Buffalo Grove | Elgin       ( 847) 577-1649

ARC

Pain across the bottom of the foot at any point between the heel and the ball of the foot is often referred to as “arch pain.” Although this description is non-specific, most arch pain is due to strain or inflammation of the plantar fascia (a long ligament on the bottom of the foot). This condition is known as plantar fasciitis and is sometimes associated with a heel spur.

ARC PAINIn most cases, arch pain develops from overuse, unsupportive shoes, weight gain, or acute injury. If arch pain persists beyond a few days, make an appointment to see Dr. Warheit for treatment to prevent this condition from becoming worse.

Dr. Warheit has been assisting patients in implementing solutions that ease Arch Pain in the Northwest Suburbs for over 15 years. Every patients situation is unique. Therefore it is important that you meet with him so that he may determine the proper solution for you. Visit us at our Buffalo Grove Office or our Elgin Office. Contact us by clicking here.

BUNIONS

Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them. Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before seeking treatment.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion (also referred to as hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment – producing the bunion’s “bump.”

Bunions are a progressive disorder. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people never have symptoms.

Causes: Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion.

Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse. Symptoms may therefore appear sooner.

Symptoms: Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • A burning sensation
  • Possible numbness

Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.

Diagnosis: Bunions are readily apparent – the prominence is visible at the base of the big toe or side of the foot. However, to fully evaluate the condition, x-rays may be taken to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred.
Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and will usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike – some bunions progress more rapidly than others. Once Dr. Warheit has evaluated your bunion, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

Treatment: Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed. To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays by the doctor are advised.

In many other cases, however, some type of treatment is needed. Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself.

These include:

Changes in shoewear; wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels which may aggravate the condition.

Padding: Pads placed over the area of the bunion can help minimize pain. These can be obtained from Dr. Warheit's office.

Activity modifications: Avoid activity that causes bunion pain, including standing for long periods of time.

Medications: Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.

Icing: Applying an ice pack several times a day helps reduce inflammation and pain.

Injection therapy. Although rarely used in bunion treatment, injections of corticosteroids may be useful in treating the inflamed bursa (fluid-filled sac located around a joint) sometimes seen with bunions.

Orthotic devices: In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by Dr. Warheit.

Surgery: Bunion surgery is performed by Dr. Warheit in our Buffalo Grove office.

You may want to consider surgery when:

       Nonsurgical treatment has not relieved your bunion pain.

       You have difficulty walking or performing most daily activities

Corns

A “corn” is a small circular thickened lesion in the skin of the foot. It usually forms due to repeated pressure on the skin, such as the rubbing of a shoe. The name “corn” comes from its resemblance to a kernel of corn. A corn is different from a callus in that it has a central core of hard material.

People with foot deformities, such as hammertoes, often suffer from corns because the tops of the bent toes rub against the tops of shoes.

There are a number of treatment options for corns. When corns get hard enough to cause pain, a foot and ankle surgeon will recommend the treatment option most appropriate for you. However, if the underlying cause of the corn is not treated or removed, the corn may return. It is important to avoid trying to remove a corn at home or using medicated corn pads, as serious infection may occur.

Dr. Warheit has been assisting patients in implementing solutions that remedy corns in the Northwest Suburbs for over 25 years. Every patient's situation is unique. Therefore it is important that you meet with Dr. Warheit so that he may determine the proper solution for you. Visit us at our Buffalo Grove Office or our Elgin Office. Contact us by clicking here.

 

Millions of people suffer from nail fungus. Adults over the age of 60 or patients suffering from diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system are more susceptible to nail fungus than children or young adults. Men also have a higher chance of developing nail fungus over women.

There are five different types of nail fungus:

  1. Candidal Onychomycosis: Caused by common yeast that creates infections in the skin around nails.
  2. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis: Caused by Trichophyton Rubrum and is the most uncommon nail fungus.
  3. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis: Caused by Trichophyton Rubrum and is the most common nail fungus.
  4. White Superficial Onychomycosis: Caused by Trichophyton Mentagrophytes and is the 2nd most common nail fungus.
  5. Total Dystrophic Onychomycosis:The most severe form of nail fungus that affects the entire nail.

There are several steps a person could take to prevent nail fungus from developing:

  • Avoid wearing nail polish and/or acrylic nails as they trap the fungus and moisture on your nail.
  • Cut your nails straight across; do not round the ends of your nails.
  • Avoid cutting or pushing back your cuticle as this is a good way for an infection to develop.
  • Simply practice good hygiene, allowing your feet to be well vented and dry.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. 

Although these tips are helpful, some patients will still develop nail fungus. Nail fungus can be irritating and embarrassing. Warheit Podiatry now has a new state-of-the-art treatment for fungal nails: The GenesisPlus by Cutera Laser.

