Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can you help me fill out my FMLA paperwork?

    Yes, we'd be happy to fill out FMLA paperwork for you. We charge a $50 fee for this service.

  • Do home remedies for warts work?

    The literature on how well home remedies for warts work—or if they work at all—is unfortunately rather mixed. We’re confident that over-the-counter medications, particularly medicated salicylic acid pads, can help in some cases, although the process is slow and doesn’t always work—it may take several weeks, and the success rate hovers around 50%.

    More novel remedies, such as using duct tape instead of medicated pads, show even less promise, though some swear by them. We’ve even heard of people using garlic or pastes made out of baking powder and castor oil.

    That said, while home remedies tend not to be very effective, most are not dangerous or harmful in any way, so unless you have any specific concerns about your skin or whether or not your problem is actually a wart, feel free to try one. If it works (or the wart gets better on its own), great! If not, you can always schedule an appointment with Dr. McSpadden for a professional solution. Visit us in Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX by dialing 512-593-2949.

  • Why are my toenails turning black?

    There could be several reasons for toenails turning black.

    The most common reason, especially among those who are regularly running, hiking, or playing sports is repetitive trauma against the toe, often from shoes that are too tight. This can cause cuts or bruises under the nail, leading to a pooling of blood that causes the distinct discoloration. Black toenails may also be caused by a fungal infection, as well.

    More rarely, a black toenail might be the result of a malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Although the odds of this being the case are very low, you should definitely investigate if you have any concerns—diagnosing and treating melanoma as early as possible is critical to achieve a good outcome, so you’ll want a professional evaluation to either rule it out or begin countermeasures quickly.

    If you have any concerns with the color or health of your toenails, please schedule an appointment with Dr. McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, in our Cedar Park or Round Rock offices. You can reach us online, or give us a call at 512-593-2949.

  • What are the signs of an ingrown toenail?

    It’s important to know the signs of an ingrown toenail so you can treat the problem before it gets worse.

    In the early stages, the tissue along the edges of the nail can become red, tender and painful under pressure. As the condition progresses, the nail can eventually puncture the skin and become infected. Bleeding, discharge and increased redness and swelling can occur. Don’t let it get this far!

    As soon as you notice ingrown toenail trouble, make an appointment so we can help your nail grow above the skin, not into it! Depending on how far along the problem has progressed, we will lift the nail, partially remove the offending edge or, in severe cases, remove the nail completely.

    If you have questions or would like to learn more about these treatment options, call us in Round Rock or Cedar Park, TX by dialing (512) 593-2949. In the meantime, be sure that you are trimming nails straight across without curving the corners, and that your shoes offer plenty of wiggle room for your toes.

  • What causes ingrown toenails?

    There is no one single cause of ingrown toenails. In fact, in many cases the fundamental cause may not be known. However, some of the known causes, as well as factors that might increase your risk, include:

    • Injury to the toenail, such as a stubbed toe or dropping an object on your foot
    • Wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe box
    • Poor trimming technique—don’t cut too short or curved in the corners, but leave a little length and cut straight across
    • Fungal toenail infections
    • Heredity—some people just have more naturally flat or curved nails, which can lead to higher ingrown toenail incidence rates.

    Some of these causes, like toenail trimming or footwear choices, are controllable or preventable. Some, like heredity, are not. But no matter what may have caused your ingrown toenail, Dr. Keith McSpadden can provide same-day relief via a simple in-office procedure. So don’t continue suffering—if you have a painful toenail bothering you, please set up an appointment at our Cedar Park or Round Rock offices by calling 512-593-2949.

  • Is there a proper way to trim toenails?

    Yes! Although there’s no way to perfectly prevent problems such as ingrown toenails or fungal toenails, employing proper trimming tools and techniques is the best way to keep your nails looking and feeling great.

    Before you begin, make sure your feet are clean and dry—this not only reduces the risk of spreading disease, but makes your nails softer and easier to cut. Use a large pair of clippers, too—the longer the lever, the easier it will be to cut.

