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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  • 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.


  • When should I speak to my Austin podiatrist about TMR?

    Going through an amputation can be a very difficult and traumatic experience. Besides grieving the loss of a limb, there is also a significant chance of pain following the surgery. While various treatments are available for this, Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) is one of the most effective. Our Austin podiatrists can explain if this treatment is right for you.

    Understanding TMR

    TMR is a surgical treatment that has gained a solid reputation with podiatrists for treating the nerve pain many experience after an amputation. By reconnecting amputated nerves to other motor nerves in nearby muscles, pain may resolve. If you think of your arm or leg as being full of electrical wiring and your nerves are the “wires,” TMR helps to complete the “circuit.”

    TMR was originally developed in 2002 to help someone with an amputated limb control their prosthetics through natural muscle movement. As the procedure was being designed, it also became clear that TMR could help with phantom limb pain. TMR for nerve pain

    Reasons to Speak With Your Austin Doctor About TMR

    If you’ve recently had a limb amputated or years have passed since your surgery, it is always a good idea to speak to a doctor about TMR if you are experiencing pain or discomfort. When meeting with a podiatrist, there are many points of discussion you should bring up during your appointment to help determine if TMR is right for you.

    What to Discuss With Your Austin Podiatrist

    • The history of your amputation. Unless you have been working with your specific podiatrist prior to your amputation, your doctor will not know the history of your specific condition. Come to your appointment prepared to describe the circumstances that led to your amputation, including when and why it took place.
    • Your specific experience with pain. If you are considering TMR for pain relief, discuss the type of pain you’re having. There is a difference between phantom limb pain and residual stump pain. Your podiatrist will want to know which you believe you’re experiencing, the severity of the pain, and how often it occurs.
    • How you’ve managed pain in the past. If you are considering TMR, it’s possible you’ve already tried less invasive methods of pain relief. It is a good idea to discuss all medications and treatments with your podiatrist and if these treatments helped with your pain. Your doctor will also want to know if your pain has significantly hindered your ability to lead a normal life, as well as if it is getting in the way of successfully using your prosthetic. If your podiatrist believes TMR will improve your level of physical activity, ability to work, and quality of life, they will want to work with you to move forward with the surgery.

    What to Expect During and After TMR Surgery

    Surgery can be scary, but the benefits of TMR usually far outweigh the discomfort and anxiety that can come from the surgical process. During a TMR procedure, the surgeon will reroute your amputated nerves by attaching them to the nerves in nearby muscles. This surgery can be performed at the same time as amputation, but it can also be carried out as long as 10 years post-amputation.

    The surgery usually lasts 2-4 hours and will require a few days in the hospital, depending on the complexity of your specific case.

    Most TMR patients are able to return to work as soon as two weeks post-op, depending on how active your job requires you to be. It’s important to note that following TMR surgery, you might experience several weeks of pain and swelling that will make it difficult to wear your prosthetic.

    How to Know If TMR Is Right for You

    Surgery is always a serious decision, and it can be difficult to know if TMR is the right treatment for you. Working with a qualified Austin podiatrist can help you make this decision.

    When TMR Might Be Right for You

    • You are about to have your foot amputated, or if you are already had a limb amputated and are dealing with a significant amount of pain
    • You are unable to work due to the pain associated with your amputation
    • You haven’t been able to successfully manipulate your prosthetic in a natural way
    • Pain is preventing you from socializing or maintaining relationships
    • Pain is preventing you from being able to take care of yourself and complete basic household tasks

    Are You Looking for a TMR Specialist in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for TMR services, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, we treat injuries below the knee that affect the foot and ankle only. 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 advantages of special shoes for diabetic patients?

    Most people have experienced the aches and pains associated with a long day in uncomfortable shoes. From sore arches to blisters, ill-fitting shoes can cause a lot of discomfort. However, for a diabetic patient, improper footwear can cause serious problems, including foot ulcers and infections that can lead to amputation.

    While foot injuries aren’t always avoidable, many diabetic patients have learned that shoes designed specifically for them can make a world of difference. You can think of it as another type of medicine, but especially for your feet. Shoes for people with diabetes

    Why Diabetic Footwear?

