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Posts for category: Foot Care

By Ankle and Foot Institute
May 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle sprain  

A sprained ankle can cause serious pain, discomfort, and frustration. Though they present some of the same symptoms as a broken bone, sprained anklea sprain affects the soft tissues which surround the bones and joints. If you sprain your ankle, you may not know the first steps to take to ensure a timely and healthy recovery. Find out what to do if you think you have sprained your ankle with Dr. Richard Wittock at the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and serving the St. Louis area. 

Is my ankle sprained or broken? 
Sprains almost always occur after an event or injury, such as tripping or rolling the ankle. A sprain affects the soft tissues, often those which lie above the ankle joint. If your ankle is sprained or broken, you will notice pain, discomfort, and swelling. However, the pain associated with a sprain is concentrated over the ankle’s soft tissues around the joint. A break would be centered on the bone itself. Additionally, if you have a break, chances are that you will not be able to place any pressure on the affected area at all. A sprain may allow you to place some pressure on the area.

When should I see a doctor? 
Your doctor is able to help you determine if your injury is a sprain or a break. If you have severe pain or swelling or you notice an open wound around the affected area, or if you experience the signs of infection, such as a fever or redness, warmth, or tenderness in the area, you should seek immediate medical attention. Schedule a visit with your doctor if you have persistent swelling or pain which lasts more than a few days, or if you still have pain after several weeks. Your doctor will use an imaging technique to definitively determine whether your ankle is broken or sprained.

Treating a Sprained Ankle in Fenton and St. Louis 
Treating a sprained ankle often begins with the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This allows the body’s natural healing processes to work uninterrupted. Over-the-counter medications can help with pain and swelling. If these methods fail to produce results, your doctor may suggest more invasive or in-depth techniques like physical therapy or, in rare cases, surgery.

For more information on sprained ankles, please contact Dr. Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and the St. Louis area. Call (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment today!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 19, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Do your feet, knees, hips or a backache at the end of the day? Orthotics may offer a simple way to relieve your painful symptoms. Our St. orthoticsLouis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, explains how you can benefit from orthotics.

Orthotics offer a superior level of comfort and support

If your shoes don't have enough padding or you need a little additional arch support, over-the-counter shoe inserts may do the job, at least for a little while. Unfortunately, one-size-fits-all inserts may not adequately address your foot condition. In some cases, they may even worsen it.

Orthotics are designed to fit you and you alone. They're designed in our St. Louis office after we evaluate your gait and make a digital mold of your foot. Although orthotics cost more than drugstore shoe inserts, they're made of durable materials and will probably last three years or longer before they need to be replaced.

Orthotics help you avoid pain

Poor foot position or mechanical issues, such as overpronation or flat foot, can affect the alignment of your entire body. Eventually, you may begin to notice pain not just in your feet, but also in your ankles, knees, hips, or lower back. Orthotics improve the position of your feet when you wear shoes, restore normal alignment and reduce pressure on your foot.

Depending on your foot condition, we may recommend one of these types of orthotics:

  • Semi-Rigid: Semi-rigid orthotics support your entire foot and are made of a rigid inner core encased by soft, cushioning material. These orthotics relieve foot pain, control movement, improve balance, and reduce pressure on your tendons and muscles when you walk or run.
  • Rigid: Rigid orthotics also support your entire foot, but are constructed of stiff plastic or carbon. They're a good choice if you have back or leg pain, your legs are different lengths, or you overpronate or have an abnormal gait.
  • Soft: Soft orthotics cushion your feet, absorb shock, and decrease pressure. They're a good choice if you have arthritis or diabetes.
  • Heel Cups: Heel cups fit into the heel portion of your shoes and provide extra cushioning. The cups may be recommended if you have plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. Heel cups can also be helpful if your heel pain is caused by thinning of the fat pads under your heels, a problem that can occur as you get older.

Orthotics can help relieve your pain. Call St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Wittock, at (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
January 08, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

Your job requires you to be on your feet almost constantly throughout the day. Over the past few months, you've noticed increased pain in plantar fasciitisyour heel and across the arch of your foot. What could be happening? Well, many adults with heel pain suffer from an inflammatory condition called plantar fasciitis. Your foot doctor at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock, sees it frequently in adults of all ages, and he successfully treats in many ways for maximum comfort and foot function.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Affecting the wide band of tissue which connects the base of the toes to the calcaneus, or heel bone, plantar fasciitis in St. Louis may come on suddenly. However, Dr. Wittock says this painful condition rarely results from trauma. Rather, overuse typically causes it-- for instance, simply standing for hours on hard surfaces or playing sports such as tennis and running.

