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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 20, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, plantar fasciitis is a very common foot problem and one of the most foot-paincommon causes of heel pain. Dr. Richard Wittock, a podiatrist at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and serving the St. Louis area offers diagnostic and treatment options for heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and other foot and ankle conditions and injuries.

Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis and Treatment in Fenton, MO

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the long tendon that stretches across the bottom of the foot from the ankle to the toes (the plantar fascia). Repetitive stress, strain, and overuse are a common cause of plantar fasciitis. Small tears and repeated pressure on the tendon, which is responsible for absorbing the shocks your feet sustain during motion, result in the inflammation that causes plantar fasciitis. Anyone can develop it, but there are a few factors that can increase the risk:

  • Age - it generally becomes more common after age 40
  • Being obese or excessively overweight, which puts additional strain and pressure on the feet
  • Spending a lot of time on your feet
  • High or low arches - if you have an especially high or low arch (also known as flat feet), you may be more prone to plantar fasciitis due to the alignment of your feet and the way your weight is distributed when you walk

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain, usually after long periods of rest, sitting, or sleep. In some cases the pain can make it difficult to walk or put pressure on the heel, causing you to limp and limit physical activities.

Plantar fasciitis can usually be treated conservatively with rest, medication, lifestyle modifications, and supportive foot wear like orthotics. For persistent cases of heel pain, Dr. Wittock offers Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy.

Find a Podiatrist in Fenton, MO

For more information about plantar fasciitis and the treatment options for heel pain and other foot and ankle injuries, contact the Foot and Ankle Institute in Fenton, MO and serving the St. Louis area by calling (636) 717-1100 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wittock today.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 13, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

4 Signs You May Have Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar FasciitisDo you have plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of pain in the bottom of the foot. The condition is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Podiatrists offer treatments that can provide relief from plantar fasciitis. Dr. Richard Wittock is one of the top podiatrists in Fenton, MO. Here are five signs you may have plantar fasciitis. 

1. Foot Pain

Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. The pain may develop gradually and become worse over time. The pain is usually the worst after stepping out of bed in the morning, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or rising from sitting. Pain is also usually worse after physical activity, not during it.

2. Stiffness

Plantar fasciitis can cause stiffness and limited range of motion. Climbing stairs can be difficult due to stiffness in the heel. Physical therapy is a very important part of treatment for plantar fasciitis. It can help you safely stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Physical therapy can also help reduce stiffness, as well as improve range of motion, making you more mobile.

3. Numbness

Plantar fasciitis can also cause numbness in the bottom of the foot. If you experience this, you may have no or little sensation. Numbness of the foot can also occur because of injury to the foot, nerve damage, and poor circulation (such as with peripheral vascular disease and diabetes).

4. Inflammation

Plantar fasciitis is associated with swelling and warmth in the heel area. This inflammation is caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. There may also be tenderness of the bottom of the heel at the plantar fascia's point of attachment. 

Call Today!

The key to proper diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is an examination by a podiatrist. Whether your goal is getting back to sports, hobbies, work, or just enjoying life, our podiatrist can help. Don't wait another minute—call Ankle and Foot Institute at (636) 717-1100 right now to schedule an appointment in Fenton, MO. We want you to live your best life!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
August 28, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Toenail Fungus Laser TreatmentAs summer begins to wind down, it is important to keep the health of your feet in mind, even when they are cooped up in socks and boots throughout the winter. Toenail fungus can happen to anyone and is often nothing to worry about. However, some cases of toenail fungus are stubborn and hard to treat, meaning your podiatrist may suggest procedures like laser therapy for your condition. Find out more about laser toenail fungus treatment with Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO.

Do I have toenail fungus? 
Toenail fungus begins subtly and symptoms worsen over a long period of time. At first, the fungus appears on the toenail as a small yellow dot or spot. The discoloration progresses into a yellowed, thickened nail which may grow into a distorted shape. Eventually, the nail becomes brittle and begins to flake or crumble. The nail may also begin to separate from the bed. Your nail may also have a foul smell.