Cutera is a worldwide leader in laser technology and one of only two lasers FDA cleared for nail fungus/Onychomycosis. The heat sensor on the hand piece ensures accuracy and safety of the nail treatment.

Proven effectiveness: The nail fungus treatment provided by the GenesisPlus by Cutera works by applying a directed focused infared laser light source on to infected toenails and/or fingernails. The laser nail fungus treatment targets the fungal infection in the toenail or fingernail and area below the nail called the toenail or fingernail matrix, also commonly referred to as the nail plate or nail bed. In most cases, the laser nail fungus treatment gets rid of the fungal infection and most patients report little discomfort during or after the procedure. Generally, the laser nail fungus treatment has no age or health restrictions with the exception of women who may be pregnant.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a contracture (bending) of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop.
Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time. In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible and the symptoms can often be managed with noninvasive measures. But if left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid and will not respond to non-surgical treatment.
Because of the progressive nature of hammertoes, they should receive early attention. Hammertoes never get better without some kind of intervention.

What causes Hammertoe: The most common cause of hammertoe is a muscle/tendon imbalance. This imbalance, which leads to a bending of the toe, results from mechanical (structural) changes in the foot that occur over time in some people.
Hammertoes may be aggravated by shoes that don't fit properly. A hammertoe may result if a toe is too long and is forced into a cramped position when a tight shoe is worn.
Occasionally, hammertoe is the result of an earlier trauma to the toe. In some people, hammertoes are inherited.

Symptoms of Hammertoe: Common symptoms of hammertoes include:

  • Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
  • Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending upon their location.
  • Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation
  • Contracture of the toe
  • In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.

Diagnosis: Although hammertoes are readily apparent, to arrive at a diagnosis Dr. Warheit will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. During the physical examination, he may attempt to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot and will study the contractures of the toes. In addition, x-rays may be taken to determine the degree of the deformities and assess any changes that may have occurred.

Hammertoes are progressive, they don't go away by themselves and usually they will get worse over time. However, not all cases are alike, some hammertoes progress more rapidly than others. Once the doctor has evaluated your hammertoes, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

Treatment for Hammertoe: There is a variety of treatment options for hammertoe. The treatment Dr. Warheit selects will depend upon the severity of your hammertoe and other factors. A number of non-surgical measures can be undertaken:

Padding corns and calluses: Dr. Warheit can provide or prescribe pads designed to shield corns from irritation. If you want to try over-the-counter pads, avoid the medicated types. Medicated pads are generally not recommended because they may contain a small amount of acid that can be harmful. Consult Dr. Warheit about this option.

Changes in shoewear: Avoid shoes with pointed toes, shoes that are too short, or shoes with high heels, conditions that can force your toe against the front of the shoe. Instead, choose comfortable shoes with a deep, roomy toe box and heels no higher than two inches.

Orthotic devices: A custom orthotic device placed in your shoe may help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.

Injection therapy: Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to ease pain and inflammation caused by hammertoe.

Medications: Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.

Splinting/strapping: Splints or small straps may be applied by the surgeon to realign the bent toe.

Dr. Warheit has been assisting patients in implementing solutions that ease Hammertoe in the Northwest Suburbs for over 25 years. Every patients situation is unique. Therefore it is important that you meet with Dr. Warheit so that he may determine the proper solution for you. Visit us at our Buffalo Grove Office or our Elgin Office. Contact us by clicking here.

Heel Pain

Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst.

Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. Dr. Warheit is able to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.

Causes: The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to faulty structure of the foot. For example, people who have problems with their arches, either overly flat feet or high-arched feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.

Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when one's job requires long hours on the feet. Obesity may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms: The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:

  • Pain on the bottom of the heel
  • Pain that is usually worse upon arising
  • Pain that increases over a period of months

People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they've been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because walking stretches the fascia. For some people the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.

Diagnosis: To arrive at a diagnosis, Dr. Warheit will obtain your medical history and examine your foot. Throughout this process he can rule out all the possible causes for your heel pain other than plantar fasciitis.

In addition, diagnostic imaging studies such as x-rays or other imaging modalities may be used to distinguish the different types of heel pain. Sometimes heel spurs are found in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain. When they are present, the condition may be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.

Treatment:Treatment of plantar fasciitis begins with first-line strategies, which you can begin at home:

Stretching exercises: Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery.

Avoid going barefoot: When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia.

Ice: Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation. Place a thin towel between the ice and your heel; do not apply ice directly to the skin.
Limit activities: Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest.

Shoe modifications: Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.

Medications: Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.

If you still have pain after several weeks, see Dr. Warheit, who may add one or more of these treatment approaches:

Padding and strapping: Placing pads in the shoe softens the impact of walking. Strapping helps support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia.

Orthotic devices: Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis.

Injection therapy: In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.

