Category Archives: Uncategorized

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How to Tell if Your Toe is Fractured (And What to Do About It)

Is My Toe Broken?

Stubbing your toe on a piece of furniture is exquisitely painful, but the pain quickly dissipates. But what do you do when you injure a toe and the pain doesn’t disappear? What are the signs of a fracture of the bones in the toe, and what should you do if you suspect there is a break? What can you expect in terms of recovery and healing time?

How to Tell

If you suspect that you have broken one or more bones in a toe, you will clearly remember the incident happening. Most toe fractures occur after kicking something, or dropping a heavy object on the toe. Broken toes are painful, and there will likely be bruising, swelling, and redness around the area. In some extreme cases, the bone may be visible or protrude through the skin. If you can see the bone, or feel any “chips,” you need to see a medical professional as soon as possible. 

Due to the pain associated with a fracture of the bone of the toe, walking may be painful, and wearing a shoe may be impossible. You may also see a collection of blood under the nail of the affected toe.

What to Do

You’ve seen a doctor or otherwise determined that you do have a broken toe. Now what? The usual treatment involves:

Taping the affected toe to the one beside it

Keeping the foot elevated

Icing the toe to reduce pain and swelling

Resting and protecting the entire foot

The entire healing process usually takes four to six weeks.

Complications

Most toe fractures heal without any issues. However, with any potential fracture, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and see a doctor, particularly if:

Pain increases over time

Pain can’t be controlled with over the counter painkillers

Swelling increases after the first 36 hours

You have an open wound which may be infected

Some more complex fractures do require reduction (moving the broken bone back into the correct position for healing). Other situations which may arise as a result of a toe fracture include infection or osteoarthritis, but these are relatively rare.

Without toes, we would be unable to walk upright. Therefore, if you experience an injury to your toe, follow these guidelines to make sure you treat the injury appropriately.  Request an appointment today to make sure your broken toe is healing correctly.


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Common Basketball Foot and Ankle Injuries

What is the number one purchase most basketball players think about? Kicks. Jordans. Laces. Straps. Sneakers. Trainers. We think about how great our shoes look, how high they’ll help us jump, and how fast they’ll help us run. But how often do we stop and think about whether they will protect us from foot and ankle injuries on the court?

 

Even if an injury is not your first concern when you pick out new footwear for basketball, protection and safety should be a major consideration. Both chronic (long-term) and acute (traumatic) injuries to the foot and ankle are extremely common among basketball players of all ages, making up nearly 40% of all basketball-related injuries.  All that jumping, running, twisting, and stopping mean one thing to your joints–stress and trauma. These two categories of injuries have their own range of diagnoses and treatment options.

 

Chronic stress in the foot and ankle can lead to:17701478_l

 

  • Heel pain (plantar fasciitis)
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Ankle instability
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Stress fractures
  • Posterior tibial tendonitis (or PTTD)
  • Calcaneal apophysitis

 

Most stress-related injuries can heal completely if treated correctly, with a combination of rest, physiotherapy, EPAT and other complementary modalities.

 

Traumatic injuries happen more suddenly and immediately, and can include fractures of the ankle, the talus (bone between the heel bone and the two bones of the lower leg), the heel, the midfoot (also known as the Lisfranc), the toes, and the forefoot. These can occur as a result of another player stepping on your foot or otherwise interfering with your forward motion, from landing wrong after a jump, or simply from losing your footing and stepping incorrectly.

 

Buying different shoes certainly isn’t the only way to prevent such injuries. Most foot and ankle injuries are indeed accidental. However, with proper training, equipment, and stretching, as well as playing in well-maintained facilities, the danger can be minimized. Request an appointment today to if you have experienced a basketball related injury or would like to learn more about preventing a sports injury this season.

 


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Foot Health For Former Dancers

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There are few sports that place more of a demand on the foot and ankle of the athlete than dancing. Ballet dancers are universally known to have regular foot injuries. New Jersey foot and ankle specialists report that a large percentage of patients with acute or chronic foot and ankle injuries are professional or competitive dancers.