    Footwear is a personal preference and is often used as a style symbol that allows a person to say something about who they are. But a medical condition can sometimes limit your options, and for someone with diabetes, shoes really can be responsible for health problems.  

    Diabetic footwear reduces the risk you will cut or scrape your foot, while also providing ample space for helpful items like orthotic inserts. These special shoes are also shock-absorbent and protect sensitive skin more easily. Diabetic footwear is an easy way to avoid common foot injuries and illnesses related to diabetes.

    How Foot Injuries Occur

    Diabetic patients have higher blood sugar than other people, and this can lead to poor blood flow.  Without proper circulation, the nerves in your feet become damaged, and you can develop a condition called neuropathy and lose feeling in your feet. When you lose that ability to sense pain, you may not notice a cut, scrape, or another minor injury. This, along with poor circulation that makes it more difficult for injuries to heal, can lead to serious infections.

    Shoe Shopping Tips

    When shopping for diabetic footwear, avoid the mall or traditional shoe stores. Instead, make an appointment with a podiatrist who can evaluate your specific needs and help guide you toward a perfectly fitting shoe. Remember, just as your body changes over time, so can your shoe size—especially with the swelling that can occur with a condition such as diabetes. It’s best to trust a professional when purchasing shoes.

    A diabetic-friendly shoe will have:

    • A spacious toe box
    • A breathable upper layer
    • Hard outsoles
    • A wide footbed and deep interior
    • Insole cushioning
    • Adjustable closures
    • Low arches
    • A seamless interior
    • A closed design
    • A low heel

    Purchasing a high-quality shoe will mean it has a good lifespan, but it’s also important to know when shoes are ready to be replaced. Know these signs of dangerous wear:

    • When the heel collapses to one side
    • When the inner lining is torn
    • When the bottom of the heel is worn down

    For diabetic patients, one concern that may prevent them from seeking appropriate footwear is the anticipated cost. Because diabetes can be a costly illness, many might be hesitant to invest additional money in special shoes. However, many medical insurances, including Medicare, cover therapeutic footwear. Check with your doctor to see if your policy will help absorb the cost. Also, orthotics are not always expensive. There are different types and styles, making them not only helpful but ideal for a variety of income levels.

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

    If you are looking for diabetic 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.


  • How can I resolve Haglund’s deformity without surgery?

    Sometimes the smallest physical conditions can cause major distraction and pain. This is true with many foot disorders, including Haglund’s deformity. While its name might not sound familiar, its symptoms might be—a bony bump on the back of the heel that is irritated by shoe friction, causing pain and discomfort. Treating Haglund's deformity without surgery

    Understanding Haglund’s Deformity

    Haglund’s deformity develops where your Achilles tendon attaches to your heel. The soft tissue immediately surrounding this tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes and other surfaces. This leads to bursitis, which is an inflammation of the bursa—a fluid-filled sac between the bone and tendon.

    Haglund’s deformity is fairly common but not well understood. Podiatrists suspect it’s most common among middle aged women and usually appears on both feet instead of just one. When you see a doctor to determine the cause of your pain, Haglund’s deformity is often misdiagnosed as:

    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Achilles tendon calcific enthesopathy
    • Retrocalcaneal bursitis
    • Seronegative spondyloarthropathies

    Even when properly diagnosed, the symptoms and treatment options for Haglund’s deformity can definitely be frustrating.

    Causes of Haglund’s Deformity

    There are different causes of Haglund’s deformity, but it is often called “pump bump” due to the amount of cases caused simply by the rigid backs of high heels and other types of shoes that lack flexibility. This creates pressure that continues to aggravate the deformity whenever the individual walks. Some types of shoes that are the main culprit of Haglund’s deformity include:

    • Women’s pumps/high heels
    • Men’s dress shoes
    • Ice skates or roller skates
    • Work boots
    • Any other shoe that is too tight and/or ill-fitting

    Haglund’s deformity can also be caused by:

    • Genetics 
    • High arches
    • Walking regularly on the outside of your feet
    • Overtraining for certain sports, particularly running
    • Abnormal foot biomechanics due to joint misalignment, including from an injury

    Can Haglund’s Deformity Be Cured Without Surgery?

