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For those with rheumatoid arthritis, the risk of heart attacks is at least 60 percent higher than those without the condition “thought to be linked to the inflammation caused by the disease on affected joints.” As rheumatoid arthritis leads to the inflammation, swelling, and potential immobility of our body’s joints, there are several medical treatments such as biologic drugs that can be used to slow down the deterioration of the joints from this autoimmune disease.  Researchers from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register for Rheumatoid Arthritis (BSRBR-RA) conducted a study on rheumatoid arthritis patients, determining that tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) drugs helped to eliminate the proteins that led to inflammation. These drugs reduced the risk of heart attacks by “almost 40 percent,” compared to those who were only taking synthetic disease modifying therapies (sDMARD), which are used to slow down the progression of deterioration of joints.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact our doctors of Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our podiatrists will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 00:00

Custom Orthotics Reduce Risk of Sports Injuries

Foot-related sports injuries are extremely common, due to overuse and repetitive strain on the feet. Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are two of the most common of these injuries.  Counterintuitively, those of us that only play sports on the weekends have a greater risk of suffering from heel and tendon injuries.  Orthotics can help reduce the odds that you’ll get hurt.  If you jog, play tennis or basketball, or do any kind of high ground impact activity, you should consider getting fitted for orthotics.  Custom made for your foot, they will meet your specific foot needs, and prevent further foot injury.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact our doctors from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our podiatrists can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

working on your feetA breakthrough in treating foot pain is beginning to get attention, particularly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have been studying fat pad atrophy, which is when people lose the fat on the balls or heels of their feet. When bones no longer have the cushioning they need, they become bruised and inflamed. Husband and wife team Doctors Jeff and Beth Gusenoff have created a procedure called foot grafting, similar to liposuction, where fat removed from other parts of the body is injected into the bottoms of the feet. Patients are able to walk immediately after the procedure.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact our doctors from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our podiatrists can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable. Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Monday, 09 January 2017 16:44

Diabetes Could Lead To Amputations

elderly feet 3For people with diabetes, a wound on the foot can be a very serious issue. Diabetes increases the risk for chronic or non-healing wounds, because of poor circulation. Those who have had diabetes for over eight years are more likely to suffer nerve damage that can make it very hard to even notice an existing injury. It is important for people with diabetes to perform a daily foot examination, and to properly take care of minor wounds at home. If any kind of would is discovered, major or minor, consulting with a doctor is recommended.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact our doctors from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our podiatrists can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care

achilles tendon6After injuring her left leg last month in China, Connecticut Sun’s forward Chiney Ogwumike has left the court yet again for Achilles tendon surgery. Ogwumike missed all of the 2015 season due to her recovery from her right knee injury, but bounced back to become AP Comeback Player of the Year. A typical recovery period for Achilles tendon surgery is six to nine months, leaving Ogwumike out of the game and off her feet for a significant amount of time. She averages 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Sun. Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications.

If you have any concerns, contact our doctors from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our podiatrists can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can cause severe difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

- Inflammation

- Dull to Severe Pain

- Increased blood flow to the tendon

- Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot

- Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise

- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

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