It can be hard to know where to turn for reliable information about diagnosing and treating common foot and ankle problems. You can trust our podiatrists to provide the most up-to-date information available when answering Frequently Asked Questions. If the answers you need are not here, please give us a call.

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  • Will I have pain after bunion surgery?

    It is common to experience some pain and discomfort after bunion surgery, as it is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and rearranging the bones in the foot. The amount of pain you experience may depend on the extent of the surgery and your individual pain tolerance. During the healing process after bunion surgery, it is essential to keep off your feet as much as possible. Additionally, follow any instructions given by your doctor regarding activity restrictions and rehabilitation exercises, so you can make a full recovery and get back to enjoying the activities you once did. Bunion surgery

    Why Your Foot May Hurt After Bunion Surgery

    After bunion surgery, it is common for patients to experience pain and discomfort. This is especially true in the weeks following the procedure as the foot adjusts to its new shape. While this pain may seem unbearable at times, it is important to remember that most of it should subside in a few days or weeks, depending on individual circumstances.

    Pain can vary depending on the type of bunion surgery performed. Bunion surgery can be done to remove bones, remove and reshape a damaged joint, or realign bones and fix them in place with pins or screws. Although pain may feel never-ending at times during your post-surgical recovery process, it's important to keep in mind that with proper care and attention from both yourself and your medical team, you will soon be able to get back on track with your day-to-day life.

    Common Reasons Your Foot Hurts After Bunion Surgery

    • Swelling. Swelling is a common response to any surgery and can cause pain and discomfort. The swelling after bunion surgery may last for several weeks or months.
    • Nerve irritation. Bunion surgery may cause irritation to the nerves in your foot, which can result in pain, tingling, or numbness.
    • Bone healing. As the bones in your foot heal and recover, you may experience some pain or discomfort. This may last for several weeks or months.
    • Scar tissue. Scar tissue may form around the incision site, which can cause pain or stiffness.

    Common Post-Operative Instructions

    • Take medication such as anti-inflammatory pain medication or prescribed painkillers
    • Keep your foot elevated
    • Wear a special shoe or cast
    • Keep your foot bandaged with a clean dressing
    • Keep off your feet as much as possible, so the area around the surgical site can settle evenly
    • Perform certain rehabilitation exercises to restore movement in your foot

    In addition, depending on what foot was operated on, you may be restricted from driving until the foot has completely healed.

    Warning Signs of a Problem After Surgery

    Although bunion surgery generally yields very positive results, there could be some complications during or after the procedure. Some of the most common complications include infection, nerve injury, stiffness of the joint, and recurrence of the bunion.

    It is normal to expect some degree of foot pain after bunion surgery, but it is important to contact your podiatrist if you believe your pain has become worse than expected or if you develop any other symptoms such as:

    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • Fever or chills
    • Bleeding
    • Drainage from the incision site
    • Trouble breathing

    Seeing a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem can help you avoid more serious complications. Your doctor will assess your condition and advise you on what kind of treatment would be best for you following your surgery. Additionally, they can provide guidance on which activities can help reduce discomfort during the healing period and how long until full recovery can be expected.

    Contact Our Austin Bunion Podiatrist

    If you had bunion surgery and are experiencing pain, contact our experienced podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists for an evaluation today. We can evaluate your foot and determine if any additional treatment is necessary. To schedule an appointment, contact us online, or call our office at 512-328-8900.

  • How can Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) relieve foot pain

    Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy can be an effective way to treat chronic foot pain caused by a variety of conditions, including tendinitis, ligament sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, and bursitis. This safe and non-invasive procedure uses platelets from your own blood to stimulate healing in damaged tissues, which helps reduce inflammation and improve recovery time. Before undergoing any treatment for your foot pain, it is essential to discuss all available options with your podiatrist to determine if PRP therapy is the right choice for your specific needs. PRP injections

    How PRP Therapy Can Help Relieve Foot Pain

    PRP therapy is a regenerative medical procedure that uses platelets from your own blood to stimulate healing. The platelets are mixed with a saline solution and injected into the affected area of the body. This triggers an inflammatory response that helps promote the damaged tissue's healing and regeneration. Additionally, because the platelets are derived from the patient's blood, there is no risk of allergic reaction or rejection.

    Platelet-rich plasma contains growth factors that increase the production of new cells and promotes healing in damaged tissues. The injection stimulates collagen production, which helps strengthen weakened structures such as ligaments and tendons while reducing inflammation and pain. It also increases blood flow to the area, which helps improve tissue recovery time.