Removable walking cast: A removable walking cast may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal. Night splint. Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients.

Physical therapy: Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.

Ingrown Toenail

When a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe.
If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odor. However, even if the toe isn’t painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.

Causes of ingrown toenails include:

Heredity: In many people, the tendency for ingrown toenails is inherited.

Trauma: Sometimes an ingrown toenail is the result of trauma, such as stubbing your toe, having an object fall on your toe, or engaging in activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes, such as kicking or running.

Improper trimming: The most common cause of ingrown toenails is cutting your nails too short. This encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail.

Improperly sized footwear: Ingrown toenails can result from wearing socks and shoes that are tight or short.

Nail Conditions. Ingrown toenails can be caused by nail problems, such as fungal infections or losing a nail due to trauma.

TreatmentSometimes initial treatment for ingrown toenails can be safely performed at home. However, home treatment is strongly discouraged if an infection is suspected, or for those who have medical conditions that put feet at high risk, such as diabetes, nerve damage in the foot, or poor circulation.

Dr. Warheit has been assisting patients in implementing solutions that remedy ingrown toenails in the Northwest Suburbs for over 25 years. Every patients situation is unique. Therefore it is important that you meet with Dr. Warheit so that he may determine the proper solution for you. Visit us at our Buffalo Grove Office or our Elgin Office. Contact us by clicking here.

A fungus is an organism that lives in warm moist areas. Fungus of the toenails is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, although it most commonly affects individuals who are older.

Toenail fungus often begins as an infection in the skin called tinea pedis (also known as athlete’s foot). The fungus often starts under the nail fold at the end of the nail. Over time it grows underneath the nail and causes changes to its appearance, such as a yellow or brownish discoloration. It can also cause thickening and deformity of the toenail.

Many people have difficulty with their toenails and need assistance in caring for them. Dr. Warheit can diagnose the cause of toenail problems and recommend treatments.

Orthotics

Custom orthotics are medical devices prescribed by a foot and ankle surgeon. These shoe inserts, which support and align the foot and lower extremities, are formed by making a plaster mold of the foot.

A foot orthoses comprise a specially fitted insert or footbed to a shoe. Also commonly referred to as "Orthotics" these orthoses provide support for the foot by distributing pressure or realigning foot joints while standing, walking or running. As such they are often used by athletes to relieve symptoms of a variety of soft tissue inflammatory conditions like plantar fasciitis. They may also be used in conjunction with properly fitted orthopedic footwear in the prevention of foot ulcers in the at-risk diabetic foot.

Dr. Warheit has been prescribing patients orthotics in the Northwest Suburbs for over 25 years. Every patient's situation is unique. Therefore it is important that you meet with Dr. Warheit so that he may determine the proper solution for you.  Visit us at our Buffalo Grove Office or our Elgin Office. Contact us by clicking here.

Plantar Warts
A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically they appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts most commonly occur in children, adolescents, and the elderly.

There are two types of plantar warts:

  1. A solitary wart is a single wart. It often increases in size and may eventually multiply, forming additional “satellite” warts.
  2. Mosaic warts are a cluster of several small warts growing closely together in one area. Mosaic warts are more difficult to treat than solitary warts.

Causes: Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body.

Symptoms: The symptoms of a plantar wart may include:

Thickened skin: Often a plantar wart resembles a callus because of its tough, thick tissue.
Pain: Walking and standing may be painful. Squeezing the sides of the wart may also cause pain.
Tiny black dots: These often appear on the surface of the wart. The dots are actually dried blood contained in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
Plantar warts grow deep into the skin. Usually this growth occurs slowly, with the wart starting small and becoming larger over time.

Diagnosis: To diagnose a plantar wart, Dr. Warheit will examine the patient's foot and look for signs and symptoms of a wart.

Although plantar warts may eventually clear up on their own, most patients desire faster relief. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the wart.

Dr. Warheit may use topical or oral treatments, laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), acid treatments, or surgery to remove the wart.

Regardless of the treatment approaches undertaken, it is important that the patient follow the doctor's instructions, including all home care and medication that has been prescribed, as well as follow-up visits with the surgeon. Warts may return, requiring further treatment.

If there is no response to treatment, further diagnostic evaluation may be necessary. In such cases, the surgeon can perform a biopsy to rule out other potential causes for the growth.

Although there are many folk remedies for warts, patients should be aware that these remain unproven and may be dangerous. Patients should never try to remove warts themselves. This can do more harm than good.

Dr. Warheit has been assisting patients in implementing solutions that remedy Plantar Warts in the Northwest Suburbs for over 15 years. Every patients situation is unique. Therefore it is important that you meet with Dr. Warheit so that he may determine the proper solution for you. Visit us at our Buffalo Grove Office or our Elgin Office. Contact us by clicking here.

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