Podiatry Blog

Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Ankle and Foot Institute
December 31, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is caused by a fungal infection. Some signs of toenail fungus include brittleness, yellowing, or thickening of the nails. Left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas and cause additional health concerns. A podiatrist can recommend several effective treatment options. Dr. Richard Wittock, the skilled podiatrist at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, can treat your toenail fungus and help prevent it from returning.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
The fungal infection that causes toenail fungus can be the result of several factors, including an injury to the nail plate or a history of athlete’s foot. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, can also increase the possibility of developing a fungal infection on the toenails.

Several symptoms are associated with toenail fungus. See a podiatrist promptly for treatment if you develop any of the following signs of a possible fungal infection:

  • Thickening of the nails
  • Brittle nails that flake
  • Yellowing of the nails
  • White patches on the nails
  • Darkening of the skin beneath the nails
  • Loose toenails

There are some steps you can take to prevent toenail fungus, such as keeping the feet clean and dry. Another way to help prevent infection is by wearing shoes that fit properly and are not too tight. Other ways to prevent infection include wearing protective footwear at public pools and in shared locker rooms and showers. Disinfecting nail clippers and other pedicure instruments regularly is also helpful for avoiding infection.

Treatments for Toenail Fungus
Several methods are available for treating toenail fungus. Some common treatment options include topical ointments and creams, oral anti-fungal medications, and surgical removal of the affected toenails. However, we utilize a revolutionary new treatment method at our podiatry office in St. Louis.

Using our innovative treatment method, toenail fungus can be successfully eliminated in about three treatment sessions in nearly 90 percent of causes involving mild to moderate infection. More severe cases often require additional treatments. One of the reasons our revolutionary treatment approach is so effective is that it penetrates deep inside the nail and targets the source of the fungal infection rather than just treating the surface of the nail. Following treatment, the toenails will grow back healthy and free of infection. There will be no more unwanted symptoms, such as yellowing or discoloration.

If you have toenail fungus, our revolutionary treatment approach that gets to the root of the problem can restore the health of your toenails. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Wittock to learn more about our treatment for toenail fungus by calling Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis at (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
May 22, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Orthotics   Heel Pain  

At Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock provides podiatric care which addresses heel pain. Customized orthotics are one of his most effective interventions. Learn more about these simple devices.

What causes heel pain?

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause, states the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. There are other potential causes--a heel spur, plantar wart, arthritis or even fracture from overuse. Obesity and standing in one place for too long can irritate any one of these problems, but podiatrists such as Dr. Richard Wittock agree that biomechanical issues mostly are to blame.

What are the biomechanics of foot and ankle structure? They relate to how you put your feet on the ground. Is your gait unbalanced, placing too much pressure on the forefoot or heel, or do you pronate, or twist, your foot toward the midline as you walk or run? Repeated enough, this biomechanical defect leads to plantar fasciitis and its discomfort.

What can you do about heel pain

When you come into Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, your foot doctor will examine your feet, including how you walk. He'll take x-rays or other types of imaging as needed. With a definite diagnosis in hand, he can plan your treatment.

Typically, heel pain responds well to rest, ice, and elevation--the simplest of first aid interventions. Losing weight helps, too, as does wearing low-heeled, well-supportive foot wear. Over the counter medications relieve pain and swelling.

Additionally, Dr. Wittock may advise wearing customized shoe orthotics. Orthotics fit right inside your everyday shoes, providing support, cushioning and protection.

In the case of heel pain, Dr. Wittock may cast your feet for functional orthotics. The semi-rigid materials in these inserts correct gait problems, provide balance for your muscles, and support the arch of the foot. Functional orthotics work well for athletes as they control foot and ankle movement and cushion your feet to remove undue stresses on the heel.

Heel pain can be managed

If you're in pain, don't delay! Contact St. Louis's expert on heel pain and orthotics, Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute. Phone the office team for a personal consultation: (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Flat Feet  

Flat feet can cause pain, limited mobility and more. At Ankle and Foot Institute serving the St. Louis and Fenton, MO, areas, Dr. Richard Wittock helps many people overcome this hereditary problem.

What makes flat feet flat?

You have bones and muscles in your feet and ankles. Connective tissue called ligaments and tendons helps them operate with every step you take.

Typically, when these connective tissues do not tighten sufficiently to form distinct arches on the bottom of your feet, you have pes planus, or flat feet. Also called fallen arches, this common podiatric condition results from developmental immaturity (babies and toddlers have flat feet until they reach the age of three or four), tight Achilles tendons and posterior tendon dysfunction. This acquired deformity happens when the tendon between the calf and the inside of your ankle becomes overstretched (even to the point of tearing).

What's so bad about flat feet?

The Institute for Preventive Foot Health has found that a full eight percent of American adults have flat feet. Diabetics, people with body weight issues and those with hypertension may suffer from pes planus. Sprains and fractures in the lower extremities may lead to flat feet as well.