    Benefits of PRP Therapy for Foot Pain

    There are multiple benefits associated with PRP therapy for those suffering from chronic foot pain, including:

    • Reduced inflammation. Injecting a high concentration of platelets directly into the affected area helps reduce inflammation quickly while stimulating cell regeneration, which can further expedite healing times.
    • Pain relief. Injecting platelets into areas of chronic pain can also help provide relief by promoting natural healing processes within the body as well as reducing inflammation and swelling. 
    • Increased mobility. As your condition improves, this helps you get back on your feet faster and regain full mobility more quickly than with traditional treatments. Medications such as anti-inflammatories or opioids do not address underlying issues or promote natural healing processes the way PRP therapy does. 

    Conditions That Can Be Treated With PRP

    PRP therapy is effective at relieving a wide range of foot problems and can be used to treat a variety of conditions that involve soft tissue or joint damage. Conditions that may be considered for PRP injections may include the following:

    • Arthritis
    • Achilles tendon injuries
    • Sprains
    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Sports-related injuries
    • Muscle injuries

    In addition, PPR therapy can also be used to help ease post-operative pain.

    What Should I Discuss With My Podiatrist?

    Before undergoing any treatment for your foot pain, it is important to discuss all available options with your podiatrist. They will determine if PRP therapy is right for you based on the severity of your condition and any other factors that may influence the outcome of the treatment, such as age or health history. During this discussion, it’s important to ask questions about what to expect from treatment, so you know the kind of results you can expect after the procedure is complete. 

    PRP therapy typically consists of two to three treatments spaced several weeks apart for best results. You can expect some soreness around the injection site, but this should subside within one to two days. Remember that full recovery times vary depending on the individual, but most patients report feeling significant improvement within six to twelve weeks following their last injection. Although some initial discomfort may occur during treatment sessions, most patients experience minimal side effects afterward.

    Contact Us

    If you are considering PRP therapy as a treatment option for your chronic foot pain, contact our experienced podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists for an evaluation today. We can determine if you are a candidate for this type of therapy and help get you back to living life pain free. To schedule an appointment, contact us online, or call our office at 512-328-8900.

     

  • What could be causing my heel pain?

    Heel pain can be tricky to diagnose. The cause could be a simple strain, or it might mean something more serious is going on. What is certain is that the cause of your heel pain needs to be identified, so a podiatrist can start you on an appropriate treatment plan. There are various causes of heel pain, and how to treat them depends on your specific condition and needs. The many causes of heel pain

    Common Causes of Heel Pain

    Heel pain isn’t always caused by a medical condition. For example, if you stand on your feet for long periods of time, overuse your feet during long walks or marathons, or wear poorly fitting or high-heeled shoes, your feet, especially your heels, may become sore and achy. However, there are medical conditions that can be the root cause of heel pain. 

    Common Medical Conditions That Might Cause Your Heel Pain

    • Plantar fasciitis. One of the most common sources of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to your toes, becomes inflamed due to excessive stress or overuse. The inflammation in this area can cause sharp shooting pains in the heel, which may spread up to the arch and toes. If you experience plantar fasciitis, you may feel pain in your heel when you first get out of bed in the morning or after spending long periods sitting down. Other symptoms include swelling, burning sensations, and redness around the affected area. To treat plantar fasciitis, a podiatrist may recommend stretching exercises specifically designed for this condition and the use of ice packs to reduce inflammation. Taking ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications may also help relieve symptoms. 
    • Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis is another leading cause of heel pain caused by inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bones. The pain associated with Achilles tendinitis often feels like a sharp stabbing sensation that increases with physical activity such as running or jumping or during periods of prolonged standing or walking. Resting your feet and applying ice are two essential treatments for Achilles tendonitis, along with wearing supportive shoes and using orthotics to provide extra cushioning for your feet when needed. Surgery may be necessary in extreme cases when these remedies fail to provide relief from symptoms. 
    • Heel spurs. Heel spurs are bony growths that can cause pain when they rub against other tissues when you move. These spurs develop when calcium deposits build up on the underside of your heel bone, which can lead to painful inflammation and swelling around the affected area. Heel spurs are usually caused by excessive weight-bearing activity, such as running or jogging on hard surfaces, but can also be caused by flat feet or high arches. Both put more pressure on certain parts of the foot than others. Treatment for heel spurs typically involves wearing arch support inserts or orthotics and taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce any swelling and pain. Surgery is rarely necessary except in cases where there is severe damage to the surrounding tissue due to a large spur near nerves or joints.
    • Bursitis. Bursitis occurs when one or more of the small fluid-filled sacs (bursae) in your feet becomes inflamed due to pressure or friction. Bursitis typically causes tenderness, swelling, and redness around the back of your ankle, making it painful to walk on hard surfaces without proper footwear support. Often, rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication are all that are needed to treat bursitis. For some patients, physical therapy can help, as well as changing the type of shoes they wear. Some may find relief by placing heel cups or inserts inside their shoes.