Where does toenail fungus come from? 
Toenail fungus comes from fungal spores entering into the skin and coming to a rest under the nail. Some contributing risk factors for toenail fungus include:

  • older age
  • sweating heavily
  • decreased blood flow
  • a family history of toenail fungus
  • tight shoes
  • frequenting locker rooms or public pools
  • athletic activity

You can prevent fungal toenail infections by keeping your feet clean and dry. Always wear shower shoes in areas like locker rooms or public pools and ensure that your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks and shoes. Additionally, always wear clean socks and ensure you change your socks immediately following activities which cause excessive sweating.

Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus in Fenton, MO 
Toenail fungus is often a stubborn condition to treat. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication, ointments, or lacquers. However, laser treatment can help you and your condition. Your doctor directs the laser at the fungus, allowing it to treat the fungus and infected areas without harming the tissue around or under the toenail.

For more information on laser toenail fungus treatments, please contact Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO. Call (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Wittock for a consultation today!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
August 21, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

Find out if the foot problems you are experiencing could be due to this foot deformity.


If you are noticing a large bump sticking out at the bottom of your big toe then you might be dealing with a bunion. As the bunion foot bunionprogresses it can even cause the big toe to lean in on the other toes. Our St. Louis, MO, podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock is here to tell you about to best handle a bunion if you do have one.

First and foremost, if you suspect that you have a bunion you will need to get a proper diagnosis. Usually, early on, people won’t notice any symptoms that a bunion may be brewing. While this deformity is gradual, it will continue to grow and worsen if you don’t properly care for your feet.

A bunion will cause a bony protrusion at the base of the big toe. You may notice that this hard lump is often red or swollen, particularly after walking or wearing shoes. Over time, the big toe will begin to lean in on other toes. You may have a bunion on just one foot or both of your feet. Once you notice any of these changes it’s important that you schedule a consultation with our St. Louis, MO, foot doctor.

We can often diagnose bunions just by looking at your feet. While the only way to repair the deformity is through surgery, you’ll be relieved to hear that some people can manage their symptoms without ever needing surgery.

The most common ways to treat a bunion include:

  • Wearing the proper footwear that doesn’t bunch up toes or put pressure on the bunion
  • Wearing a bunion pad over the bunion to protect it while wearing shoes
  • Placing custom orthotics into shoes to provide support and to take pressure off of the bunion
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers
  • Performing certain stretching and strengthening foot exercises
  • Steroid injections (for more serious pain and swelling)

If you suspect that your foot pain could be the result of a bunion we recommend that you get an evaluation from Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, the experts in handling everything from bunions to fractures. Call our office today to book your appointment.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
August 30, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

A research study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) found that about 77 percent of Americans have problems withBunions, Corns, Athlete’s Foot, Calluses, Achilles Tendonitis their feet, yet only a small portion ask for help from a podiatrist. Common foot problems include deformities, growths, oppressive odors, and ligament tears that cause pain. Discover more about the most common foot issues that are treated by Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in the Fenton and St. Louis, MO, area each year.

A bunion is a foot deformity that causes an inward protrusion of the bottom of the bone that supports your big toe. The top of the big toe then presses against the other toes, causing them to crowd. It’s caused by years of wearing shoes that press the toes together unnaturally.

Corns are an embarrassing and sometimes painful problem. They are layered growths of skin that usually form on the first and second knuckles of the toes. They are a sign that you do a lot of walking and physical activity—especially in shoes that are not good for your feet.

Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is an odorous and embarrassing problem that develops mostly in runners and athletes. Because their feet are often sweaty and hot in their sneakers or cleats, fungus infections are common. Athlete’s Foot can be contagious and recurrent, but there are basic treatments for it available from your Fenton and St. Louis podiatrist.

A callus is similar to a corn, except for the location where it forms. A callus usually develops on the bottom or side of the foot. The skin layers as a form of protection due to constant contact with a hard surface (usually your shoe) and gets hard. 

Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles tendon runs along the back of your foot, attaching your heel to your calf. It’s crucial for athletic activities. When this tendon is stretched or inflamed, the problem is called Achilles Tendonitis. It causes swelling and discomfort in the heel.

Let a Foot Doctor Fix Your Feet
Are you struggling with one or more of these foot ailments? If so, Dr. Richard Wittock at the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO and serving St. Louis, MO, can help. Call 636-717-1100 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Wittock.