 

The key to a successful dancing career? Caring for your feet. This involves warming up properly, icing your feet and ankles after a particularly grueling day of practice or performance, and recognizing the signs of common foot conditions and injuries as soon as they arise. The faster you request an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, the less likely the injury is to derail your next performance. So what is the first step? Knowing what to look for.

 

17658316_lCommon Foot Injuries In Dancers:

  • Dancer’s Fracture: This common name for a fifth metatarsal fracture is one of the leading causes of visits to an orthopedic specialist. A Dancer’s Fracture results from a wrong landing on the foot, resulting in a fracture in the bone. Pain and swelling are usually the most noticeable symptoms.
  • Lateral Ankle Sprain: Another possible result of twisting your ankle during an awkward landing, swelling, discoloration and pain are the most common symptoms.
  • Bunions: while not a direct result of dancing, tight fitting ballet shoes can trigger these formations on the foot. Generally, the dancer can see these formations on her foot and will feel pain in the area affected.
  • Ankle Impingement Syndrome: A result of repeated stress injuries, this is the term for bones that impinge on one another and pinch the soft tissue when the dancer points his or her ankle. Dancers will often feel a sharp pain when pointing the foot.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: The result of repeated stress injuries to the foot, this is the term for chronic damage to the ankle tendons. Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms.

 

Calling an orthopedic specialist at the first sign of pain or swelling can mean the difference between competing in your next show or sitting it out because of an acute ankle injury. Call NJ Foot and Ankle today for a consultation with our team of experts.


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Professional Care For Faster Healing With Less Scarring

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As children, our wounds would heal almost regardless of what we did. Yet, somehow, as we age and suffer some of the accompanying illnesses, our skin’s ability to heal from lacerations decreases and many of us find ourselves with a wound that simply will not heal. If you are suffering from a foot or ankle laceration that is abnormally slow to heal, an experienced foot and ankle specialist can provide treatment options that increase healing time, prevent further injury or infection, and reduce scarring.46288980_l (2)

 

Wound healing revolves around two factors — adequate blood flow to the laceration and prevention of infections. Wounds that aren’t healing properly are generally suffering from inadequate blood flow or have become infected. While there are a number of techniques that can be employed at home to help increase blood flow, an infection in a laceration requires a foot and ankle specialist.

 

How A Professional Foot and Ankle Specialist Can Help

  • Assessing the wound AND the surrounding tissues, muscles, and tendons thoroughly. Diagnosing the wound without a thorough examination of the surrounding tissue and tendon health can lead to chronic injuries and a potential need for surgical repair in the future.
  • Reviewing the patient’s full medical history to ensure there are no conditions that leave the wound at risk for infection or scarring. This history is also critical when it comes to deciding upon anesthetic options during treatment and determining whether any vaccinations are required.
  • Suturing options will be reviewed. For most lacerations, suturing is the most effective method of treatment. Suture options can include stitches, staples, skin closure tapes, and tissue adhesives.
  • Administering follow-up instructions and care. A foot and ankle specialist will advise on the appropriate follow-up care for patients while scheduling an appointment to monitor the wound’s healing.

 

Seeking out an experienced foot and ankle specialist to treat your foot laceration can mean the difference between an infection that could ravage your entire foot and a safe, timely, and visually appealing healing process. If you are suffering from a slow-healing wound, visit the NJ Foot and Ankle specialists’ website today to request an appointment.

 

 


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Chronic Ankle Instability: What You Need To Know

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Does the outside of your ankle constantly “give out”? Do you find yourself consistently feeling wobbly or unstable when walking or engaging in physical activities? Are you suffering from persistent pain or swelling in your ankle?

 

18688233_lIf any of these questions ring true for you, you might be suffering from a condition called Chronic Ankle Instability. Read on to learn about the condition and then request an appointment with New Jersey’s leading foot and ankle specialists for an official diagnosis and treatment.

 

What Is Chronic Ankle Instability?

Chronic Ankle Instability is a condition characterized by persistent “giving out” of the lateral side of your ankle. Often a result of repeated ankle sprains, this condition can lead to recurrent swelling, pain, and instability.

 

What Are The Signs of Chronic Ankle Instability?

Signs of the condition include chronic pain and swelling, feeling unstable or wobbly on your feet during physical activity, trouble maneuvering on uneven surfaces, regular “giving out” of your ankle, and overall tenderness in the foot.