    Diagnosing and Treating Heel Pain

    It’s important to see a podiatrist at the first sign of heel pain or if you experience more serious symptoms. These can develop into dangerous complications.

    Watch for These Symptoms With Heel Pain

    • Severe or sudden pain
    • Redness in the heel
    • Swelling in the heel
    • Difficulty walking due to pain

    A podiatrist can diagnose your condition after giving your feet a physical exam. They may also order imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs to confirm the diagnosis or rule out anything more serious that could require physical therapy or surgery. Common treatments for heel pain include:

    • Rest
    • Ice
    • Anti-inflammatory pain medication
    • Night splints
    • Orthotics or shoe inserts

    To help prevent heel pain, you should wear shoes that fit properly, provide adequate support, and are right for your activity. In addition, it’s always a good idea to stretch before exercising.

    Contact Our Austin Heel Pain Podiatrists

    If you are experiencing heel pain, contact our experienced podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists for an evaluation today. We can provide various advanced treatment options based on your individual needs. To schedule an appointment, contact us online, or call our office at 512-328-8900.

     

  • Should I see a podiatrist if I have peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?

    Yes, you should see a podiatrist if you have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). A podiatrist is specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the feet and ankles, including PAD. Your podiatrist will evaluate your condition, coordinate with other members of your care team if necessary, and develop a personalized treatment plan based on your individual needs, so you can get back on track quickly and safely. Dealing with peripheral artery disease

    What Is PAD?

    PAD is a condition where arteries become narrowed or clogged due to plaque buildup caused by fatty deposits. Those with diabetes or venous insufficiency are at a greater risk for the disease. PAD can lead to decreased blood flow, which can cause pain, numbness, and other symptoms in the legs and feet. Over time, this lack of proper blood flow can cause damage to tissues, resulting in ulcers, infections, or even gangrene. If PAD is left untreated, it can lead to amputation or death.

    Signs of PAD

    • Pain or numbness in your legs or feet. PAD can cause pain or numbness in the lower leg, foot, and toes. The pain may feel like a cramp or tightness in the muscles, similar to what you would feel after exercising for an extended period. This pain typically subsides when resting your legs but returns when walking or exercising again.
    • Cold feet or toes. Many people with PAD have decreased circulation due to the narrowing of their arteries, making it difficult for their feet and toes to stay warm. This symptom often indicates that not enough blood is being circulated through these areas of your body.
    • Weak pulses in your legs or feet. If you press on your ankles with two fingers, you should be able to feel a pulse. A weakened pulse could indicate poor circulation due to narrowed arteries. If you are having trouble feeling this pulse, it may be time to speak with a doctor about PAD.
    • Discoloration of skin on your legs or feet. Your skin may look pale or blue due to insufficient oxygen-rich blood supply from narrowed arteries caused by PAD. This discoloration may also appear shiny from swelling caused by fluid buildup due to poor circulation in your limbs. 

    How a Podiatrist Can Help With PAD

    If you are suffering from PAD, you need the help of a skilled podiatrist who has the knowledge and experience needed to diagnose and treat this condition. Whether you are dealing with pain and discomfort in your legs or concerned about the long-term complications of PAD, a podiatrist can recommend options to help manage your symptoms.

    Your podiatrist will evaluate your condition, work with other members of your care team, and/or refer you to another specialist if necessary. At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, we have noninvasive testing for PAD called PADnet. This testing allows us to get all the necessary information without cutting into your body. PADnet makes it possible for podiatrists to diagnose the condition at its earliest stages to decrease the risk of serious, life-threatening complications.

    Possible Treatment for PAD

    • Lifestyle changes such as weight management, stopping smoking, and increased physical activity
    • Medications such as cholesterol-lowering drugs or antiplatelet drugs
    • Minimally invasive treatments such as angioplasty
    • Surgery may be needed for more severe cases 

    In addition, a podiatrist can recommend specialty shoes or custom orthotics to help ease the symptoms of PAD. A podiatrist can also provide advanced wound-healing services. Since patients with PAD may have wounds that don’t heal easily, it is essential to see a podiatrist as soon as possible, so wounds don’t become infected.

    Contact Our Austin Podiatrist Today

    If you have pain and/or numbness in your feet and ankles, contact our skilled podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists for an evaluation. We can provide various treatment options based on your individual needs. To schedule an appointment, contact us online, or call our office at 512-328-8900.

