osteoarthritis doctor in nj Osteoarthritis Doctor in New Jersey

Essex Union Podiatry: Comprehensive Care for Joint Health

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If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis in your feet, ankles, or legs, you know how much it can impact your quality of life. The pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility can make it difficult to work, exercise, and simply enjoy daily activities.

At Essex Union Podiatry, we understand how debilitating osteoarthritis can be. That’s why our experienced podiatrists offer cutting-edge, compassionate care to help you regain comfort and function. 

With advanced nonsurgical treatments, innovative surgical options when needed, and a patient-centered approach, we can develop an effective treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

Understanding Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis, and how does it affect joint health?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and it occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones gradually wears down over time. This causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of motion in the affected joints. 

Osteoarthritis usually impacts the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. As the smooth cartilage surface deteriorates, joint movement becomes more difficult and painful.

How prevalent is osteoarthritis, and who is at risk?

Osteoarthritis is widespread, affecting 53.2 million US adults alone. Risk factors include older age, obesity, joint injury, overuse of certain joints through sports or work, and genetics. Osteoarthritis can limit mobility and reduce quality of life when it impacts the feet, ankles, and legs.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

What are the common symptoms of osteoarthritis?

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that get worse with use and improve with rest. You may feel pain or tenderness when pressure is applied to the joint. You may also hear a cracking or grinding noise when the rough joint surfaces move. As osteoarthritis progresses, the pain may become more persistent.

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed at Essex Union Podiatry?

  • Our podiatrists make a clinical diagnosis based on a medical history review, physical exam of the joint, and evaluation of symptoms. 
  • We look for pain with use that improves with rest, limited joint mobility, tenderness, swelling, and crepitus (crackling). 
  • Imaging like x-rays can also show joint space narrowing and bone spur formation. 
  • We determine the best treatment plan based on each patient’s unique clinical presentation.
Our experienced podiatry team is here to help.

Contact us now to discuss your foot and ankle health needs.

Our Osteoarthritis Specialists

Our podiatrists are board certified foot and ankle surgeons with advanced training in diagnosing and treating osteoarthritis. With compassion and expertise, they develop personalized treatment plans using the latest evidence-based techniques.

Dr. Sarah Haller

Dr. Sarah Haller is the founder of the NJ Foot and Ankle Foundation. She is double board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and podiatric medicine. She has a special interest in ankle osteoarthritis, sports injuries, and complex revision surgery.

Dr. Jason Galante

Dr. Jason Galante is double board certified in foot and ankle medicine and surgery. He has expertise in treating osteoarthritis with the latest surgical and nonsurgical methods such as bracing, orthotics, and rehabilitation.

Dr. Kaitlyn Testa

Dr. Kaitlyn Testa is a board qualified surgeon specializing in minimally invasive approaches to osteoarthritis including osteotomies, cartilage restoration, and joint replacements. She focuses on preventative care for the foot and ankle.

Our experienced, compassionate osteoarthritis specialists partner with you to restore function and relieve pain using the latest treatments. We are dedicated to improving our patients’ health and quality of life.

Comprehensive Osteoarthritis Treatment from Essex Union Podiatry

Essex Union Podiatry offers a wide array of treatments to provide relief for patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the foot and ankle. Treatment plans are customized based on each patient’s specific symptoms, joint involvement, and severity of disease.

Total Ankle Replacement Surgery

For advanced cases, we also offer total ankle replacement surgery. Also known as total ankle arthroplasty, this procedure is designed to alleviate pain and restore mobility in patients with severe ankle arthritis or other debilitating ankle conditions.

During ankle replacement surgery, the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with metal and plastic implants. This artificial joint is designed to provide smooth, pain-free movement.

Ideal candidates for total ankle replacement often have:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis following injury
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Severe fractures due to osteoporosis
  • Tumors in the ankle joint

The benefits of total ankle replacement include:

  • Pain relief
  • Preservation of ankle motion
  • Increased joint and muscle strength
  • Faster recovery vs fusion
  • Improved balance and stability
  • Better quality of life

Recovery involves a period of non-weight bearing to allow the implant to heal, followed by physical therapy. Most patients can return to full activities within 3-12 months.

As with any surgery, there are risks such as infection, nerve damage, blood clots or implant failure. However, ankle replacements typically last 10+ years in most patients.

If you have severe arthritis and have exhausted conservative options, total ankle replacement may be right for you. The foot and ankle surgeons at Essex Union Podiatry can help you decide if you are a candidate.