 

How Is Chronic Ankle Instability Diagnosed?

A foot and ankle specialist can easily diagnose Chronic Ankle Instability by taking a full history of past injuries, using X-ray and other imaging techniques, as well as closely examining all tender or swollen areas of your foot. The combination of these techniques will give your specialist the information needed to diagnose the condition properly.

 

How Is Chronic Ankle Instability Treated?

There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments for the condition. Nonsurgical options include physical therapy, bracing, and pain medication. Surgical options include reconstruction of the damaged ligaments. Whether surgery is required depends entirely on the severity and duration of the condition. A specialist can walk you through your treatment options.

 

What To Do If You’re Suffering?

 

If you’re suffering from chronic ankle pain and believe you might be dealing with Chronic Ankle Instability, consult a specialist today! The sooner you get diagnosed, the higher the likelihood of being able to benefit from nonsurgical options.


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Heel Pain: Causes and Treatments

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Out of all 26 bones and 33 joints that make up your foot and ankle, your heel is the largest bone in the region. Therefore, it’s only logical that it can require the most amount of care and is most susceptible to injury. For those suffering from regular heel pain, determining the cause and deciding upon the appropriate treatment quickly is best left to a Foot and Ankle specialist. If you’re regularly experiencing pain or swelling in your heels, visit NJ Foot and Ankle’s website to request an appointment with a specialist and read on to learn more about the most common causes and treatments for heel pain.

 

Common Causes For Heel Pain:

  1. Heel Spurs: Usually seen in runners and other athletes who run – or jog – regularly as part of their sport, this condition develops when the lining that covers the heel breaks off in pieces as a result of continuous stretching.
  2. Plantar Fasciitis: Also seen in runners, this condition occurs when the tissue connecting the heel to the ball of the foot becomes inflamed. For the Average Joe, this condition can develop as a result of wearing poorly fitting shoes.
  3. Excessive Pronation: Often as a result of changes in your gait that result from hip or back injuries, this condition occurs when the foot rolls inward, and the ligaments and tendons in the back of the heel are overstretched.
  4. Achilles Tendonitis: Common among dancers, athletes, and runners, this condition is the result of the inflammation of the Achilles’ tendon.38046912_l

 

Treating Heel Pain

 

When it comes to treatment for the common causes of heel pain, there are surgical and nonsurgical options available.  For most causes of heel pain, physical therapy is the first step towards recovery. For more significant issues, a NJ Foot and Ankle specialist will X-ray the area to determine whether minimally invasive surgery is required. If you’re suffering from any of these conditions, consult with a specialist today to get started on your path to recovery.

 


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Tips for Winter Runners: Keeping Your Body Safe While Running in Cold Weather

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Don’t let the colder weather slow you down! Learn how to keep up your running routine during the winter months without sacrificing your health or putting your body at increased risk of injury.

 

Tips for Winter Runners:50204878_l

  1. Dress Appropriately: Your clothing is your first defense against the winter weather. Be sure you’re dressing appropriately for the current weather, while also being prepared for any unexpected changes in temperature or precipitation by layering before you head out the door. When considering what to layer, you will want a piece that keeps moisture out, one that insulates, and one that protects your body against the winds.
  2. Pay Attention to Your Extremities: The majority of your body heat is lost through your hands, head, and feet. Pay special care to how you are protecting these parts. Wear a warm hat that works well with running and invest in thick gloves and hand warming pads. Protect your feet by investing in a quality pair of wool socks. These are thin enough to work with your running shoes but offer exceptional warmth.
  3. Choose Smart Routes: To avoid taking a dangerous fall, choose your running route with care. Run into the wind at the beginning of your run and with the wind at your back as you head home. Running against the wind places increased stress on your body and doing so at the end of your run leaves you open to injury. Choose paths that are well lit to avoid slipping on ice, snow or other debris that may be lining your path. Always wear reflective gear when running on the streets at night!
  4. Shoe Shop Smartly: The easiest way to prevent a running injury, during the winter or the summer, is to invest in the right shoe. Visit a specialty shop in your area and ask the staff for help choosing a pair of winter running sneakers that are warm, offer the proper amount of support structures, and are designed to hold up well against the elements. Taking off on the wrong shoe is asking for injury.
  5. Don’t Skip the Warm-Up: Warming your muscles up before heading out on a run is important during every season, but it is even more crucial during the colder weather. A proper warm up routine gives your muscles the chance to work out any stiffness and transition into the amount of physical exertion that is being asked of them. This will ensure a safe run all winter long.