     

  • Do I need to see a podiatrist for a puncture wound on my foot?

    A puncture wound is a hole in the skin that is caused by something sharp such as a nail, broken shell, piece of glass, or a needle. While many puncture wounds are not critical, some can lead to serious infections, especially if they are not treated promptly and properly. If you have a puncture wound on your foot, it is essential to seek medical attention from a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist will be able to assess the severity of your wound and provide the appropriate treatment to help prevent any complications. Treating a puncture wound

    Signs and Symptoms of Puncture Wounds

    Puncture wounds on the bottom of the foot can occur if you walk barefoot, step on something sharp, or a sharp object penetrates the bottom of your shoe. Puncture wounds can vary in severity, and some are small and may go undetected since they may not bleed. Those with diabetes that have a loss of sensation in the feet may not feel pain from the puncture wound when it occurs.

    Some common signs and symptoms of a puncture wound that you should be aware of include:

    • Open sore on the foot
    • Bleeding
    • Swelling
    • Redness
    • Pain

    In addition, if you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be an indication of an infection, and it is important to see a podiatrist right away:

    • Warmth around the site of the wound
    • Pus or drainage from the wound
    • Fever

    Treatment for Puncture Wounds

    You should see a podiatrist anytime you have a foot injury that breaks the skin. You may think a small scrape or cut is insignificant, but if you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood flow to your feet, it is essential to seek medical attention for even minor injuries. Doing so can help you avoid infection or the possibility of amputation due to the wound not being treated properly.

    A podiatrist will be able to determine if there is any foreign matter present in the wound as well as the best course of treatment for you based on the depth and size of the wound. For a minor puncture wound, you may only need to clean it with soap and water and apply a bandage. If it has been more than ten years since your last tetanus shot, you may need another one. More serious puncture wounds may require stitches, antibiotics to prevent infection, or even surgery. In addition, your podiatrist may advise you to keep weight off the wound by using crutches or another walking aid.

    If you notice signs of infection such as redness, pain, or swelling or develop a fever, seek immediate medical attention, and contact your podiatrist immediately.

    Preventing Puncture Wounds

    Even though a puncture wound may not seem to be a big problem, it can become serious and cause complications. It is important to take the following precautions to prevent a wound from happening in the first place:

    • Always protect your feet, whether you are inside or outside, by wearing shoes with thick soles
    • Do a daily self-check of your feet to look for signs of injury
    • Contact a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem to help prevent serious complications

    Do You Need an Austin Podiatrist?

    If you have a puncture wound on your foot, contact the experienced podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists for an evaluation. We can provide various advanced treatment options for your condition based on your individual needs. To schedule an appointment, contact us online, or call our office at 512-328-8900.

     

  • Are orthotics by Fitstation HP right for me?

    Do you suffer from foot pain? If so, a custom orthotic may be the right choice for you. Orthotics are devices worn inside the shoes to help redistribute weight and add extra support in areas where it is most needed. You can find a variety of orthotics in retail stores, but not all are created equal. At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, we offer Fitstation by HP custom orthotics to our patients with foot problems such as plantar fasciitis or flat feet. Fitstation orthotics

    Benefits of Fitstation Orthotics

    Fitstation orthotics are different from other types of orthotics because they are custom designed to your foot’s specifications. This is done by using advanced Go-4D technology, which provides a personalized fit for your foot. Fitstation uses a system that includes the following:

    • 3D foot scanner
    • Pressure-sensitive gait plate
    • Proprietary software

    The technology used by Fitstation gives podiatrists a comprehensive view of your foot and how it is applying pressure as you stand or take a step. Ultimately, a Fitstation custom orthotic will be made according to the 3D and gait scan findings and your podiatrist’s recommendations. The team at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists will carefully review the result of the scan and recommend a custom Fitstation orthotic for your specific needs.

    3D Printing

    Fitstation orthotics are 3D printed using a special printer that we have at our office, not sent out to be made in a lab. Fitstation technology produces a lightweight, comfortable custom orthotic that can be worn in most types of footwear. Other types of orthotics are made from pre-cut materials or foam impressions that may not be as precise as a Fitstation orthotic which is made with a lattice design that can focus on specific areas where support is most needed. Another benefit of a Fitstation orthotic over other types of orthotics is that they are of higher quality and produce less waste.

    Treating Foot Problems With a Custom Orthotic

    If you have foot or ankle pain, a custom orthotic may be what you need. Fitstation orthotics can be used to reduce pain and discomfort caused by a variety of foot conditions, including:

    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Hammertoes
    • Bunions
    • High arches
    • Flat feet
    • Tendinitis
    • Heel pain

    In addition, orthotics may help reduce lower back pain for some patients since orthotics can take the stress off areas of the feet when standing for prolonged periods. Orthotics can also provide ankle and foot support to help those who have issues with balance or stability.

