Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can I treat my calluses at home?

    Calluses typically can be treated at home without any intervention from a doctor; however, certain procedures may not be recommended if you have diabetes or any other condition that increases infection risk.

    Calluses are primarily caused by pressure and friction, so reducing these forces on your feet is something anyone can do. Stick to cushioned, comfortable shoes that reduces the load on your feet. You can also pick up some cushioned callus pads at the pharmacy—just be sure to stick to the ones without any salicylic acid or medication, unless we tell you otherwise.

    If you have no underlying health problems that could put you at great risk, you can carefully trim calluses using a pumice stone or emery board. Give your feet a good soak first in soap water, and be careful not to remove too much skin—you don’t want to create any cuts or open sores.

    If you have diabetes, your calluses are causing pain or coming back repeatedly, or you have other concerns, don’t take the risk of taking matters into your own hands—give North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute a call at (512) 593-2949 and let us help. 

  • What can I do to improve circulation in my feet?

    The best way to improve your circulation is simply to commit to making some good old-fashioned healthy lifestyle choices. Simply eating right and getting regular, daily exercise can have a profound effect on your health outcomes, including circulation in your legs and feet. Exercise gets your blood pumping and causes smaller blood vessels to expand, helping to compensate for larger arteries that may be clogged.

    Tobacco and alcohol use inhibits healthy blood flow. We strongly recommend you quit smoking, and drink only in moderation.

    One of the leading causes of poor circulation in America today is diabetes. Checking your glucose regularly and keeping sugar at a normal level will help you prevent or slow progression of the condition's circulatory and nerve-damaging effects.

    If you're suffering from the effects of poor circulation in your legs and feet, let Dr. Keith McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute help. To schedule an evaluation at our Round Rock or Cedar Park offices, give us a call today at 512-593-2949.

  • What could be causing my child's heel pain?

    Probably the most common cause of heel pain in kids, particularly during and around puberty, is Sever's disease. Kids' bones are still developing during this period, and the growth plate in the heel is sensitive. Repetitive stresses from running, jumping, and playing sports or tension from tight tendons, especially during a growth spurt, can cause swelling and pain.

    Other potential causes of painful heels in children may be related to obesity or faulty foot mechanics or structure—such as high arches or a tight Achilles.

    The good news is that children are, by and large, excellent healers—conservative therapies usually do the trick. That doesn't mean you should ignore your kids when they complain, though. Conditions that are not treated can result in more problems down the line and require the use of more aggressive treatments.

    When your youngster complains of heel pain, or you notice the telltale signs (limping, walking on toes, unwillingness or inability to run and jump normally), visit Austin's Dr. Keith McSpadden for gentle, compassionate, thorough care. To set up an appointment, contact us online or call 512-593-2949.

  • How can I ease bunion pain?

    When the bony bump on your big toe is causing discomfort, not to worry - there are several things you can do to ease bunion pain. Ice and anit-inflammatory medication are both helpful, in addition to stretches -- like pulling your big toe into proper alignment and holding it there for a count of ten. Toe spacers and night splint that hold your toe in place can do wonders to reduce painful symptoms, as well as slow the progression of your protruding bone. Making sure your shoes have plenty of wiggle room for your toes and using orthotic inserts to take pressure away from the joint can go a long way toward alleviating pain, too. Finally, you can use pads to protect and cushion the area, or try a soothing foot soak at day's end.

    If these conservative methods are not enough to ease bunion pain, call us to discuss other options, including surgical intervention. You can reach our Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX office by calling (512) 593-2949, or by using our online contact form.

  • What can I expect after bunion surgery?

    Knowing what to expect after bunion surgery helps you prepare and eases your mind. You will have stitches and your foot will be wrapped to help protect the area and keep your toe in proper position. Take care to keep your stitches and dressing dry. When you are bathing, keep your foot away from the water or cover it with a plastic bag. This period can last 1-3 weeks until it's determined that stitches can be removed.

    Elevating your foot as much as possible helps minimize swelling, and you must not put weight on the foot. You might have to wear a walking boot, cast, or splint to help with this, and a brace to keep your toe in alignment. The severity of your bunion, the type of procedure you've had, and how well the healing process is going will determine when you can wear normal shoes again. (Hint: follow after care instructions closely and don't try to do too much too soon!)

    Medication can help with inflammation and pain, and eventual physical therapy will help to restore mobility and function.

    For more information, we welcome you to call (512) 593-2949 and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

  • What is the recovery time for bunion surgery?

    In most cases, patients are back into their tennis shoes 4-5 weeks after surgery. Also, patients are generally starting back into exercise 6-8 weeks after bunion surgery.

  • Can bunions be treated with orthotics?

    No. Orthotics may change the position of the foot, which may temporarily relieve pain. However, orthotics will not correct a bunion.

  • Why is reconstructive surgery necessary? Can't you just shave the bump?

    Historcially, many surgeons would just "shave the bump" with a surgical saw, without realigning the great toe joint. The problem with this method is the recurrence rate is significantly higher, so there is a greater chance your bunion pain could come back. By utilizing reconstructive surgery, the deformity can be corrected, while properly aligning the great toe joint. This allows for a more predictable and longer lasting outcome.

  • Why do bunions cause so much pain?

    As the deformity progresses, the bump on the inside of your foot becomes more prominent. There is a nerve (medial dorsal cutaneous nerve) that travels directly over the bump at the great toe joint. So not only do you have pain from the shoe pressing on the bone, but there is direct pressure on the nerve! Imagine having someone hit your funny bone, on your elbow, on a daily basis.

  • Will my bunion pain get better with time?

    You may get temporary relief with conservative treatments, but generally speaking, your pain will not improve with time. In most cases, bunion pain actually gets worse with time.