    Surgery can be a scary thought for many people, and those who suffer with Haglund’s deformity wonder if their condition can be treated without it. But this condition requires surgery to completely remove the bumps. However, there are more conservative treatments that can reduce the size of the bumps and ease symptoms, which is an option some choose instead.


    If you choose to have surgery on your Haglund’s deformity, the procedure is usually outpatient, which means you won’t have to stay in the hospital overnight. Your surgeon will either use general anesthesia or a nerve block to numb the leg that will be operated on. An incision is then made at the heel next to the Achilles tendon. Once the incision is made, the doctor will remove the protruding bone. If any portion of the Achilles tendon has become degenerative due to the progression of Haglund’s deformity, they will remove that as well. In some instances, another tendon will be transferred to replace the portion of the Achilles that is unable to be repaired.

    If you have a straightforward surgery where the deformity is easily removed without impacting the surrounding region, you can expect to recover in about two weeks. Once your sutures are removed, you can begin to bear weight again on the affected foot. However, if your surgery involves any sort of tendon repair, recovery will be longer. You will likely receive a medical boot with a heel lift and will also be encouraged to participate in physical therapy.

    Alternative Treatments

    Although surgery is the only way to truly remove Haglund’s deformity, some people choose other options because of co-existing conditions that make anesthesia risky. Others may fear potential complications. Rare but significant complications from Haglund’s deformity removal include the wound healing too slowly, which can cause infection or require another surgery.

    While surgery might be the only true resolution, there are treatments focused on pain and size reduction that make it possible to live comfortably with Haglund’s deformity. These include:

    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Regularly icing the inflamed area
    • Stretching exercises to reduce tension from the Achilles tendon
    • Heel lifts—ideal for patients with high foot arches to decrease pressure on the heel
    • Heel pads—to provide cushioned support and reduce irritation when walking
    • More flexible shoes
    • Physical therapy
    • Orthotic devices

    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.


  • Why is Charcot foot so dangerous?

    Diabetes is a disease that comes with many complications. One of the most serious is Charcot foot. If you are diabetic, it is important to be educated about this condition and what to do if you suspect you might have it. Early intervention is essential to a full recovery. Treating Charcot foot

    Understanding Charcot Foot

    Also known as Charcot arthropathy or Charcot joint disease, Charcot foot is a medical condition that attacks the soft tissue, joints, and bones in the feet, often causing these bones to fracture. Diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy have decreased pain sensation and often won’t realize that a bone in their foot has been broken. Charcot foot will develop if the patient continues to walk on the fracture causing an abnormal shape in the foot known as a “rocker-bottom” foot deformity that is debilitating and very painful.   

    If you suffer from diabetic neuropathy and lose feeling in your lower extremities, you face a higher risk of developing Charcot foot. It is important for Charcot Foot to be detected early, so treatment can be administered before permanent damage is done. Foot deformities can lead to other issue, such as pressure sores, infections, and sometimes amputation.

    Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of Charcot Foot

    The primary cause of Charcot foot is peripheral neuropathy. This condition, most commonly caused by diabetes, reduces a patient’s ability to sense temperature, trauma, or pain in their extremities. They may experience weakness and numbness in their hands and/or feet due to nerve damage. Additionally, neuropathic patients who have a tight Achilles tendon are at a higher risk of developing Charcot foot. In rare cases, it can be caused by other health conditions.

    Because a diabetic patient with peripheral neuropathy will likely not feel pain in their feet, it can be very difficult to catch Charcot Foot early. That’s why it’s important to watch for signs of this condition that include:

    • Abnormal swelling in one or both feet
    • Visible redness on the top of the foot
    • Skin that feels warm to the touch, especially when one foot is comparatively hotter in temperature to the other

    However, these are also the symptoms of more common and much less serious conditions, so unless you are examined by a skilled podiatrist, Charcot foot can often be misdiagnosed. A podiatrist will have an X-ray and lab work done to confirm.