    Contact Our Austin Office

    An experienced podiatrist can help you find the most effective solution for your foot pain. If you are considering a Fitstation by HP orthotic, contact our office for an evaluation to determine if it is the right choice for you. The podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can provide various advanced treatment options for your condition based on your individual needs. To schedule an appointment, contact us online, or call our Austin office at 512-328-8900.

     

  • Why do ingrown toenails cause complications for those with diabetes?

    Ingrown toenails can be caused by wearing tight shoes, trimming your toenails incorrectly, or injuring your toe during sports. Once the condition develops, it can cause pain and make wearing shoes difficult. When you have diabetes, your feet often lose feeling due to neuropathy and poor circulation making it easy to overlook an ingrown nail and the wound slow to heal. It is important to treat an ingrown toenail at the first sign of a problem, so a more serious complication doesn’t develop. Ingrown toenails and those with diabetes

    Ingrown Toenail Complications for Those With Diabetes

    Ingrown toenails are not only painful, they can turn into a bigger problem if left untreated, and the complications of an ingrown toenail can be serious. These complications include:

    • Infection. Since diabetes can make a wound slow to heal, having an ingrown toenail can increase the risk of infection. An infection can spread to surrounding tissue, bone, or other parts of the body.
    • Gangrene. If there is restricted blood flow to the infected ingrown toenail, it can lead to gangrene, a condition that causes tissue to die.
    • Amputation. If the ingrown toenail becomes infected and the infection cannot be controlled, amputation may be needed to save your life.

    Signs of an Ingrown Toenail

    It is important for people with diabetes to do a daily self-exam of their feet. During this self-exam, you can look for any problems or abnormalities such as ingrown toenails. Some signs of an ingrown toenail include:

    • Pain or tenderness along the edge of the toenail or in the nail itself
    • Swelling around the toenail
    • Redness or warmth around the area of the toenail
    • Pus that indicates infection in the toenail

    Foot Care Tips for Preventing Ingrown Toenails

    If you have signs of an ingrown toenail, it is essential to contact Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists as soon as possible. We can evaluate your condition and recommend treatment options based on your specific needs. If you have diabetes, you should never treat the ingrown toenail at home without first consulting with a podiatrist.

    Possible Treatment Options for an Infected Toenail

    • Antibiotics to help clear the infection
    • Debridement to remove bacteria, dead tissue, and other debris from the wound
    • Surgery to remove the toenail partially or completely if the infection is extensive

    Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy

    • Avoid shoes that are too tight. Shoes should have room in the toes and never restrict movement. Shoes with a wider toe bed made from a breathable material can help reduce your risk of an ingrown toenail.
    • Trim your toenails carefully. Be careful when trimming your toenails, and make sure you cut them straight across. Never cut them too short or round the edges since this can increase the risk of an ingrown nail. If you cannot properly trim your toenails yourself, consider having them trimmed at your podiatrist’s office to avoid complications.
    • Have an annual exam. Not only should you see a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem, but those with diabetes should schedule an annual exam to check their feet.

    Are You Looking for an Ingrown Toenail Specialist in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for ingrown toenail care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristAustin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.

     

  • What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

    Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that one in 10 people will experience in their lifetime. It occurs when the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes, becomes inflamed. There are many reasons people develop plantar fasciitis, including wearing high heels, obesity, age, prolonged standing, and overuse. The pain from plantar fasciitis is often worse when stepping out of bed and may lessen as you begin to walk around. There are several signs that can indicate it is time to see a podiatrist for an evaluation. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis

    Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

    Pain in the heel of the foot when bearing weight and when you take the first few steps in the morning are typically the most common signs of plantar fasciitis.  

    Other Signs of Plantar Fasciitis

    • Heel pain that lessens with activity but redevelops after sitting or resting for extended amounts of time
    • Pain that is more intense when not wearing shoes or when wearing shoes that offer little support
    • Pain that becomes more intense after prolonged activity
    • Pain that is present in one foot, not both
    • Pain and swelling in the heel of the foot
    • Pain that lingers for months and does not improve over time
    • Tight calf muscles or tightening of the Achilles tendons

    Diagnosis and Treatment Options

    If you are experiencing heel pain or other signs of plantar fasciitis, consult with an experienced podiatrist for a diagnosis. A podiatrist will examine your feet and may apply pressure to the plantar fascia to see if you feel pain there. Imaging tests are generally not needed to make a diagnosis. Once other causes of the pain are ruled out, a diagnosis can be made, and treatment options will be discussed. 