Sadly, flat feet impact mobility and quality of life with:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Calluses
  • Numbness

Plus, symptoms can be progressive. That's why an exam and symptom management with your Fenton and St. Louis, MO podiatrist are so significant.

What your foot doctor can do

Dr. Wittock is a published podiatric expert on flat feet. When you come to Ankle and Foot Institute, he'll ask you about your symptoms and what may worsen or alleviate them. He'll do a complete podiatric exam and X-rays as needed. He may ask you to walk and to stand on your toes.

With a confirmed diagnosis, Dr. Wittock may advise:

  • Good quality footwear with adequate support in the arches
  • Custom-crafted shoe orthotics, or inserts, to lift the arches
  • Stretching and light exercise

Some people require foot surgery on the arches, or occasionally, a procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon.

Get the relief you need

Flat feet can be managed with help from your podiatrist serving Fenton and St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock. For an in-office consultation, please call Foot and Ankle Institute at (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
February 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Fasciitis  

Find out when you should turn to a podiatrist to treat your heel pain.

If you’ve suddenly developed heel pain, especially after running long distances or being on your feet all day, then you may have a condition known as plantar fasciitis. While this is a very common condition it’s also important not to ignore it or brush it off as something benign. Heel pain can become chronic if not properly cared for. Find out more about plantar fasciitis and how our Fenton and St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can help you.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

There are many factors that could increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Some of these factors include,

  • Wearing worn or improperly fitted shoes that do not provide cushioning and even support for your feet
  • Being on your feet all day for work
  • Having faulty foot mechanics such as flat feet or high arches
  • Being an athlete or long-distance runner

How can you treat your heel pain?

It can take weeks or even months for plantar fasciitis to go away. It’s important to rest as much as possible and to avoid any exercises such as running that could exacerbate symptoms. Besides rest, there are a variety of self-care and lifestyle changes that you can implement to speed up the healing process. These include,

  • Performing calf and foot stretches every day
  • Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide arch support
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen

How can a podiatrist help?

If you don’t notice any change in your symptoms after a week of home care then it’s time to turn to our Fenton and St. Louis, MO foot doctor to figure out better strategies for treating your heel pain. One way in which Dr. Wittock can help improve your symptoms is with custom orthotics.

These shoe inserts are custom-fitted to your feet and are designed to provide you with the specific support you need to address certain foot problems (e.g. flat feet) that could be causing your heel pain.

Physical therapy may also be a good option for getting symptoms under control and for preventing future foot problems. Your podiatrist can guide you through a variety of non-weight bearing stretches and exercises that can also improve range of motion. Other options for more persistent or severe forms of plantar fasciitis include shockwave therapy, steroid injections, splinting and surgery

If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis or heel pain in the St. Louis and Fenton, MO, areas then you’ve come to the right place. The medical team at Ankle and Foot Institute can help you manage any type of heel pain, no matter how serious. To schedule an evaluation call us at (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 14, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

There are many painful foot conditions and not everyone is well informed about how to treat themselves. So, they end up living in Bunionsunnecessary pain.

Dr. Richard Wittock of Fenton and St. Louis, MO, understands that there's a lot of information out there and people need help combing through it all.

Here's some information you can start with:
 

What is a bunion?

A bunion, a hallux valgus, is the appearance of a bump on the side of the big toe. This bump is actually a result of the big toe leaning towards the second toe, which means the bone isn't properly aligned.

If bunions aren't properly cared for, they can become worse with time. a progressive disorder. The bump becomes increasingly prominent and, the symptoms mentioned below, start appearing during later stages.
 

What are the symptoms of bunions

Well, besides the bump on the side of your big toe, you may also experience:

  • Pain
  • Soreness
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness

 

What are the causes of bunions?

Bunions are inherited. How? Well, you inherit a faulty foot structure of the foot which makes you more prone to developing a bunion. Podiatrist realize some foot structures are more susceptible than others, but wearing inappropriate shoes doesn't help either. It may even exacerbate the condition.
 

How does your podiatrist diagnose a bunion?

Well, it's pretty obvious if there's a prominent bump on your big toes but your Fenton and St. Louis podiatrist also uses x-rays to evaluate the condition and monitors the progressiveness of the bunions with time.
 

What are some non-surgical treatments?

  • Wear appropriate shoes that aren't pointed, so toes have enough space to move, and avoid high heels.
  • Make sure there's plenty of padding to help minimize pain.
  • Avoid activities that intensify pain, like standing for too long.
  • A good idea is to use oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce pain and inflammation, as well as icing several times a day.
  • Use orthotic devices for added support.

Would you like to know more about bunions from your Fenton and St. Louis, MO, podiatrist? No problem! Just give Dr. Richard Wittock a call at his office at (636) 717-1100 today.