    Treating Charcot Foot

    Charcot foot is a challenging condition. A patient’s toes may curl, their ankles become unsteady, and arches collapse. Early treatment is important to avoid all permanent damage. If you have been diagnosed with this disease, you will have three treatment goals:

    • Take the weight off the affected foot
    • Treat the bone break
    • Prevent new fractures

    Non-Surgical Treatment

    Non-surgical treatment is usually the first course of action. You will be asked to rest and keep weight off the foot. This is called offloading. Offloading prevents further inflammation and allows your bone fracture time to heal. A doctor will often cast the affected foot for 8 to 12 weeks to ensure no weight is placed on it. Following the offloading period, you may be given a walking boot to ease back into weight-bearing walking. After you’re out of the boot, you will likely be prescribed custom orthopedic footwear that relieves pressure points and prevents future injury. One popular device is known as a Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker (CROW).

    Surgical Treatment

    If Charcot foot progresses and needs further treatment, surgery might be required. Surgery may be necessary for those who have:

    • Foot ulcers
    • Visible deformities
    • Injuries to the foot that do not allow for the use of braces or orthotics

    The surgeon will attempt to right any foot deformities and repair bone fractures. Surgery can be very successful in treating Charcot foot; however, it does not always fix the problem. Those who undergo surgery may still need custom shoes and frequent health maintenance throughout their life.

    Life After Charcot Foot

    If you are having foot problems and suspect you have Charcot foot, contact Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists. We have treated many cases of Charcot foot, and we can help you. Call us to set up an appointment to ensure your greatest chance of healing.

    Are You Looking for a Charcot Foot Specialist in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for Charcot foot care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin 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.


  • Why do I have weight-bearing restrictions after my foot surgery?

    After having surgery on your foot, you will need time for the foot to heal, and keeping weight off your feet will be an important part of the recovery process. The surgeon will instruct you to rest the foot as much as possible because the bone and/or tissue need time to mend. It also gives any placed hardware such as plates or screws a chance to remain in the proper position until the surrounding areas have adjusted to it. Weight-bearing restrictions after foot surgery

    What Is a Weight-Bearing Restriction?

    Foot surgery patients will be given weight-bearing restrictions for recovery. These restrictions describe and limit the amount of weight you can place on your foot while it’s healing. Your doctor will instruct you about this, giving you precise information about your specific condition. Weight-bearing guidelines include:


    If you have a non-weight-bearing (NWB) order from your doctor, it means that zero weight can be placed on the foot. This is the most restrictive limitation, and you will likely need to use a wheelchair, walker, or crutches to get around. When using these devices, try to keep your knee bent, so your toes never touch the ground. If you have a NWB order, even the smallest bit of weight on the foot can cause complications.

    Toe-Touch Weight-Bearing

    If you receive a toe-touch weight-bearing order, only your toes on the affected foot should touch the ground during your recovery and only for keeping your balance. Just as if you received a NWB order, a toe-touch weight-bearing restriction will require that you use a walker or crutches.

    Partial Weight-Bearing

    If your doctor tells you to maintain partial weight-bearing following your surgery, it means you can place approximately half of your usual weight on the affected foot. It may seem difficult to gauge how much is considered “half,” but a scale can help you understand how much pressure you are placing on your foot until you get used to the feeling of the right amount on your own.

    Full Weight-Bearing

    If your doctor says you can bear full weight on your foot after surgery, you have no weight restrictions. You will not be prescribed an assistive device, and you can carry on as normal soon after the surgery. This is usually a rare outcome for foot surgery, and you can still benefit by using a cane or a walker for a time if walking normally is painful.

    The Consequences of Bearing Weight Too Soon

    Weight-bearing instructions are important to follow, so you don’t cause further injury or reverse any progress from the surgery. If you should slip and fall or trip while trying to walk, you are likely to place weight on your foot without meaning to. It’s critical to follow guidelines as closely as possible in order for your foot to heal fully and correctly.

    If you haven’t been consistent in following your weight-bearing instructions and are concerned you may have done damage, you can do a self-assessment. Check to see if you are:

    • Experiencing increased pain in your foot
    • Noticing an increase in redness or swelling in your foot
    • Experiencing difficulty moving around and feeling pain

    Consult a physician if you’re worried something’s not right. Ignoring your weight-bearing instructions too frequently could cause serious issues, including possibly needing corrective surgery.

    Are You Looking for Foot Care in Austin, TX?

    If you are looking for 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.