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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 28, 2017
Tags: Untagged

Cold weather can trigger certain podiatric conditions. Have you noticed a stiffness or pain in the joint of your big toe (particularly on those very chilly or damp days)? Is it swollen, red and warm to the touch? Is there a bump on the top of the joint? Do activities such as squatting or running seem more difficult? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have the beginnings of a disorder known as Hallux Rigidus. Since many patients at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care have not heard of this condition, here are a few facts to help you better understand what it is and how it can be treated.

  1. Hallux rigidus is an arthritic condition. Sometimes patients mistake it for a bunion because of the bony growth on the top of the joint but hallux rigidus is very different. In the case of a bunion, the bump is usually on the side of the toe and it is caused by the joint shifting out of place. With hallux rigidus, the bump on the top of the joint is actually a bone spur that forms as a result of bone rubbing on bone because the cartilage in the joint has worn away.
  2. Hallux rigidus is a progressive disorder. It will only get worse over time without treatment. In fact, in its early stages, this disorder is called hallux limitus. Hallux means toe and limitus means limited. Initially the toe may be stiff and have a limited range of motion. Over time the condition becomes hallux rigidus, meaning the toe is rigid and unable to bend.
  3. Severe disability and pain can occur with hallux rigidus. Pay attention to your big toe as you stand, walk, run, squat or bend. Each of those movements requires the flexing of the big toe. The inability of the toe to bend creates a debilitating condition for the patient.
  4. Non-invasive treatment is available. If our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, diagnose hallux limitus, they may recommend orthotics, strapping or splinting the toe and/or physical therapy along with medications to relieve pain and inflammation. If, however, the toe becomes completely rigid, surgery may be required.

If cold days are causing discomfort in your big toe joint (or other joints in your feet or ankles) contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office sooner rather than later for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By contactus@footandanklenj.com
February 23, 2017
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After many hours of standing or walking a long distance, it’s not unusual for your feet to feel like they’re on fire. If, however, you find that you are experiencing a burning sensation in your feet on a regular basis, regardless of activity or time of day, the foot doctors at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care will need to see you for a podiatric examination, particularly if you are over the age of 50. Burning feet may be a sign of a serious health problem, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Nerve problems (i.e., Neuroma or tarsal tunnel syndrome)

Heavy alcohol use and gastric restriction in people who are extremely obese can also be the root of a burning sensation in the feet.

Our foot doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to get a complete medical history in addition to examining your feet. If the podiatrist suspects a systemic disorder you may be referred to your general physician or a specialist for further testing and consultation.

If no significant health issues are diagnosed, there are several ways you can try to reduce the burning sensation. These include:

  • Take foot baths daily to soothe hot and sweaty feet.
  • Choose cotton socks and those made of lighter fibers. Synthetic materials tend to make it difficult for feet to breathe and may cause irritation and the burning feeling.
  • Be sure that your shoes fit properly and provide the necessary support. Remember that your foot size can change as you age and you should have your foot professionally measured periodically to be sure you are wearing the correct size.
  • Put shock-absorbing or cushioned insoles in your shoes.
  • Try to avoid standing for long periods of time

Sometimes a mechanical imbalance in your feet can be the cause of the burning sensation. The podiatrist may recommend orthotics to help correct the position of the foot. The bottom line is that if you persistently experience burning feet, you need to contact our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office to make an appointment and get it checked. 

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 19, 2017
Category: Proper Footwear
Tags: Untagged

Although many women wear high heels to make them look taller, more stylish or professional, at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that heels contribute to several serious and potentially debilitating problems. High heels put your feet in an unnatural position. The downward sloping of the foot forces toes to be squeezed together and shortens your calf muscles. Some conditions that can result from too much time in high heels include:

  1. Falls. Shoes with high heels, especially narrow ones, make you unstable and more likely to twist an ankle or fracture a bone. If you have weak ankles, high heels provide no support to them and invite repeated sprains.
  2. Knee and back problems. High heels alter your normal standing and walking position and that means the rest of your lower body also has to move in an unnatural way to compensate. This results in strain to your knees and lower back which, if you spend enough time in heels, can become a chronic problem.
  3. Bunions and hammertoes. When your toes are squeezed together and forced up against the front of a shoe for long periods of time, the alignment of the bones can be altered and an existing structural defect can be aggravated. In the case of both bunions and hammertoes, the toes are forced out of their normal position into one that causes pain from footwear, walking and corns and calluses may form as a secondary issue.
  4. Ingrown toenails. That same forcing of the toes up against one another can create the perfect environment for a toenail to start to grow back into the skin surrounding the nail bed. Not only is this condition extremely painful, it can be the gateway for harmful bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection.