    Possible Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

    • Using anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce pain and swelling
    • Applying ice to the bottom of your foot for 15 minutes, three times a day can help with pain and inflammation
    • Using custom orthotics designed specifically for your foot can be worn inside your shoes to provide support
    • Resting after long periods on your feet or reducing your physical activity can help with pain
    • Switching to a lower-impact activity such as swimming can give your plantar fascia time to heal
    • Stretching the plantar fascia can help with pain and promote healing
    • Massaging the bottom of your foot by focusing on the plantar fascia can help relax the tendon and relieve pain
    • Using night splints from your podiatrist can be worn to stretch your foot while you are sleeping, so you can avoid pain in the morning
    • Using MLS laser therapy can accelerate healing and lessen pain
    • Having steroid injections can help reduce inflammation

    Conservative and at-home treatments are often enough to provide relief from plantar fasciitis. In rare cases, surgery may be needed if the pain is severe. Surgery can be done to reduce tension by releasing the plantar fascia.

    Are You Looking for a Plantar Fasciitis Specialist in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for plantar fasciitis care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristAustin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900

     

  • Is foot drop a temporary condition?

    Foot drop, which is sometimes called drop foot, is a term used to describe difficulty in lifting the front part of the foot when you walk. This condition is not a disease or an illness; rather, it’s a symptom of a muscular, anatomical, or neurological problem. Depending on the underlying cause, foot drop can sometimes be temporary and go away on its own, but more often, it is a permanent condition. Understanding drop foot

    Foot Drop Symptoms and Causes

    The most apparent sign of foot drop is the inability to lift the front part of the foot, resulting in the foot being dragged on the ground. Other symptoms of the condition include:

    • Walking with a higher step than usual—raising your thigh when you walk, as if you are climbing stairs or marching
    • Slapping the foot down to the ground when taking a step
    • Feeling of numbness on the top of your foot and toes

    Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles responsible for lifting the front part of the foot. Some of the causes of foot drop include the following:

    • Nerve injury. An injury or compression of the peroneal nerve in the leg that controls the muscles used when lifting the foot can cause foot drop. This type of injury can often occur from knee or hip surgery. An injury to the nerve root in the spine can also cause foot drop as well as a sports-related injury or childbirth injury.
    • Brain or spinal cord disorder. A disorder such as MS, cerebral palsy, or Charcot-Marie Tooth disease can affect the brain or spinal cord and can cause foot drop. Having a stroke can also cause the condition.
    • Nerve or muscle disorder. Foot drop can be caused by certain disorders that cause muscle weakness such as muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or polio.

    Treatment Options for Foot Drop

    If you notice your toes dragging on the floor when you walk or have other signs of foot drop, see a podiatrist as soon as possible for an evaluation. Treatment for foot drop depends on the cause, so it is essential to see a podiatrist to find out what options can work for your specific issue. The goal of treatment is to maximize mobility, so you can walk without dragging your toes. When the underlying condition is addressed, foot drop can resolve on its own.

    If foot drop is due to peroneal nerve damage, treatment is focused on controlling the symptoms and may consist of pain relievers or other medications to manage pain. In addition, treatment for foot drop may also consist of:

    • Brace or support. Wearing a brace or support on your ankle and foot can keep it in place, so you can walk in a normal position.
    • Custom orthotics. Orthotics can be worn inside the shoes to help improve walking by adding support to certain areas of the foot to keep it straight.
    • Physical therapy. Physical therapy can help maintain muscle strength in the lower legs.
    • Corticosteroid injections. Injections of a corticosteroid medication can be used to reduce swelling and pressure if a nerve compression occurs.
    • Electrical nerve stimulation. Electrical impulses can be sent through a small device to stimulate the nerves in the lower leg to help lift the leg.
    • Surgery. In some instances, surgery may be an option to consider when conservative treatments do not provide improvement of symptoms. If foot drop is permanent, surgery can be done to fuse the ankle and foot joint. Other procedures that can help with foot drop are nerve decompression surgery or a tendon transfer, where a tendon is replaced with a stronger muscle from the other leg to pull the foot up.

    Are You Looking for Expert Foot Care in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for expert foot care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristAustin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.

     

  • What is plantar fibromatosis?

    Plantar fibromatosis, also known as Ledderhose disease, is a rare condition that causes lumps on the bottoms of the feet along the fascia that connects the heel to the toes. The condition can be caused by repetitive trauma such as running, injuries to the foot, genetics, medications, diabetes, or long-term alcohol use. The lumps that form are called plantar fibromas and can be treated by a podiatrist.    Treating plantar fibromatosis

    Common Signs of Plantar Fibromatosis

    The most noticeable sign of plantar fibromatosis is a lump on the bottom of the foot, typically in the area of the arch. The condition can affect one or both feet. Plantar fibromatosis may appear as a single lump or as multiple lumps.