    Always cut your nails straight across, and never too short. Rounded edges that are cut too close to the skin may cause the nail to grow toward the skin, leading to an ingrown toenail, infection, and/or fungal problem.

    If you’re experiencing problems with your toenails, call Keith McSPadden, DPM today. Ingrown toenails and fungal nails won’t go away on their own, but both are fixable with the right treatment. You can schedule an appointment at one of our two Austin-area locations by dialing 512-593-2949.

  • How can I treat toenail fungus?

    Toenail fungus is a legendarily stubborn little infection. Because topical antifungals can’t penetrate through the nail to get at the fungi underneath, home care is almost always ineffective.

    Following an evaluation, we will likely start you on a regiment of prescription oral antifungals for six to eight weeks. The drugs eliminate the infection, allowing health nail to grow and slowly replace the discolored portion over a period of months. Because these pills may come with side effects, we will make sure you are healthy enough to take them and check back periodically to make sure you’re doing well.

    Alternatively, particularly severe or chronic cases may be treated by removing the nail entirely, treating the infection directly, and waiting for a healthy nail to grow back.

    One thing is for sure—a case of toenail fungus will not get better on its own. If you’re looking to eliminate that embarrassing, yellow nail, call Dr. McSpadden today. To set up an appointment in Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX, give us a call at 512-593-2949.

  • How do I know if I have Achilles tendinitis or a tear?

    Most often, Achilles tendinitis comes on gradually, mainly because of overuse. Repetitive stress on the tendon causes it to become irritated, inflamed, red, and tender to the touch. The discomfort worsens with activity, especially running and jumping, and makes even walking difficult. Rest, ice, and stretches are usually enough to find relief.

    An Achilles rupture, on the other hand, often happens suddenly and causes extreme, sharp pain. You may even hear a popping sound or feel it snap. Most times, you will not be able to bear weight on your foot, and your calf will be affected as well. It is difficult to stand on your toes or bend your foot downward. Surgery is typically necessary to restore strength and function.

    If your Achilles tendon is bothering you, it’s best to make an appointment so we can assess the problem and get you on the right treatment plan. Call our Round Rock or Cedar Park, TX office by dialing (512) 593-2949. 

  • What is the difference between tendinitis and tendinosis?

    When you have pain in a tendon, “tendinitis” is often used as a catch-all term to describe what you’re going through. However, that may not technically be the case. A more accurate general term for tendon pain is tedinopathy, which can include both tendinitis and tendinosis.

    In simple terms, tendinitis is an inflammatory response to tiny microscopic tears in the tendon, whereas a diagnosis of tendinosis indicates that overuse has caused collagen fibers in the tendon to degenerate in response. As it turns out, many injuries that are commonly branded tendinitis are actually tendinosis instead, and while that may not seem like much of a big deal, knowing the difference can help your doctor provide better care.

    Whatever is ultimately causing the pain in your Achilles, peroneal, or other tendon, Dr. Keith McSpadden at Austin Foot and Ankle Institute can help you overcome it. Our office provides a full range of both conservative and surgical treatment options, and we always exhaust non-invasive approaches before considering more aggressive care. Request an appointment online, or call 512-593-2949.

  • How do I know if I have Achilles tendinitis?

    While you can’t make a positive diagnosis yourself—that will require a visit to our office for a professional evaluation (via physical exam and possibly an X-ray or MRI)—there are definitely some telltale signs that can point you in the right direction.

    Most cases begin as a mild ache. The targeted spot is usually either in the back of the leg, or else just above the heel, at the spot where the tendon inserts into the heel bone. You may notice it first after a run, a workout, or playing a sport (particularly one with running and jumping). Over time the pain, stiffness, and tenderness may get worse. Discomfort is typically most prevalent in the early morning, or after periods of intense activity.

    If you notice any of these symptoms, or any other painful problems with your feet or ankles, schedule an appointment with Dr. Keith McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute for a full evaluation and review of treatment options. To see us in Round Rock or Cedar Park, TX, dial 512-593-2949.