Try to limit heel height to two inches and choose shoes with a wide (rather than narrow) heel. If you must wear heels, try to keep your time in them to a minimum and consider keeping flats at your office to wear for at least part of the day or to wear in transit to an event where you plan to wear high heels.

If you are noticing any symptoms of the above problems, make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050 to have your feet examined by one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. Don’t sacrifice the health of your feet for fashion!

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 08, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

February is National Heart Month and at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care Center our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah want to encourage our patients to practice a healthy lifestyle. Your feet can play a large role in keeping you active, an important component of good heart health. Another avenue to improving your cardiovascular system (and the health of the rest of your body as well) is through a nutrient-rich diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables.

Learning about and remembering what nutrient comes from which fruit or vegetable is an overwhelming task. The American Heart Association has found a way to make it easy: eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables daily and you’ll get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need. If your plate is too brown or beige add some color. Here are some tips to help:

  • Add vegetables to some of your tried and true favorites: broccoli to mac and cheese, red peppers to rice.
  • Buy what’s in season. Take advantage of what’s growing now in your area. Buy in bulk and prepare and freeze favorite greens, vegetables and berries.
  • Make ‘em tasty. Instead of heavy sauces or sugar, try different ways of preparing fruits and vegetables that brings out their natural good flavors: grilling fruits unlocks their sweetness, roasting vegetables in high heat caramelizes them and takes away bitterness, a quick sauté leaves vegetables crisp and full of flavor.
  • Use canned or frozen when fresh is not practical. You can get the same nutrients but be sure to avoid unwanted extra calories and fat. Choose vegetables without sauces and added salt. Look for fruits packed in water or their own juice.
  • Sneak in the good stuff. Add shredded veggies to soup or a casserole, mashed banana to pancakes or muffins. Search cake recipes that have beets, zucchini or carrots as an ingredient.

Enlist your whole family to get on the colorful plate bandwagon and let children choose some of the vegetables and fruits for your menus.

A healthy heart is a goal all doctors share for their patients. To learn more about the healthy heart, healthy feet connection, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office at: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 02, 2017
Tags: Arthritis  

Did you know that each of your feet has 33 joints? That makes them a prime target for arthritis, a disease that causes inflammation of the joints and joint linings. Arthritis currently affects nearly 40 million Americans, with those over the age of 50 having the greatest risk. Arthritis can be extremely debilitating and keep a person from enjoying an active lifestyle. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that early detection of arthritis and getting the necessary medical treatment can greatly limit the damage to joints and slow the progression of the disease. The problem, however, is that many arthritis symptoms can also point to other common podiatric issues. These are some signs to look for in your toes, feet and ankles:

  • Recurring pain and/or tenderness in a joint
  • Stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning
  • A decrease in your range of motion of a particular joint
  • Heat or redness around a joint
  • Swelling
  • Skin changes, such as redness, rashes or abnormal growths

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you notice any of these symptoms occurring consistently, make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will do a complete examination of your foot and check joints for swelling as well as your current range of motion. X-rays will likely be ordered as they can be very helpful in revealing arthritis and showing how far it has progressed.

There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis—this is the “wear and tear” type that occurs as a result of cartilage and joints breaking down over time, and rheumatoid arthritis—a more complex, group of chronic inflammatory diseases that can have a debilitating affect throughout your body.

If the doctor does confirm that you have arthritis, there are many treatment options available, including physical therapy, bracing and orthotics as well as anti-inflammatory medications that can help reduce pain and swelling. For more information on arthritis in your feet and ankles, contact us at: 732-662-3050.





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