Other contributing factors are:

  • Age (the fat pad on the bottom of the foot thins as we get older)
  • Wearing poorly supporting shoes or high heels
  • Overpronation, or excessive flattening of the arch of the foot when walking, running or jumping
  • Obesity

In addition. while some people with heel spurs, small bony projections off the heel bone, have plantar fasciitis, not all people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs.

How your foot doctor can help

If you're having pain in the heel and/or arch of your foot, please contact your foot doctor so he can perform a complete podiatric examination, including a visual inspection of how you place your feet when you walk. Also, Dr. Wittock may take X-rays to visualize your heel structure.

If Dr. Wittock diagnoses plantar fasciitis, there are several options available which supply substantial relief to most patients. Typical interventions include:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Shoes with good arch support
  • Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts
  • Cortisone injections
  • Stretching exercises and physical therapy

If a patient does not improve significantly over the course of several months, Dr. Wittock may recommend innovative Extracorporal Shock Wave Therapy. Performed right at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, ESWT treats plantar fasciitis with short, painless waves of energy. These mini-shock waves reduce inflammation and speed healing.

The Food and Drug Administration reports that 92 percent of patients treated with ESWT experience significant pain relief, and there's no down time. Patients are in and out of the office quickly after their treatments and enjoy better foot and ankle function.

Stop hurting

And, feel better. See Dr. Richard Wittock of the Ankle and Foot Institute of St. Louis, MO, about your heel pain. It could be plantar fasciitis, and it's totally treatable. Contact the office today for an appointment, won't you? Call (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 10, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Like many foot and ankle injuries and conditions, bunions range in severity from mild to severe and can often be managed successfully bunionswith conservative treatments. Surgery is typically reserved for extreme cases where conservative treatments have failed, and the bunion is causing excessive pain or mobility issues. Bunions are fairly common and can affect people of all ages. Dr. Richard Wittock, a podiatrist in St. Louis, MO, offers diagnostic and treatment options for bunions and other foot and ankle problems.

Bunion Treatment in St. Louis, MO

There are a number of factors that can cause bunions. Although wearing narrow shoes that crowd the toes or that don't provide sufficient arch support can put pressure on the joint and increase the risk of inflammation and pain, shoes are not always responsible for a bunion.

Non-surgical Bunion Treatment

Conservative treatments and lifestyle modifications can often help to ease joint inflammation and bunion pain. Some of the most common non-surgical bunion treatments include:

  • Orthotics and supportive footwear and shoe inserts
  • Splints
  • Massage therapy
  • Bandage or pad to protect the skin over the bunion from corns and calluses caused by friction from shoes
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

When is Bunion Surgery Necessary?

In some cases, bunions can become extremely painful, making it difficult to walk or even wear shoes. If bunion pain becomes chronic, does not respond to conservative treatments, and interferes with your ability to walk and remain physically active, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.

Find a Podiatrist in St. Louis, MO

You don't have to live with foot and ankle pain. If you are suffering from bunion pain or are having difficulty walking or engaging in your normal physical activities, contact the Ankle and Foot Institute by calling 636-717-1100 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wittock today.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
June 27, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Ingrown toenails are nails whose sides or corners dig into the skin often causing pain and/or infection. They are caused by shoe ingrown toenailpressure, injury, fungal infection, improper nail trimming, genetics or just poor foot structure. Dr. Richard Wittock in St. Louis, MO, can offer several helpful tips to help his patients reduce their chances of ingrown toenails in the future.

Prevention Tips

Toenails should always be trimmed straight across and slightly longer at the end of the toe with toenail clippers only. Never curve your nails. Keep the toenails the proper length as too short can lead to an immediate toenail issue and increased risk of ingrown nails. If you have a condition where you have poor circulation to your feet, seek help from a St. Louis podiatrist for proper toe trimming.

Also, always wear shoes that fit. Shoes that place too much pressure on the toes can cause the nail to grow into the tissue around it. Protective footwear is also important for individuals who may be at risk for hurting their feet or toes at work.

For individuals with ingrown toenails, soak your feet several times a day to reduce tenderness and swelling. Place cotton or dental floss under the toenail edge that is ingrown to help it to grow properly. Over-the-counter pain relievers also help ease the pain. Never avoid treatment whether you are diabetic or not as it can lead to more serious foot problems later in life and even infection. Diabetic patients should check their feet daily for any issues including the risk of ingrown toenails that can lead to more serious problems for them because of their medical condition.

A podiatrist can evaluate the nails and determine the proper course of treatment to prevent infection. To schedule this important appointment today, call our St. Louis, MO, podiatry office at (636) 717-1100.