 

If you do suffer an injury during a winter run, call us today to request an appointment with our team of Foot and Ankle specialists. We will get you back on the track in record time!


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Ice Skating Injuries

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Ice-skating is a cherished part of many winter sports and traditions. Romantic dates, fierce hockey games, figure skating just to name a few. There are lots of reasons to check out the rink. Cold, hard, slippery ice obviously presents some serious risks. Remember to keep the following in mind this winter:

 

Most Common Injuries 12525136_l

Being aware of some of the more common kinds of ice-based injuries can help you be more cautious and understand when an injury merits immediate medical attention. There are two broad categories of injury to be mindful of: traumatic and overuse injuries.

 

Traumatic injuries are injuries caused by a single accident. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Sprains and fractures
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • ACL tears
  • Concussion or other head injury
  • Labral tears, particularly in the hip
  • Cuts and lacerations (skates are sharp!)

 

Overuse injuries are more common for athletes who spend a lot of time on the ice. Repetitive motions and strain place a lot of stress on the anatomy involved. Some of the overuse injuries commonly seen in skaters include:

  • Stress fractures, especially in the feet and spinal vertebrae
  • Shin splints
  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle strains, especially in the hip
  • Bursitis

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good place to start when understanding the general risks involved with ice-skating.

 

Avoiding Injury

Lots of the same tips we recently recommended to skiers and snowboarders apply here. If your ice skate competitively, whether as a figure skater, speed skater, or hockey player, make sure you are in shape before hitting the ice and cross train to mix things up and reduce the kind of repetitive motion and strain that leads to overuse injuries. Stay hydrated so you are alert and aware of your surroundings. Even though it’s cold and you feel like you are not sweating, you’re still using lots of water. Finally, make sure your gear is up to snuff and wear safety gear appropriate to your activity.

 

Have an ice-skating injury, or want to find a workout that will allow you to be a better skater? We’re happy to help. Request an appointment today!


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The Pump Bump: Haglund’s Deformity

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Haglund’s Deformity, aka Mulhulland Deformity or pump bump, is despite it’s many names a pretty simple deformity wherein a bony enlargement develops on the back of the heel bone. It can develop because of footwear issues, such as wearing shoes with overly tight, rigid backs. It can also occur in people with certain foot shapes. If you place weight on the outside of your feet when walking, you may be especially vulnerable to developing the condition.

The early symptoms of Haglund’s Deformity can be painful, but not severe. They include a hard growth on the back of the heel, and sometimes heel pain. Suffers often get blisters on the area where the growth is. Left untreated, the condition can develop into bursitis and becoming increasingly painful.

 

Treatment20196872_l

If you suspect you are developing this deformity, reassess your footwear. Make sure you are wearing the right size and width of shoe, especially if you normally order online and haven’t had a fitting in some time. Open backed shoes can help, provided they offer adequate support. Stick on cushion inserts can also help protect your heel. Ice, over the counter NSAIDs, and rest can help with the pain–and make sure to clean and cover any blisters to avoid infection.

If the pain persists or worsens despite taking these measures, and if the bony growth continues to grow, see a specialist. A foot and ankle specialist will take a closer look at the structure of your feet, assess your gait, and work you through more aggressive treatments. If necessary, they can recommend and perform surgery to remove the growth, and shave the heel bone back to a more normal shape.

 

 

In the NJ area, and worried about your heels? We’d be happy to take a closer look, and create a tailored plan to help manage your symptoms and correct the deformity. You can request an appointment online, or contact our team for more information here.

 

 

 


Twenty-six joints make up the foot and ankle, making this one of the most interesting structures in the entire body--and also, one of the most vulnerable. Injuries and pain in the foot and joint area can be debilitating, even immobilizing. Our experts are here to help you find your footing, and identify a course of treatment that will allow you to hit the ground running.