store. Walk around, go up and down stairs and find an inclined area, if possible, to try out the boots. If you have any concerns or feel that the boots are rubbing or pinching anywhere, tell the shoe fitter and try another pair.

If you have questions about fitness issues and your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050. 

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 20, 2016
Category: Proper Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care many of the foot disorders we treat could have been prevented or at the very least caught at an earlier stage if patients practiced better foot care and were vigilant in noting changes in the feet that can signal a potential problem. We want our patients to be proactive in the care of their feet. Here’s how:

  • Get in the habit of inspecting your feet regularly. Look for any changes including: temperature, color, nail deformities and discolorations, bumps or growths, peeling, scaling, blisters, wounds.
  • Wash feet daily and dry completely—pay particular attention the area between the toes.
  • Don’t cut toenail corners; trim nails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
  • Always wear flip flops or shower shoes in public places.
  • Limit the amount of time you go barefoot to help prevent puncture wounds and other injuries.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly and are designed specifically for the activities you are doing.
  • Change your socks daily or more than once a day if you tend to sweat excessively.
  • Try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
  • If you are a patient with diabetes, schedule regular appointments with your foot doctor. You will want to do everything possible to avoid wounds and ulcers which can pose a major medical threat.
  • Don’t put off seeking treatment if you are experiencing pain in any part of your foot. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will provide a prompt diagnosis and the proper treatment. In many instances, treatment will be less intensive and more successful if a disorder is detected in its early stages.

If you have concerns about a toe, foot or ankle condition or want more information on how to properly care for your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment today by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 13, 2016
Tags: sesamoiditis  

Are you experiencing pain under your big toe or on the ball of your foot? Is it painful to bend and straighten your big toe? Have you noticed any swelling or bruising on the ball of your foot? If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, you may have a condition known as sesamoiditis.

What are Sesamoids?

Sesamoids are tiny bones that are embedded in muscle or connected only to tendons. This bone structure occurs in only a few places in our bodies and one of them is the bottom of the foot. Two sesamoids are near the base of the big toe. Their job is to provide a smooth surface for tendons to glide over easily. This helps with weight bearing and bending the big toe.  When the tendons near the sesamoids get inflamed, sesamoiditis is the result. The inflammation is usually the result of overuse and at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we see it fairly often in runners, baseball and softball catches, dancers and other patients who participate in other activities that put an excessive amount of pressure on the toes and forefoot.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The first step is to have one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah take a look at your foot.  During your appointment at our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office, the foot doctor will focus on the joint of your big toe. The podiatrist may observe you walking and check the wear pattern of your shoes. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered. Once a diagnosis of sesamoiditis is confirmed, the foot doctor will want you to rest the foot and take a break from the activity that is causing the irritation to the tendons. There are several treatment options available:

  • Icing the sole of the foot and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
  • Inserting cushioning or padding into shoes  to protect the inflamed area
  • Steroid injections

In extreme cases, you may need to wear a removable brace on your feet for several weeks to allow the bones to heal. It’s best not to delay seeking treatment. If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, contact us by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 06, 2016
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Untagged

The simplest definition of orthotics is any device that gets inserted into your shoe. Orthotics may provide support, shift the position of your foot or help correct a defect or functional problem. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care orthotics can be part of the treatment plan for a number of different conditions including: plantar fasciitis, arthritis, hammertoe, sesamoiditis and many others.

Types of Orthotics

Although there are over-the-counter orthotics people try for minor foot issues, custom orthotics that are made to fit your individual foot can greatly reduce pain and increase ease of walking and participating in activities you enjoy. Orthotics can be used to protect painful or injured areas, increase foot function or both. 

There are three kinds of orthotics:

  1. Rigid: Made of firm materials like carbon fiber or plastic, rigid orthotics are used mostly in walking or dress shoes to control mechanical function of the foot. They usually are used to control the motion of the two large foot joints below the ankle and can eliminate back pain and aches and strains in the legs and thighs as well. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will make a mold from a cast or image to produce a rigid orthotic device.
  2. Soft: This type of orthotic device is mostly used to increase comfort by taking the pressure off a painful spot or absorbing shock. As the name implies, they are made of soft, cushiony material, also from a cast or other image of your foot. They are helpful for patients with diabetes and foot deformities.
  3. Semi-Rigid: Often used by serious athletes to prevent overuse injury and pain, semi-rigid orthotics are made of alternating layers of soft and rigid materials. They are also prescribed for children dealing with flatfeet, and in- or out-toeing conditions.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your toes, feet or ankles, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment. Non-invasive treatments, such as orthotics, are available to help get you back to your normal level of activity.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 28, 2016
Tags: Untagged

Soccer Moms (and Dads) in New Jersey are dusting off their children’s cleats and gearing up for the fall season. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we expect to be seeing an increase in injuries related to soccer in the upcoming weeks and months. Studies show that ankle injuries account for 20 to 30 percent of all soccer injuries. Being a contact sport, many injuries occur due to collisions with other players. Overuse injuries are a concern as well. Some of the more common podiatric conditions soccer players are at risk for include:

Keeping Players Safe

There are a number of ways to help decrease the incidence of injury in soccer and help children protect the health of their feet and ankles:

Prepare: Make sure your child is conditioning and in good physical shape before starting to play. Many injuries occur because muscles and ligaments that have had the summer off are suddenly and intensely being worked out. A good practice routine should include warm up and cool down stretches to help protect muscles.

Equip: Do an equipment check on your child’s gear. Field appropriate soccer shoes or cleats are necessary and if they are from last season need to be assessed for size and wear. Shin guards are also a must.

Monitor: If your child has had a previous foot or ankle injury, be sure to follow your podiatrist’s instructions for protecting the vulnerable area. Watch for any signs of recurrence. Be observant of your child’s playing conditions—the field should be in good condition without holes or bare spots and goal posts should be padded. Good coaching practices should be followed. If you notice something you think is potentially harmful, speak up.

If your child does complain of pain, even in the middle of a game, don’t encourage them to play through it. Make an appointment at our Monmouth Junction, Monroe or Edison office as soon as possible by calling: 732-662-3050. Our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your child’s foot and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Playing safe means not letting minor injuries become major by delaying diagnosis or treatment.

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