General Podiatry Services

For early stage osteoarthritis, we focus on nonsurgical options through general podiatry services. This includes bracing, orthotics, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and injections to manage pain and inflammation. Modifying activities to avoid overusing the arthritic joint is also recommended.

Foot and Ankle Deformity Correction

As osteoarthritis progresses, we may recommend foot and ankle deformity correction procedures. Surgeries and hammertoe correction can realign the joint and remove painful bone spurs caused by osteoarthritis. This can significantly improve mobility and function. Fusion procedures may also be considered to stabilize severely damaged joints.

Wound Care

In addition to treatments, Essex Union Podiatry provides Wound care services for any ulcers or infections resulting from osteoarthritis. Proper wound healing prevents complications and improves quality of life.

Our comprehensive approach allows us to tailor the full spectrum of podiatry therapies for optimal comfort and function. We meet each patient where they are in the progression of osteoarthritis and create customized plans to maximize activity and independence.

At Essex Union Podiatry, we provide complete podiatric medicine beyond just osteoarthritis care. Other key services we offer include:

Sports medicineTreatment and prevention of foot and ankle injuries related to athletics and exercise.
Trauma careEmergency treatment for acute foot and ankle injuries such as fractures.
Diabetic careComprehensive foot care for patients with diabetes, including wound care.
Pediatric podiatryTreatment of foot issues in infants, children and adolescents.
Ingrown Toenail RemovalSurgical removal of painful ingrown or infected toenails.
Plantar Fasciitis TreatmentTherapies to relieve heel pain caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia.
Lapiplasty Bunion SurgeryAdvanced bunion correction surgery to realign the big toe.

We utilize all of our podiatric expertise to promote foot health at any age. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

Why Choose Essex Union Podiatry for Osteoarthritis Care

Our comprehensive expertise in foot, ankle, and lower leg osteoarthritis sets us apart. We devote ourselves fully to preserving joint health and avoiding unnecessary surgery when possible. 

Our doctors take time to listen and explain your condition and options thoroughly. We utilize an integrated care team approach, working closely with physical therapists, orthotists, rheumatologists, and other specialists to optimize your care.

Too often, osteoarthritis care focuses solely on medication or surgery. We go beyond that by exploring many nonsurgical options first, like therapy, bracing, injections, and lifestyle changes tailored to each patient’s needs. 

We stay up-to-date on innovative and minimally invasive procedures. Our goal is to help you remain active and independent while addressing the underlying osteoarthritis with compassionate, evidence-based care.

Getting Started with Your Treatment

You can easily schedule a new patient appointment online through our website or by calling our office at 862-660-7739 . We offer morning, afternoon, and weekend slots for your convenience. Our knowledgeable staff can also help answer any questions and guide you through the appointment process.

We accept most major insurance plans and will verify your specific coverage. We can assist you in checking treatment costs and your plan’s osteoarthritis benefits. 

Our billing coordinator works with patients to maximize insurance coverage or offer payment plans. Please don’t hesitate to seek treatment due to financial concerns – we’re here to help.

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FAQs About Osteoarthritis Treatment

What are some common questions patients have about osteoarthritis and its treatment?

What activities should I avoid? 

Avoid high-impact activities that put excessive stress on arthritic joints like running, jumping, squatting, and stair climbing. Switch to swimming, cycling, or water aerobics.

Will losing weight help my osteoarthritis? 

Yes, shedding extra pounds reduces stress on the joints and lowers inflammation. Even modest weight loss can provide symptom relief.

Am I too young for joint replacement surgery? 

It’s true that joint replacement is usually reserved for older patients. But for younger patients with severe osteoarthritis, joint replacement can be done successfully and last 15-20 years.

Should I take anti-inflammatory medication?

 Oral anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can temporarily reduce osteoarthritis pain and swelling but have long-term side effects if used continuously. We’ll advise you on medication use.

What if my pain continues after trying nonsurgical options?

 Advanced treatments like injections, arthroscopy, or surgery may be warranted if other therapies have not sufficiently improved your pain, mobility, and quality of life after 3-6 months.

Contact Us

Contact Essex Union Podiatry to learn more or schedule your appointment with one of our specialists. We look forward to partnering with you on your joint health journey!

Rahway Office

1600 St. Georges Ave.

Rahway, NJ 07065

Phone: 732-936-7543

Caldwell Office

376 Bloomfield Ave.

Caldwell, NJ 07006

Phone: 862-640-1917

Springfield Office

500 Morris Ave., Suite 203

Springfield, NJ 07081

Phone: 862-660-7739

Our experienced podiatry team is here to help.

Contact us now to discuss your foot and ankle health needs.