    Characteristics of Plantar Fibromatosis Lumps

    • Feel firm to the touch
    • Remain the same size or grow larger over time
    • Cause pain when walking or standing
    • Are painful when wearing certain types of shoes

    Diagnosis and Treatment Options

    A podiatrist can diagnose plantar fibromatosis by doing a physical exam of your feet and reviewing your medical history. To rule out other possible causes for the lumps, imaging tests such as an MRI may be ordered. A biopsy is typically not needed but may be performed to determine if the lump is benign. Lumps caused by plantar fibromatosis are most often non-cancerous.

    Types of Treatment for Plantar Fibromatosis

    • Custom orthotics. A podiatrist can recommend specific types of inserts to wear inside your shoes. Custom orthotics can help reduce pain by taking pressure off the lump and providing extra cushioning when you walk.
    • Footwear. Changing the type of shoes you wear can often help reduce symptoms. Switching shoes to a more supportive style with cushioning can help take pressure off the arch of the foot where the lumps may be present.
    • Physical therapy. Physical therapy exercises can be done to strengthen and stretch the tissues in the foot to help relieve pain. Ice can also be applied to the foot to reduce swelling.
    • Massage. Regular foot massage can help relieve pain by stretching the tissues around the lumps. Pressing or touching the lumps themselves can cause pain, so only focus on the surrounding tissue during the massage.
    • Medication. Topical anti-inflammatory medications can be applied directly to the plantar fibromas to help control pain, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to decrease pain and swelling.
    • Steroid injection. A podiatrist can inject corticosteroid medication into the bottoms of your feet to help reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain.

    If conservative treatments are not effective—you continue to experience pain or the lumps continue to grow in size—surgery may be needed to remove the plantar fibroma. Surgical procedures that can be performed for plantar fibromatosis include cryosurgery, where the tissue causing the fibromas are frozen and killed off, or a fasciectomy, where thickened tissue is removed from the bottom of the foot.

    Plantar fibromatosis surgery does not come without risks. Even if the plantar fibroma is removed, there is a high risk of plantar fibromatosis recurring. In addition to having the plantar fibroma return, other risks include developing fallen arches or hammertoes.

    Are You Looking for Expert Foot Care in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for expert foot care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristAustin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.

     

  • What is onychomycosis?

    Onychomycosis, better known as toenail fungus, is an infection underneath the surface of a nail that is caused by fungi. It commonly affects the toenails and causes symptoms such as yellowing of the nails, thickened and brittle toenails, white spots on the nail, foul odor, and pain when walking while wearing shoes. It can also change the shape of the nail bed. Onychomycosis can not only be unsightly but can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Toenail fungus

    Common Causes of Onychomycosis

    Microscopic organisms like fungi cause onychomycosis. This infection develops if there are cracks in the nail or there was an injury to the nail bed and you came in contact with the fungi.

    Risk Factors for Toenail Fungal Infection  

    • Diabetes
    • Weakened immune system
    • History of athlete’s foot
    • Older age
    • Reduced blood circulation to the feet
    • Frequently walk barefoot in public areas
    • Nail injury or skin condition
    • Genetics

    Ways to Help Prevent Toenail Fungal Infections

    According to a 2014 study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, onychomycosis affects nearly 15% of the population. Getting rid of toenail fungus is challenging and can take months because it resists treatment, so prevention is important.

    How You Can Help Prevent Onychomycosis

    • Wash your feet daily with mild soap and water.
    • If you come into contact with an infected nail, wash your hands immediately to prevent the spread of infection.
    • Always keep your feet dry, and make sure to dry your feet thoroughly after washing.
    • Trim your toenails straight across, taking care not to cut the corners of the nails.
    • Wear dry, cotton socks to protect your feet and wick away moisture.
    • Choose shoes that allow your feet to breathe, and switch your shoes often.
    • Always wear flip-flops or water shoes around public areas such as swimming pool decks, showers, and locker rooms.
    • Never share bath towels or shoes with other people.
    • Use care when getting pedicures; only choose nail salons that use proper safety and sterilization techniques.
    • Sterilize any nail instruments you use at home.
    • Discard any shoes that become worn.
    • Sprinkle antifungal foot powder in your shoes and on your feet.
    • Check your feet daily for any signs of fungus or other abnormalities.

