At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we hear many false statements about toe fractures from patients. These myths can result in chronic pain and long term disability so we’d like to set the record straight:
Myth: “If you can walk on it, it’s not broken.” There are 19 toe and metatarsal bones in each foot. If one of them is fractured, especially if it’s a stress fracture (a hairline crack on the surface of the bone) you may very well be able to walk. In fact, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah may need an x-ray to confirm a fracture in your toe.
Myth: “If your toe hurts really badly it’s probably broken.” There are other symptoms besides pain that indicate a toe fracture. These include: bruising, swelling, and a crooked or abnormal appearance of the toe. The pain may actually subside after a few hours in the case of a toe fracture and should not be used as the determining factor for a fracture. In the case of a stress fracture, the pain may only be present when you are active and not when you are resting. Of course, if you heard a snapping sound at the moment your toe was injured and you are in pain, chances are a fracture has occurred.
Myth: “There’s nothing that can be done for a broken toe.” The foot doctor has several treatment options depending on the location and severity of the break. Rest, buddy taping the toe to another toe and using a splint or special shoes to keep the toe in place are all noninvasive toe fracture treatments. In cases of severe fracture, surgery may be required.
Myth: “A broken toe will heal on its own.” A fractured toe that is not treated promptly and properly may result in long term problems, including:
For these reasons, you should seek medical treatment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office immediately if you believe you may have fractured a toe. Contact us for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.
With winter fast approaching, you may think cold feet are just the norm for the season. Digging out your fur-lined boots or wearing an extra pair of socks may help, but feet that are constantly cold can be a sign of a bigger problem. Most often, chronically cold feet are an indication of poor circulation. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will be on the lookout for potentially serious causes of cold feet, including:
Due to the wide range of reasons that feet can be constantly cold, it’s important to make an appointment at our Monroe, Monmouth Junction or Edison office to have your feet examined. The foot doctor has a number of different ways of evaluating your feet and will also take a detailed medical history that can reveal inherited tendencies toward foot problems. Treatment will, of course, depend on the final diagnosis but may include medication, lifestyle changes and referrals to other physicians. If you suffer from chronically cold feet, contact us today at: 732-662-3050.
At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that telling a patient he or she needs podiatric surgery usually brings a stressful reaction. While no one looks forward to a surgical procedure, for many toe, foot and ankle conditions, surgery can provide correction of a problem that will be mean relief from pain and much greater mobility. Some conditions that can be addressed successfully through surgery include: toe deformities, tumors, flatfeet, heel spurs, fractures, joint disease, Neuromas and bunions.
Know What to Expect
Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah want to be sure you feel 100% comfortable and confident in your surgical procedure. The key to reassurance is asking questions that will prepare you for what is to come. Here are some issues you may want clarification on:
Where will the surgery be performed? In many cases today surgeries can be performed in the doctor’s office or at an outpatient surgical center.
What type of anesthesia will be used? You’ll want to know if you will have local anesthesia, be completely knocked out or have some combination of local anesthesia and sedation. Most likely, you’ll need someone to drive you home after the surgery, but be sure to confirm this with the foot doctor.
How long will my foot have to be immobilized? It’s important to protect the area operated on after surgery and most patients will need one or more of the following: bandage, splints, cast, surgical or open shoes.
What will my recovery be like? The type of pain relief you’ll require, how long you’ll have to stay off your foot or limit weight bearing, when you’ll be able to return to work and other activities and other post-operative information will help you plan for the days and weeks after your surgery.
Will I need additional therapy? Most likely the foot and ankle surgeon will recommend some post-surgery exercise to help with the recovery process. This may include physical therapy or physiotherapy as well. Ask whether you’ll require special shoes or orthotic devices for the short or long term following surgery.
Getting answers to these and any other questions you have before surgery will set you mind at ease and help you anticipate what the days after the procedure will bring. If you have additional questions about a particular upcoming surgery, don’t hesitate to contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office at: 732-662-3050.
November is National Diabetes Month and here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we work with many patients who have this disease. Good foot health is essential for controlling diabetes and preventing some of the more serious conditions that can occur, such as ulcers and wounds on the feet and Charcot Foot. We believe in a total body approach to diabetes. This includes regular examinations by our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah, taking medications and following the treatment plan of your other physicians, and exercising and watching your diet. Below are some nutrition do’s and don’ts that can help make it easier to maintain proper blood sugar levels:
Do: just eat when you’re eating. Doing other activities while you eat can result in eating larger quantities.
Do: eat a wide variety of foods. Picking different foods each day from each of the food groups will help ensure that you get the vitamins and nutrients you need and also ward off boredom with eating healthy foods.
Don’t: fry foods. Look for lean cuts of meat and poultry and fish and try grilling, broiling or baking them without adding oil, butter or other fats.
Don’t: swear off carbohydrates but instead choose whole grains for at least 50% of the carbs you consume. These include oatmeal and whole grain cereals, brown rice and whole wheat bread.
Do: plan what goes on your plate. Fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits. Also, switch to a smaller size plate to help with portion control.
Do: look for flavorful ways to season your food instead of salt. Peppers, citrus juices, herbs and salt-free seasoning blends can all help punch up the taste of food without salt, which can increase blood pressure.
Don’t: skip meals. This can lead to drops in blood sugar levels that can leave you moody, unable to focus and so hungry that you overeat at your next meal. Regular meals and snacks that add up to a balanced diet are a better strategy.
At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we find that many times patients are uneasy when told they need to have an MRI or Computed tomography to help find the cause of foot pain. Sometimes the physical examination that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah conduct does not provide a comprehensive view of what’s going on with your foot or ankle. Fractures, joint issues, heel pain and other conditions may require advanced imaging studies to diagnose and evaluate. Here are some that are commonly used in our Edison, Monroe and Monmouth Junction offices:
X-rays—This is probably the best known and most familiar diagnostic imaging tool. X-rays use radiation to take a picture of the structures inside your foot and ankle. X-rays can show fractures, foreign objects (such as glass or metal), reveal whether a child’s bones are developing properly, how far arthritis has progressed or how a bone is healing. If you are pregnant, it’s important to let the podiatrist know. Women who are expecting should not have x-rays.
Computed tomography (CT)—Also known as a CAT scan, this test is a type of x-ray imaging that shows a cross sectional image of the foot or ankle, giving the podiatrist a 3D image. Although CAT scans can be used to view some of the same things as x-rays, they can more specifically pinpoint a suspected abnormality. This test should also not be done on pregnant women.
Ultrasound—Using sound waves to produce an image, ultrasound is a safe, painless way to diagnose a wide variety of ankle and foot problems and is particularly good for soft tissue evaluation. Some conditions that ultrasound can help evaluate include: bursitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Neuromas, heel spurs and injuries to tendons, ligaments or cartilage.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—the device that is used to produce an MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to produce 3D images of both soft tissues and bones. It is useful in assessing injuries, infections, tumors and arthritis. This test is time consuming—usually 60-90 minutes to do the whole foot—and people with implants such as pacemakers, artificial heart valves, inner ear implants, etc. may not be good candidates for this type of test.
It’s important to give the foot doctor a complete medical history in order to avoid having an imaging test that is inappropriate for you. If you have questions about a diagnostic or other procedure that the podiatrist has recommended, contact us at: 732-662-3050. We want our patients to feel comfortable and confident about all foot health procedures.
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