    When to See a Podiatrist

    You should consult with a podiatrist at the first signs of a fungal infection. Not only can the problem be a cosmetic issue, but it can also lead to more severe issues. Toenail fungus can spread to other toes, so the faster you seek medical treatment for a fungal infection, the easier it will be to treat and clear up. If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, it is essential to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to prevent more serious skin infections from developing. Untreated toenail fungus can cause permanent discoloration and deformity of the nail.

    For some patients, treating a fungal toenail infection can be done at home using over-the-counter antifungal products such as creams or ointments. However, these products may temporarily help with the infection but may not prevent it from returning.

    Podiatrist-Recommended Treatment for Onychomycosis

    • Prescription topical cream
    • Oral antifungal medication
    • Medicated nail polish or nail cream
    • Fungal nail laser treatment

    Toenail fungus can often take months to clear up. For the most severe cases, a podiatrist may need to temporarily remove the toenail in order to apply an antifungal medication directly under the nail area. Surgery may be needed to remove the nail permanently for patients with reoccurring infections or those that cause extreme pain.

    Are You Looking for a Toenail Fungus Specialist in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for toenail fungus care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristAustin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.

     

  • Will an ingrown toenail heal itself?

    If you’ve experienced an ingrown toenail, you know this toe condition, that develops when the top corner of your toenail begins to grow into the flesh, is uncomfortable and painful. It usually affects the big toe. While it’s possible for you to treat an ingrown nail at home by soaking your foot and wearing shoes that give your toes adequate room to move around, it’s important to see a podiatrist about this condition before complications develop.  Don't treat ingrown toenails at home

    Causes of Ingrown Toenails 

    There are many reasons people develop an ingrown toenail, but the most common cause is cutting your toenails too short. With a shorter nail, the skin can grow over the corners of the nail and the nail grow back into the skin. But there are other causes for this toe condition.

    Why People Develop Ingrown Toenails

    • Wearing shoes that are too tight and crowd the toes
    • Cutting toenails with too much of a curve
    • Suffering an injury to the toe or toenail, including stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on your foot
    • Living with toenails that naturally grow at a curve

    Treating an Ingrown Toenail at Home

    It’s possible for an ingrown nail to heal without seeing a podiatrist. These minor cases can sometimes be treated with home remedies. Serious cases, however, need the help of a podiatrist.

    Home Remedies for Your Ingrown Toenail

    • Soak your toe in warm, soapy water up to three times a day, for 20 minutes at a time. This can reduce swelling and potentially ease pain. Add some Epsom salts to the water for additional relief.
    • Soak your toe in apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has been a trendy treatment for quite some time now, and some believe it to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Use antibiotic ointments. Over-the-counter creams can reduce infection risk and promote healing.
    • Wear breathable shoes and socks. Avoid footwear that crowds your toes and/or feels too tight. This can further aggravate an ingrown toenail. Wear sandals whenever possible if an ingrown toenail is causing you pain.

    While all of these remedies can help with relief, they may not resolve your ingrown toenail. Some experts worry that some of these home remedies can actually lead to further problems, including infection. It’s best to speak to a podiatrist to discuss what home remedies are best to maintain comfort and protect yourself from complications.

    Will an Ingrown Toenail Heal Itself?

    Even if you manage to reduce the pain and swelling of an ingrown toenail, it doesn’t mean the issue is resolved. While some nails can be treated with home care, the majority still need some sort of professional intervention once the toenail has grown past a certain point. If an ingrown toenail is left untreated in the hopes of it resolving on its own, certain complications can occur.

    Possible Complications of Home Treatment

    • Infection
    • Open sores
    • Loss of blood flow to the site of infection
    • Infection in the bone of your toe

    If you are diabetic, these side effects can be much more severe, even leading to tissue decay in some cases. Instead of treating your ingrown toenail on your own, it’s best to seek treatment from a podiatrist.  

    How an Austin Podiatrist Can Help With Ingrown Toenails

    Seeing a podiatrist is your best chance to resolve the pain and swelling of an ingrown toenail. They will have a variety of non-invasive treatment options available.

    Treatment Options

    • Lifting the nail. For a slightly ingrown toenail, a podiatrist can place cotton or a splint underneath it to help the nail grow above the skin edge.
    • Taping the nail. Skin is pulled away from the ingrown toenail with tape.
    • Partially removing the nail. If the ingrown toenail is more severe, your podiatrist might numb the toe and remove a portion of the nail.
    • Removing the entire nail. If you have chronic ingrown toenail issues, your podiatrist might recommend that the entire nail and surrounding tissue be removed.

    Are You Looking for an Ingrown Toenail Specialist in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for ingrown toenail care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristAustin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.